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Come Party With Me: Graduation - Menu (Dessert)

I know it's traditional to serve a large sheet cake that says Congratulations, but I love to surprise guests by breaking the usual party rules. Besides I'm all caked out right now and want to serve an extraordinary dessert that's summer appropriate. Make a dessert that will please your grad by asking them what they want. My sister's favorite dessert combination is chocolate and peanut butter, so I'll make frozen choco peanut butter bars with a hot fudge sauce. Sounds decadently delicious doesn't it? Well, take a look at the recipe and start drooling, just

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars With Hot Fudge Sauce
From Gourmet magazine

For chocolate layer
Vegetable oil for greasing pan
7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup salted dry-roasted peanuts (4 oz)
For peanut butter layer
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (not "natural")
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
For hot fudge sauce
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Make chocolate layer: put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing 2 inches of foil to hang over 2 opposite ends of pan, and lightly brush foil (except overhang) with oil.
  2. Melt chocolate with butter, sugar, and salt in a double boiler or a large metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking occasionally, until smooth.
  3. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk in eggs and vanilla, then stir in peanuts.
  4. Pour batter into baking pan and bake until set and edges are slightly puffed, about 15 minutes. Transfer cake in pan to a rack to cool completely.
  5. Make peanut butter layer: beat cream cheese, peanut butter, confectioners sugar, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined well, about 4 minutes.
  6. Beat cream with vanilla in a bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until it just holds stiff peaks, then gently fold into peanut butter mixture until just combined.
  7. Spread mixture evenly on top of chocolate layer and freeze, pan covered with foil, until firm, about 2 hours.
  8. Make hot fudge sauce: bring cream, syrup, sugar, cocoa, salt, and chocolate to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until chocolate is melted.
  9. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 3 minutes, then remove from heat.
  10. Stir in vanilla until incorporated. Cool sauce to warm.
  11. To serve: carefully lift cake from pan by grasping overhang. Trim 1/4 inch from edges of cake and discard, then cut into 8 bars. Peel off foil and serve bars with sauce.

Serves 8.

Make ahead: hot fudge sauce can be made 1 week ahead and cooled completely, then chilled in an airtight container or jar. Reheat before using. Leftover bars can be frozen, individually wrapped in plastic wrap, up to 4 days.

Join The Conversation
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
oh man, when is the grad party? i'm so there if that is being served!
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
I couldnt agree more with guests getting bored with cake. When Im at a party, Id probably pass up cake because its just not special at all. And then the hostess is left with a half eaten sheet cake, which sucks. But this idea rocks! I love chocolate and peanut butter! I am seriously printing off the recipe right now! Thank so much, I cant wait to try it.
SweetMagicFairy SweetMagicFairy 10 years
Yummmy i so wanna try it
Kaciegrrl Kaciegrrl 10 years
OMG. That. looks. delish.
designergirl designergirl 10 years
Wow. That dessert looks amazing!
amandasunly amandasunly 10 years
Sounds gorgeous.
saffy1227 saffy1227 10 years
Tech Tech 10 years
Wow! My sister is graduating too and I think she would love this! In an effort to save everyone's taste buds I am going to forward this to my mom!
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