I know I have mentioned in previous posts that I am not a peanut butter chocolate addict as so many people seem to be. I enjoy the combination, but I don’t go nuts over it – or so I thought. However, that may be changing. I think I am now starting to understand that mystical attraction to this fantastic flavor combo. In the past week I have made two desserts incorporating peanut butter and chocolate, and have saved even more recipes based on these ingredients. Now it is becoming clear to me why the Reese’s cup chocolate peanut butter cake and peanut butter chocolate chip muffins have been two of the most popular posts I have ever made.
These bars were AWESOME! Simple and easy to make, and incredibly addictive. They were a big hit with Ben’s coworkers. They might also make an excellent (albeit unhealthy) breakfast – not that I would know from experience ;) Originally I had planned on doubling the crispy layer, but I ended up not having enough corn syrup to do so. I am glad I ran out though, because these were perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing, except maybe to make a double batch next time. I also loved how cleanly these cut – an added bonus for the perfectionist in me :)
*New site feature!*
Tried and true favorites – I will be linking to old recipes that I have made recently, so that readers can see which recipes I really love enough to make again and again. I’ll start this with my next post.
Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
For the crispy crust:
1 ¾ cups crisped rice cereal
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
3 tbsp. butter, melted
For the chocolate peanut butter layer:
5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter
For the chocolate icing:
3 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ tsp. light corn syrup
4 tbsp. butter
Lightly spray a paper towel with nonstick cooking spray and use it to rub the bottom and sides of an 8×8” square baking pan.
To make the crispy crust, pour the cereal into a large bowl and set aside. Pour the water into a small saucepan. Gently add the sugar and the corn syrup (do not let any sugar or corn 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° 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 or a silicone spatula, 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.
To make the chocolate peanut butter layer, in a glass bowl set over a pot of boiling water, combine the chocolate and peanut butter. Cook, stirring with a spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens.
To make the chocolate icing, in a glass bowl set over boiling water, combine the chocolate, corn syrup and butter. Cook, stirring with a spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the chilled chocolate peanut butter layer and spread carefully into an even layer. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the topping hardens.
Cut into 16 squares and serve. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen