Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

Yep, two desserts in a row. I baked a couple things for Mothers Day, but other than that I’ve been eating mostly just salads and random combinations of beans, grains, and vegetables that don’t seem creative enough to warrant a blog post. So you get dessert instead!

My sister gave me Baked: New Frontiers in Baking for my birthday, and it was REALLY hard to narrow down which recipe I wanted to make first. I’ve always loved Rice Crispy Treats, but since marshmallows have gelatin in them and I’m trying to be a good vegetarian, I haven’t made any lately. These, on the other hand, use boiled sugar and melted butter to hold the rice crispy layer together, so although it’s a little more technical than just melting some marshmallows, they’re vegetarian-friendly!

Obviously, peanut butter and chocolate are an amazing combination and they are fabulous together here, especially in contrast to the crunchy cereal base. The hardest part is letting them chill long enough that the chocolate-peanut butter layer sets, which as you can see from the first picture, I didn’t quite do.

(from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

1 3/4 cups rice crispy cereal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp light corn syrup
3 tbsp butter, melted

peanut butter layer
5 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter

chocolate topping
3 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
4 tbsp unsalted butter

To make the crust:
Spray an 8″ square pan with nonstick spray.
Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
Carefully mix the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high. Insert a candy thermometer and boil until the mixture is 235 F. Remove from heat, stir in the melted butter, then pour over the cereal and mix quickly and thoroughly. Press into the prepared pan and let cool while you make the peanut butter layer.

To make the peanut butter layer:
Melt the milk chocolate and peanut butter together in the top of a double boiler over gently simmering water. Stir until smooth, then pour over the crust and chill for an hour or until set.

To make the chocolate topping:
Clean out the double boiler, then put the dark chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in it and put it over medium-low heat. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat, cool for about 30 seconds (stirring constantly), then pour all over the peanut butter layer. Chill for another hour so the topping can harden, then cut the bars into small squares to serve.

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