After a trip yesterday to the bulk store to stock up on supplies, I finally got the chance to bake this afternoon. I've had a yen to make these very easy squares for a few weeks and it was worth the wait.
The recipe was originally from Kraft Canada but, as usual, I changed it! :) The base is made with chocolate cake mix and it works out beautifully.
1 pkg. 2 layer chocolate cake mix (I'm partial to the Devil's Food flavour)
1/2 cup (one stick) melted butter
2/3 cup milk (to be divided in half)
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I used a 7" by 11" non-stick baking pan, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray because the melted marshmallows are impossible to get off without some help.
In large bowl, combine cake mix, melted butter and 1/3 cup milk until blended. The mixture will resemble brownie batter, if slightly drier. Spread 2/3 of the cake mixture evenly in pan and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until centre appears set. You can test this by seeing if the cake "jiggles" - if it does, it needs a few more minutes. Remove from oven when done and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes, while your oven remains on.
In a heat proof bowl, combine peanut butter and the second 1/3 cup of milk. Microwave for 30-40 seconds before attempting to blend together. If you don't warm the mixture, it will feel like mixing cement. Once blended, this mixture will look like a caramel spread. Spread evenly over the slightly cooled cake base. Top with remaining cake mix (dropped randomly across the top), the marshmallows, peanuts and chocolate chips. I like to lightly press the peanuts into the mixture so they don't overbrown.
Bake for an additional 18 minutes or just until the centre is set. Cool thoroughly before cutting into bars. Using this size of baking dish, it yields 18 bars. They're perfect with a glass of milk. :)