Peanut Butter and Chocolate Rice Crispy Bars
I know, don’t these look amazing? I’ve never been a huge rice crispy bar fan, as I’m more of a cake or cupcake sort of gal, but this particular recipe caught my eye. I just love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate and to throw it together in a crispy and crunchy treat, yum! These bars were a total hit in my house, and I was sort of surprised because as I said before, rice crispy bars are not our go-to choice for dessert. John and I kept sneaking back in the kitchen for seconds and even attempted to share a third. I even think we liked these more than the kids, which is funny because I usually associate rice crispy bars as more of a kid kind of dessert rather than an adult one.
These bars are so simple to make and something that your kids might even be able to do on their own. I thought of having Zoe whip up these bars for a cooking with kids post, but honestly, that girl has been too busy to do a post for the blog. I’m hoping to get her back on here this summer though!
These bars, like any rice crispy bar, taste best day one or two, so eat them up. I’m warning you that these are not an instant gratification treat because you have to wait a few hours for the chocolate to harden a bit. It doesn’t have to be rock solid, but just firm enough that you can cut into the bars. The bars actually taste amazing when the chocolate is still a bit soft on top.
peanut butter and chocolate rice crispy bars:
recipe adapted from Everyday Food magazine
- 1 package (12 ounces) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips – I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips
- 6 cups puffed-rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
- 4 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- non-stick baking/cooking spray for the spatula
Let’s first melt the chocolate chips. In a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt your chocolate chips, stirring frequently with a silicone spatula to prevent burning, until melted. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and set aside.
Butter and 8-inch square baking dish. Measure out your 6 cups of rice cereal and put it into a large bowl. You want to measure out your cereal ahead of time as you will be quickly adding it to the melted marshmallow mixture. Measure out 4 cups of marshmallows, 1/3 cup peanut butter, 3 tablespoons butter and the 1/2 teaspoon salt.
With a spatula lightly sprayed or brushed with a bit of cooking spray or oil, press half of the cereal mixture into the baking dish. The oil on the spatula helps to keep the cereal from sticking to the spatula when pressing down into the pan.
Spread the rest of the cereal on top of the melted chocolate pressing down with a spatula to make it even.
The work is done! Now all you have to do is wait for the chocolate to harden for a few hours. It doesn’t have to be rock solid, but just firm enough that you can cut into the bars. The bars actually taste amazing when the chocolate is still a bit soft on top. Waiting for the chocolate to harden is the hard part, especially for the kids as they will want to dig in right away. I took care of that problem by letting my kids have some of the cereal mixture from the pan as we were assembling the bars.
Let the chocolate cool uncovered at room temperature. If you put it in the fridge to cool it will cause the chocolate to “bloom.” Blooming is where the chocolate gets white dots on it when the fat and/or sugars to separate and rise to the surface. It doesn’t necessarily cause the chocolate to taste different, it just doesn’t look as pretty.
Like peanut butter and chocolate? Then try one of the below recipes.