Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats were one of the two treats I craved when I first went off to college. My mom’s version was made with cooked Karo syrup and sugar instead of marshmallows and I upped the ante by adding a layer of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
An Amped Up Classic
I’ve said it before, but I cannot stomach a peanut butter sandwich. My youngest sister would eat peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon. I think all my kids would, too. Ick. But put a pan of peanut butter Rice Krispie treats in front of me and I go weak in the knees. I’m not sure it was the minute amount of protein that made me long for these when I was in college or just their sheer deliciousness, but they were constantly on my mind. My collegiate diet consisted of a lot of popcorn and pizza—I’m certain there were a few nutritional deficiencies! So when it was decided that this week’s Sunday Supper theme was Back to School, these cereal bars came to mind. But I had to make them even MORE enticing by adding a layer of peanut butter cups!
A Few Tips
This batch filled an 8 x 8-inch pan to the brim. When making these again, I’d go for a slightly shorter version in a 9 x 9. You must work quickly after you stir the sweetened peanut butter mixture into the Rice Krispies so it doesn’t start to harden. Don’t compact the layers too much, either, just gently press. It’s OK if the top is a little uneven. Just call them rustic. I frosted these with a ganache made with butter, cream and chocolate, but my mom’s original recipe called for melted chocolate chips. Feel free to use that shortcut if you’d like. The topping will not be as glossy, though, with chocolate chips. Her version called for Special K, a cereal that looks like Corn Flakes. I think they’re even more irresistible with Rice Krispies!
More Back to School Recipes from My Sunday Supper Friends:
Getting Started On School Days
- Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins by Caroline’s Cooking
- Caramel Apple Granola by What Smells So Good?
- Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars by Ruffles & Truffles
- Cinnamon Chocolate Overnight Oats by Whole Food | Real Families
- Funfetti French Toast by Brunch with Joy
- PB&J Muffins by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Ideas for the Lunchbox
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich by Cooking Chat
- Healthy Lunchbox Snack Mix by Noshing with the Nolands
- Mini Pepperoni Calzones by The Redhead Baker
- Turkey Bacon Ranch Wrap by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls by Curious Cuisiniere
After School Snacks and Beverages
- Back to School Cookies by The Freshman Cook
- Fruit ‘n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites by The Weekend Gourmet
- Quinoa, Oat and Pecan Blueberry-Peach Crumb Bars by Simply Healthy Family
- Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits by An Appealing Plan
- Mother’s Ruin Punch by Food Lust People Love
- “Nut Butter” Rice Crispy Balls by Books n’ Cooks
- Parmesan Crisps Recipe by Life Tastes Good
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Monkey Bread by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Apple Nachos by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Waffle Pizzas by Our Good Life
School Night Suppers
- Beef Peppers and Onions Burritos by Family Foodie
- One Pot Bacon-Cheeseburger Pasta by A Gouda Life
- Oven Fried Portabello Mushroom Fries by Food Done Light
- Peanut Chicken Cutlets by Magnolia Days
- Smoked Salmon Ravioli with Cream Sauce by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Turmeric Chicken and Couscous by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Sweets to End the Day
- Gluten-Free Almond Joy Cupcakes by NinjaBaker
- M&M Chocolate Chunk Cookies by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Oreo Rice Krispy Treats by The Crumby Cupcake
- Paleo Cherry Blondies by Pies and Plots
- Plum Crumble Bars by Feeding Big
- Stuffed Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Serves: 16-25 bars
- 6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup (I use Karo brand)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 10-ounce bag of snack sized Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, frozen for about a half hour
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
- Line a 9 x 9-inch pan with non-stick foil, or foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray
- Put cereal into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and corn syrup. Cook until the sugar dissolves without allowing the mixture to boil. Remove from heat and mix in the peanut butter and vanilla.
- Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal and mix till combined.
- Gently pat half the cereal mixture into the pan. Top with frozen peanut butter cups.
- Place small amounts of cereal in spaces between peanut butter cups, then add the rest of the cereal mixture and press gently till top is even.
- Heat the butter and cream in microwave safe bowl, till butter melts. Add chopped chocolate and stir till melted. Stir in powdered sugar till smooth. Pour over cereal bars. May double topping if desired (if your top is uneven some Rice Krispies may peek through).
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