We are all about no-bake this week.
In fact, ovens are for dorks. Not that it's really that hot this week (we obvy had to mention weather since it's kinda our thang) but we've decided only dorks are using their ovens this week. And we are not dorks.
(Well, yes. That is debatable. But that is also a conversation for another post or 6 million.)
In the meantime, until Friday or so when we decide we want brownies or chocolate chunk cookies (oooo, cookies), this week we are declaring ovens totally out.
Rather, we're following in the footsteps of the totally cool and totally in Bakergirl (hi, Bakergirl, we think you're fab) and making these Salt River Bars.
What is a Salt River Bar, you ask?
Beats the pants off of us.
Yes, we just said that. No one has said that since 1956. Whatever. But, it's true. We really have no idea what a Salt River Bar is....We believed Bakergirl when she said these were awesome.
And, she did not lie. These things are incredible. They are salty, carmel-y, peanut-butter-dream-bars-only-with-chocolate-too. Crunchy. Um, EASY to make. DELICIOUS.
What did we tell you? Ovens are totally out. For the dorks.
Salt River Bars
Makes 16 squares
Adapted from Bakergirl
1 box Club Crackers (actually, about 1 1/5 sleeves of Club crackers)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup-ish peanut butter chips
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
coarse sea salt
Line 8 x 8" glass or metal baking pan with foil so that it's hanging over the edges of the pan. Lightly spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray or grease lightly with vegetable oil or butter.
Place 15 Club crackers in the bottom of the pan (5 rows of 3) and sprinkle 1/3 cup of the peanut butter chips over the crackers (if a few more chips make their way into the pan, that's fine by us).
Melt the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted, bubbly around the edges, smooth and creamy (about 5 minutes). Pour 1/3 of this mixture over the crackers and peanut butter chips as evenly as possible. Then, add another layer of crackers, peanut butter chips and caramel on top. Then, another layer and then finish with a layer of crackers.
Finally, melt the chocolate chips (again, we like to be generous with these chip measurements) in a bowl in the microwave with the vegetable oil, stirring in 30 second increments until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. This will happen sooner than you think because the residual heat will melt chips that may not look melted. Anyhoo...spread this chocolate over the final cracker layer evenly. Allow the chocolate to cool ever-so-slightly then sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt.
Place the pan in the fridge to let the chocolate start to set. After about 30 minutes, remove from the fridge and lightly cut through the chocolate to give you guidelines for where to cut later (and to make it easier to get through the hardened chocolate). Put the bars back in the fridge and allow to cool completely. Then, when cool, remove the foil and bars from the pan and cut completely through.
We stored these bars in the fridge as well. Just an FYI. To keep the chocolate hard in the hot kitchen.