When I first saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen I thought they were going to be similar to the Peanut Butter Rice Krispie treats my MIL makes. After I saw the fabulous pictures though I realized I was wrong. They looked intense.
Last night Matt fixed dinner so I decided to make us a dessert. I opened my google reader and he picked these out. I made a pretty big mistake in this recipe, but with the combo of chocolate and peanut butter, how can you go wrong?
I was making the peanut butter chocolate layer and I got a little on my hand, and I had to lick it off of course. I tasted it and thought it was odd it wasn't very sweet. All the sudden it hit me, I ran out to our recycling box and looked at the package of chocolate I used.... unsweetened. Dang. Oh well. I figured with the dark chocolate layer on top, the unsweetened chocolate wouldn't stand out too much.
I was right, this is still super chocolaty and sweet. This recipe is awesome! I will be making it again for sure. Next time though I'll use the correct chocolate and a little more Rice Krispies to have a thicker crispy crust.
Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
Source: 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 good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used 3/4 cup crunchy and 1/4 creamy)
For the chocolate icing:
3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cocoa), 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 large nonreactive metal bowl, stir together the chocolate and the peanut butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. (I was feeling lazy and just used the microwave) Pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens.
Make the chocolate icing: In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. (Again, lazy and just used the microwave)
Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the chilled milk chocolate peanut butter layer and spread into an even layer. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the topping hardens. I also decided to melt a little white chocolate to drizzle over the top.
Cut into 9 (or 16!) and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.