Baking recipes from the Baked cookbook has taught me two things.
- Decadence is a wonderful thing.
- I need their other cookbook.
I really, really do.
The cookbook calls these “adult” rice krispy squares. This mainly means they did decadent things to the concept of peanut butter & chocolate topped rice krispy squares.
It takes the marshmallows in your rice krispies and candies the cereal instead. With liquid sugar. This somehow is still gooey, but also a little more crispy with each rice crisp coated in a candy shell. You would think crispy and gooey don’t really co-exist, but this method takes that belief and says ‘NO SIR’ in a big, authoritative voice.
And this bar couldn’t simply have just a boring peanut butter layer. No no, that’s just delicious, not decadent. Decadent is melting a bunch of milk chocolate into the peanut butter, making it richer and a little less ‘stick to the roof of your mouth’ and a little more ‘velvety on the tip of your tongue’.
The chocolate layer, you just melt chocolate and pour it on top, right? WRONG. When you do that, you get hard-cookie-ice-cream-sandwich syndrome. This is when you bite into an ice cream sandwich that was unfortunately made with really hard cookies. The cookies don’t give and you instead ooze ice cream everywhere but in your mouth. Sad story. A hard chocolate layer on top of a velvety peanut butter layer would have the same effect, especially in a refrigerator bar. To avoid this, the Baked folks melt their chocolate with butter and a touch of corn syrup.
I think calling this the “adult” rice krispy square isn’t quite accurate. There’s no booze in it, and I’m positive kids would go bananas over them.
More like awesome rice krispy square.
Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
Recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
If bringing to a big crowd (like when I brought these to my office) the recipe doubles fantastically into a 9×13 inch pan.
- 1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Peanut Butter Layer
- 5 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 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
- 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.
- 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 refridgerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens.
- 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 into an even layer. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the topping hardens.
- Cut into 9 squares and serve. (You can probably cut them into way more, they’re really rich! I would do 16.)
Bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.