Today’s recipe is the perfect cross between cookie dough and fudge. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Fudge with a layer chocolate ganache spread over the top. Total indulgence!
The first layer tastes like chocolate chip cookie dough but there are no eggs so it is safe to eat unbaked! I am always sneaking bites of dough so this is a dream come true for me and everyone like me.
The original recipe by Sue of The View from Great Island is gorgeous! I changed it to make it gluten-free and because I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter I added a layer under the chocolate frosting. I took one bite and immediately thought of Snickers candy bars!
The peanut butter layer is totally optional and you can leave it out if you prefer. What do you think? Will you add the peanut butter layer or not?
I love that the squares can be made ahead and will hold in the refrigerator until about 20 minutes before you are ready to serve. Having them already made and waiting in the refrigerator gives me time to get the rest of the meal prepared without worrying about dessert.
While they are easy to serve as bars, you could cut the fudge layer into squares, insert a popsicle stick and dip them in melted chocolate – instant lollipops!
So get in the kitchen, whip up a batch of these chocolate chip peanut butter fudge squares and sit back while your family devours them!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
I got distracted when I was waiting for the chocolate to firm up and it got too hard. I should have paid more attention to the caution I added to the recipe, LOL. Because it was too cold, my chocolate layer snapped when I tried to cut the block into squares. I would have loved perfectly cut edges, but it doesn’t always turn out the way you want, sigh. It is still delicious just not that attractive.
The only peanut butter I had on hand was chunky-style which was a little more challenging to spread smoothly, but it still tastes great. Don’t run out and buy a new jar just for this recipe!
Use a gluten-free flour blend in the fudge layer and make sure the chocolate you use is gluten-free.
- Chocolate Chip Fudge Layer
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk!)
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour or Gluten-Free flour blend (270g)
- 1 (12 oz) bag (about 2 cups) mini chocolate chips
- Peanut Butter Layer
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, or alternative nut butter if needed, at room temperature
- 1 to 2 tbsp powdered sugar, to taste
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 2 to 3 tsp heavy cream or milk, as needed
- Chocolate Layer
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- Butter an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving two longer “handles” to help you lift the bars out for easy cutting. Lightly butter the parchment.
- Make the Cookie Dough Layer: Using your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as well as the paddle. Add the vanilla and beat another minute on medium speed. Add a little of the sweetened milk, then a little of the flour, mixing after each addition, and alternating the two until all of the milk and flour have been incorporated. Turn up the mixer to medium speed for 30 seconds to lighten the mixture a little. Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Turn the dough out into the prepared pan and pat down evenly with your hands. The dough is very sticky, so lightly flour your hands to help. (Use gluten-free flour if needed.) Smooth the top with an offset spatula to remove any indentations. Cover and refrigerate until firm, (about 4 hours) or even overnight if you like. I like to make this a day or two ahead, making the recipe less time consuming. Once fully chilled, the texture will be similar to fudge, thus the recipe name.
- Make the Peanut Butter Layer: Combine the peanut butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of your standing mixer. Beat about 2 minutes until thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla and 2 tsp of the cream and beat until smooth. Taste and add more sugar if desired. The mixture should be creamy and smooth. Add more cream as needed for a good spreading consistency. If it gets too thin, add more powdered sugar.
- Spread over the top of the cold fudge layer, smoothing it nearly to the edges with an off-set spatula. Set aside while you melt the chocolate.
- Make the Chocolate Layer: Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl (preferably heavy glass) and heat for 1 minute. Continue heating in short 15 second bursts, stirring after each burst until the chocolate is nearly all melted. Remove from the microwave oven and stir until the last of the chips are fully melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Let the chocolate cool for about 5 minutes, and then pour onto the peanut butter layer. Spread out evenly with an off-set spatula.
- Cut into Squares and Serve: Return the pan to the refrigerator to firm up the topping - about 15 minutes. Don’t wait too long or the chocolate topping may crack when you try to cut the squares. Lift the frosted dough from the pan using the parchment handles; use a knife to release the fudge from the sides not covered by the parchment. Set on a cutting board and cut into 16 small squares. This is a very rich dessert, so smaller pieces are a perfect single serving.
- Once cut, you can carefully lift the fudge back into the pan and refrigerate until firm. Keep the fudge chilled until about 15 minutes before serving. The chocolate will melt quickly in the heat.
- Yield: 16 squares
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