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Thursday, August 4,2011

No-Bake White Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

By Danette Randall

Are you as hot for me as I am hot for me?

I mean hot for my weekly treats of course, and if you aren’t hot, then you are one of them there fancy people living in the lap of luxury with air conditioning. Blast! I said I wouldn’t talk about the heat anymore, but I can’t stop myself. The heat, the sugar and chocolate have gone to my head, and “it’s too freakin hot” has become the answer to all questions.

It has, of course, given me an excuse to sip on a wine spritzer every day of the week. I must keep my body temperature down, and if I have to drink a spritzer to do so, so be it. (Who wants refreshing, good-for-you water anyway?) Another thing I can do to help remedy the heat is a no-bake dessert. Yes please! No-Bake White Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares.

Keep those ovens off, people.

These cute little squares are so tasty, a flavor sensation in every bite. Peanut butter, oatmeal, brown sugar and white chocolate are the main ingredients, and that’s not too shabby. You just need one little burner, or, of course, you could use a microwave. Since I know there are a lot of you with microwave aversions, you can always go with the stovetop. But for all of you that don’t have the dreaded fear of microwaves, well, your kitchen will stay even cooler. Yay for you. It’s really all about the mixing with this dessert, and mixing is fun, don’t you think?

You will find this is such a simple recipe — it will become a go-to treat for all seasons, not just summer. I add a bit of cinnamon that really makes the oatmeal and white chocolate pop. They are hearty, yet surprisingly light. Pile them up on a cute summer platter, and watch the peeps come a-running. Don’t leave them out in this heat too long, though — you don’t want the white chocolate dripping down your arm when you take a bite. Or maybe you do. Nothing wrong with that, my friends.

These treats, of course, pair perfectly with a nice wine spritzer, which is often my criteria in coming up with recipes. A nice glass of Pellegrino works just as well. See how I offer something for everyone? Microwave, no microwave. Cocktails, no cocktails. I am an equal dessert diva opportunist. I’m here for everyone! You’re welcome!

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.

No-Bake White Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

1 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

2-1/2 cups oatmeal (quick cook oats)

2 cups white chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter

Cover an eight-by-eight baking pan with parchment paper. In medium sauce pan, over low heat (or in microwave), melt butter. Add sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and peanuts. Stir well.

Mix in oatmeal. Press mixture down into baking pan. In small sauce pan (or microwave), slowly melt white chocolate chips.

Take out 1 tbsp. and set aside for garnish. Mix in peanut butter. Pour over top of oatmeal mixture. Smooth top. Drizzle extra white chocolate chips over top. Place in refrigerator for two hours or overnight. When ready to serve, take out and cut into squares. You can garnish with chopped nuts as well. Enjoy!

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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