The good news: we have quite a bit of Halloween candy hanging out in our pantry right now.
The bad news: all the good stuff is long gone and we're left only with the varieties no one wants to finish off. I'm looking at you, candy corn. Candy corn an embarrassment to other self-respecting candies. I hated it passionately until a college roommate taught me to mix it with salted peanuts . . . suddenly, it was transformed into something entirely different. I gained a new respect for candy corn that day. It is abominable on its own, but can actually be pretty great mixed with peanuts.
If you have leftover candy corn that you don't know what to do with, here's the solution. Turn those awful little candies into some of the yummiest peanut butter bars you've ever tasted--delicious, rich, quick, and easy. And yes, it's hard to believe, but there really is candy corn hiding in there.
Yep, only 3 ingredients necessary for these yummy bars. You don't even have to turn on your oven, and you'll spend all of 5 minutes getting this ready. (Although, fair warning, you do have to let it cool and harden before you can dig in.)
The best part is, they taste unbelievably similar to some of my favorite chocolate and peanut butter candies. So even though all the best Halloween candy is long gone, its spirit lives on in these bars.
Our 3 ingredient line up for these bars: candy corn (which we'll melt down into a gooey and delectable concoction), chocolate chips for a creamy top layer, and Peter Pan's NEW Simply Ground peanut butter, which I picked up last week at Walmart.
Now, I have a long-running love affair with peanut butter. I descend from a proud family tradition of experimenting with every nut butter we can find, fighting over who would get the last peanut butter candy, occasionally making our own nut butters at home, and eating it all straight from the jar with a spoon. And this new peanut butter? Well, color me impressed.
Because creamy peanut butter? Great. Can't get enough. Crunchy peanut butter? Awesome. But I'm not sure I've ever before had a store bought peanut butter living in that perfect middle ground between creamy and crunchy, with a wonderful freshly-ground texture that isn't too crunchy nor too smooth. And it's absolutely perfect for these bars--I've experimented with both creamy and crunchy when making this recipe in the past, and while they've always turned out yummy, neither has offered quite the texture that I wanted. The Simply Ground gives the bars just enough texture and crunch (and without having to stir it in the jar--I hate doing that). Just take a look at it.
See what I'm saying? Love it.
Anyway. Back to the bars.
You'll microwave a bowl of candy corn, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until it's melted and smooth. Don't overheat it!
Then stir in the peanut butter until smooth. You'll want to work quickly, as the melted candy corn will start to harden back up quickly as it cools.
Spread it into a 9x9" square pan, lined with foil and lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. I find it easiest to lightly spray my hands and just use my fingers to press and spread it into the pan.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, and spread it over the top of the bars.
Pop it in the fridge to cool. When the chocolate has hardened, use the foil to remove the bars from the pan, peel the foil away and toss it out, then cut into pieces.
I had to get some of this goodness out of the house ASAP, so I packaged some up to deliver to neighbors. I love the festive fall orange color of the bars, so I echoed that with an orange fall leaf gift tag, wrapped around each package with twine.
I love how easy it is to package up a cute tasty gift for neighbors. I designed the tag in Silhouette Studio, and cut them out with my Silhouette. If you'd like to make these tags yourself, you can download the cut file for your personal use and enjoyment HERE!
1. Just cut the design with your Silhouette and remove the letters.
2. Place some bars in a bag, and wrap the top shut with twine.
3. Punch a hole in the top of the leaves (I realized too late I could have had the Silhouette cut the hole for me--d'oh!), and thread a leaf onto the twine, then tie off in a knot.
So simple, but so cute!
3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Bars
1 cup candy corn
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Line a 9x9" square pan with foil, and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a medium-size microwave-safe bowl, melt candy corn in the microwave, removing to stir every 30 seconds. Don't overheat the candy corn--heat it just until melted. Add peanut butter and stir to combine. If you're having a hard time mixing it in thoroughly, heat the peanut butter and candy corn combo in the microwave for a few more seconds to loosen it up.
Pour candy corn and peanut butter mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly. It's quite thick and sticky, so this could be a bit tricky, but the easiest way to handle it is to spray your hands with nonstick spray and then press it into place.
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth and creamy. Spread evenly over bars. Refrigerate bars about 1 hour or until hardened. Remove from pan, remove foil, and cut into pieces.
And more good news: if you want to try out new Simply Ground peanut butter, you can grab a digital coupon HERE to save some money on your purchase! You can find it at Walmart in the aisle with peanut butter and other condiments.
(Cute little shopping buddy not available for purchase.)
What peanut butter flavor fits your personality? Take this quiz to find out!