My friend, Deb, shared these totally irresistible bars on her blog, Diva Entertains. From the instant I read the recipe, I knew I’d have to make her Chocolate Peanut Butter for the 3 peanut butter chocolate lovers in the household. When home from college breaks many eons ago, I remember rushing into the kitchen, even before unpacking, to make either pumpkin bread or peanut butter Rice Krispie Treats. I wonder what nutrients my body was missing for me to have such intense cravings?? Maybe my diet of popcorn and Diet Cokes wasn’t nutritionally sound??? I adore the classic Scotcheroos made with pb, corn syrup, Rice Krispies with a topping of melted chocolate chips (my mom’s version did not contain butterscotch chips), so I was dying to try these babies as much for myself as two of my children.
Well, these did not disappoint. You Reeses’ fans MUST try these. A candy thermometer is necessary to make the base…but this cook’s tool can easily be found at the supermarket. Rice Krispies are mixed with a hot sugar syrup to form the base, then a mixture of peanut butter and milk chocolate form the middle layer, and a creamy topping of melted semi-sweet chocolate completes this trifecta of deliciousness. When Tom was over for one of our Sunday night family dinners, I told him he could take some of these home. Katie’s look of exasperation said it all…she did not want her brother to abscond with HER bars. So you might want to break out the 9 x 13 and make a double batch. They are totally delectable and capable of starting a family feud…though my two oldest agreed to split the remainder of these bars 50-50. Whew.
Tip of the Day: I have shared this one before, but worth another mention…especially after numerous requests. To make perfect, clean cut squares, first chill your bars. Then take a large knife (I use my santoku) and run it under very hot water, swipe it dry, cut, wipe, reheat and repeat.
- For the crispy layer:
- 1¾ cups Rice Krispies cereal
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- For the milk chocolate peanut butter layer:
- 5 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- For the dark chocolate top layer:
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- For the crust, line 8 x 8 inch pan with non-stick foil or spray regular foil with cooking spray.
- Pour the water into a small saucepan. carefully add the sugar and corn syrup into the center of the pan, avoiding the sides of the pan.. Stir mixture with wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
- Put a candy thermometer in the saucepan, cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 235º.
- Remove from heat, stir in the butter and pour the mixture over the crispy rice cereal. Quickly stir until the cereal until it is thoroughly coated. Use a silicone spatula to press mixture into the baking pan. Let the crust cool to room temperature.
- For the chocolate peanut butter layer: In a large microwave safe bowl, heat the pb and chocolate gently till melted. Stir till well combined and pour evenly over crust. Chill for one hour.
- Make the dark chocolate icing layer: In another microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate, corn syrup and butter till melted. Stir till smooth. Pour over the peanut butter layer and spread evenly over top. Chill for an hour or till the layer hardens.
- Cut into nine squares. Store the bars in the refrigerator.
- Yield: 9-16 bars, depending on size
- Total time:3 hours
- Adapted from Baked Explorations
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