If I could add a sound effect this post, it would be it would be the sound of Homer Simpson drooling over donuts. If I could somehow transmit a physical reaction via web site, it would be a shudder of delight. If I could post a smell–forget it, you’d be dead. Let me just tell you about these bad boys.
Peanut butter chocolate krispy bars!!! This recipe made the rounds a while back (it’s from the popular bakery Baked in Red Hook Brooklyn), and I’ve been wanting to try it forever now. Recently I was browsing around for something new to make to take to a party–but it was on a day when I didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, so I wanted something quick-ish, yet still interesting. Finally I stumbled across this recipe, which I’d been saving, and I knew its moment had come! These bars require no baking, just a little bit of easy stove top cooking, chocolate melting, stirring, pouring, layering and setting. Nothing too fussy, and easy enough to do on a semi-busy day when you can manage to pop in and out of the kitchen a few times in between doing other things.
When I saw these bars posted elsewhere, I always thought the Krispy layer looked too skimpy, so I decided to increase it by 50%, which worked out great. I also swapped dark chocolate for milk chocolate and added more salt, because that’s just how I roll. (To me, milk chocolate is just… candy. Dark chocolate with salt? Food of the gods.)
These babies are good. The Krispy layer, of course, is reminiscent of good old Rice Krispies treats, but in this case the cereal is mixed with a caramel syrup instead of marshmallows, giving it a more grown-up (yet still very nostalgic) note. The middle layer of peanut butter and chocolate, plus the top layer of dark chocolate ganache, are creamy and silky and all-in-all very truffle-like. So really what you’ve got here is an amazing chocolate truffle mixed with a Reeses Cup on top of a grown-up Rice Krispy treat. Yeah. There’s no way that could go wrong.
I’m telling you, this is eyes-rolling-back-in-the-head kind of stuff. Make some. Now.
RECIPE: Peanut Butter Chocolate Krispy Bars
Originally printed in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking; adapted by Brett Bara
Rice Krispies Layer:
2 3/4 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 + 1/8 cup water
5 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt
Butter an 8-inch baking pan or line the pan with parchment paper (I prefer using parchment, as it allows you to easily lift out the uncut bars and slice them perfectly). Place the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring just until dissolved, until mixture reaches 236 degrees F (the soft ball stage). Use a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature.
Remove from heat and pour the sugar mixture over the cereal, mixing it thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the buttered pan and use a piece of wax paper to press the mixture into a flat, compact layer. Set aside at room temperature and allow to cool to room temp.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Later:
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine the chocolate and peanut butter in a large bowl and melt slowly over a pan of simmering water, stirring constantly. When melted, remove from heat and add salt; stir for about a minute to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled cereal layer, and place in the fridge to cool for about an hour.
Chocolate Ganache Layer
3 ounces dark chocolate (60-72% cocoa)
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and melt slowly over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Once melted, remove from heat and stir too cool slightly. (Try to melt the mixture over very low heat so it doesn’t get too hot–after removing it from the heat, test it with your finger. If it feels “hot,” allow it to cool for several minutes, stirring occasionally. You want it to be warm and liquid–but not hot to the touch–when you pour it in the pan so it doesn’t melt the peanut butter layer.)
Pour the chocolate ganache over the peanut butter layer and roll the pan so that the ganache is evenly distributed. Cool in the fridge for at least one hour. Cut bars as desired; I sliced mine into 36 small squares which was perfect as dessert finger-food at a party. Prepare to be worshipped when serving.