I came across this recipe in Food and Wine’s Best of the Best Cookbook Recipes and immediately wanted to make it for someone special. What better way to show appreciation than with Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats?
These bars are sinful, but totally worth the decadence. Next time I would double the crispy crust layer, to make more of a rice crispy treat, and treat the chocolate and peanut butter as more of an icing. The original recipe comes from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tblsp light corn syrup
3 tblsp unsalted butter
MILK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER LAYER
5 oz good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 oz dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
4 tblsp unsalted butter
Make the Crispy Crust
Lightly spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. 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 (don’t let any 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°.
Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and pour the mixture over the cereal. Working quickly, stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated and pour into prepared pan. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan (not up the sides). Let cool at room temperature while you make the next layer.
Make the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer
In a large, non-reactive metal bowl, stir together the milk chocolate and peanut butter. Set over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth. Let cool for 30 seconds, continue stirring. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust (roll the pan to spread evenly). Refrigerate for an hour, or until the layer hardens.
Make the Chocolate Icing
In a large, non-reactive metal bowl, stir together the dark chocolate, corn syrup and butter. Set over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth. Let cool for 30 seconds, continue stirring. Pour the mixture over the peanut butter layer (roll the pan to spread evenly). Refrigerate for an hour, or until the icing hardens.
Cut into 16 squares. This can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to four days.