I think I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: I. Love. Chocolate. It is always my first choice in desserts. So if there’s chocolate in it, on it, around it, or anywhere close by, you can be sure I’ll find it! When I was asked to bring a “finger-type” dessert to an end-of-year picnic, this recipe came right to mind. What else but chocolate could produce Mississippi Mud? (As a food, that is.)
The recipe was published in the Winter 2012 Baking Sheet, from King Arthur Flour. I am a faithful subscriber to this little recipe-filled periodical many of which have turned down pages for recipes I want to try.
Mention Mississippi Mud and like the ice cream, I think of chocolate chips, nuts and peanut butter. These bars have not one, but two kinds of chocolate: dark and white, plus pecans – a Southern touch. Pure deliciousness in one little cookie bar. Since they are eaten with your hands it’s OK to lick your fingers!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped, or white chips
- 2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks, divided
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, divided
A word here about pan size: You may choose a 9”x13″, a 9″x9″, or an 8″x8″ pan. The smaller pans will produce 16-20 bars that are thick with a thick layer of chocolate on top. The 9″x13″ pan will produce 24-32 bars, but only about an inch thick. That’s the size I used to bake the bars pictured here.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Select your pan and grease generously with non-stick spray.
- Cream the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the peanut butter followed by the egg and vanilla. Mix well; scrape the bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.
- Add the white chocolate, 1 cup of the semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, and half of the pecans.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Using a spatula works well to spread it to the edges. Bake for 40-45 min. for 8″ or 9″ square pans; 30-35 min. for the 9″x13″ pan. The bars should be golden brown all over.
- Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the remaining chocolate over the top of the bars. Return to the oven for 1 minute to soften the chocolate, then take the pan out of the oven and spread the now-melted chocolate evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining pecans, pressing them lightly into the chocolate. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.
SOURCE: The Baking Sheet, Winter 2012, from King Arthur Flour