Fabulous Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp Bars

chocolate peanut butter crisp barsIn case you didn't get the love (read: chocolate) you deserved on Mother's Day, here's something you can whip right up for yourself. I mean, let's get real, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. These chocolate peanut butter crisp bars are just the thing to turn your day around. Smooth and creamy with a little bit of crunch, ain't nothing wrong with these beauties what.so.ever.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp Bars via ThePeche.com

Makes about 9-10 squares.

Ingredients:

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 Skippy brand)

For the chocolate icing:

  • 3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cocoa), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

To make the crispy crust:

Lightly coat 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 (do not let any sugar or syrup get on the sides of the pan. It will burn easily if you do, and you don't want that) 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. It took me longer than I expected. Be patient.

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.

To 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. 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 dark 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. 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 (actually, I found it easier to just roll it around until it coated smoothly, avoiding the risk of picking up any of the peanut butter layer with it) into an even layer. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the topping hardens.

Cut into nine-ish squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to four days.

Enjoy!

 

Photo via mrsdewinter/Flickr

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