Hi Everyone! As you know, it’s my first post! To learn more about the intent of this blog, head on over to the about page! Let’s get started with today’s post though!
These bars basically consist of three layers: a rice krispy layer (not the marshmallow or peanut butter type you might be accustomed too), a chocolate peanut butter layer, and a chocolate layer to finish it off. When the bars are done, it looks like the majority of the dessert is the chocolate peanut butter and chocolate layer…this is partly due to the fact that the chocolate peanut butter layer seeps into the rice krispy layer. Just thought I should note that.
The process: The actual process of making the bars was quite simple and easy to do. However, from start to finish, it took hours. Much of that time was not hands on though, as you had to let the bars chill at several points before moving on to the next step.
Notes on ingredients used: I used reduced fat peanut butter, as that’s what I had on hand. It worked perfectly fine. I always use unsalted butter in my recipes, and in here it worked out great as usual. For the chocolate peanut butter layer, I used semi-sweet chocolate (recipe says semi-sweet or milk), and again, I was pleased. For the chocolate icing, I used a bittersweet chocolate with a 60% cocoa content. Not to sound like a broken record or anything, but I thought it worked out wonderfully once again!
The verdict: YUM! I love ’em! The taste testers though (click on link for info!)? Not so much. Rachel immediately commented on how she liked the regular rice krispy bars recipe better (a peanut butter rice krispy bar with butterscotch chocolate frosting…a common enough recipe…one Rachel, Rob, Madison, and I all enjoy for the record). Madison’s first word was, “Rich.” She continued to go on though and say they weren’t her favorite, elaborating that she isn’t a fan of peanut butter and chocolate mixed. From this, I gather that if you are a fan of this combo, you’ll enjoy this recipe. For example, if you love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as much as I do, I think you’ll like these bars as well. Rob seemed to enjoy them at first, even going for a second later in the day (Madison and Rachel declined a second). However, he decided that he really didn’t like it much either…for Madison’s reasons. He did however love the chocolate icing. He proceeded to eat that layer and give the rest to me (which, hey, I did take off his hands 🙂 ). In the end, the consensus was that this was not a keeper recipe…except for when I want a dessert all to myself. Let me stress again that I love these. If you like the peanut butter chocolate combo, you will most likely too. As you can tell from the pictures, I’ve been eating them up waaaaay faster than I should. But, mmmm, they’re good.
Go, make them!
Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the crispy crust
1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the milk chocolate peanut butter layer
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter (can be reduced fat)
For the chocolate icing
3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cocoa; 60 is what I used), coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter
Make the crispy crust: Lightly spray a paper towel with nonstick cooking spray and use it to rub the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan.
Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
Pour 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan. Gently add the sugar and corn syrup (do not let any sugar or syrup get on the sides of the pan) and use a small wooden spoon to stir the mixture until just combined. 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, 235 degrees F.
Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and pour the mixture over the cereal. Working quickly, stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated, then pour it into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan (do not press up the sides). Let the crust cool to room temperature while you make the next layer.
Make the milk chocolate peanut butter layer: In a double boiler, stir together the chocolate and the peanut butter. Set over simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refridgerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens.
Make the chocolate icing: In a double boiler, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.
Set over simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove from heat and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the chilled milk chocolate peanut butter layer and shake the pan gently to coat the bars entirely and evenly (this way, you avoid the risk of picking up any of the peanut butter layer, with say, a spatula, for example). Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the topping hardens.
Cut into pieces and enjoy! Be warned that you’ll go back for seconds, and thirds…maybe even fourths! However, the bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days (ya, right!).