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Best-Loved Chocolate Bars

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min. + chilling

Makes

2 dozen

Whenever I'm invited to a potluck with family and friends, it's understood these scrumptious bars will come with me. Our grandchildren request them when they visit. Usually, I wait until they arrive, so we can make the treats together.—Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania

Ingredients

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 16 squares)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half cream
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 jar (11-3/4 ounces) hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup salted peanuts

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and cracker crumbs. Cut in peanut butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk egg and cream. Add to the crumb mixture just until moistened. Set aside 3/4 cup for topping. Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in ice cream topping until smooth. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, peanuts and reserved crumb mixture.
  3. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 326 calories, 17g fat (7g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 268mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

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