I'm sorry for posting this in January. It should be all warming soups and healthy salads over here. Not carbs laced with sugar, topped with butter, chocolate and peanut butter. I had (still have) this massive box of Rice Krispies to use up. It seems like every grocery store only carries the "family size" box, and I got sucked into buying it because I needed 1 cup of Rice Krispies for a recipe I tried a while back. I can't eat it as cereal, I was never a fan. It never held up in milk to my slow, savouring eating habits...sog city. It has many non-cereal uses though, I love the classic Rice Krispy Treats, and my Mother-in-law makes these cute little crispy chocolates for the holidays which are great. I've also enjoyed Rice Krispies in Sushi...yup, sushi, they add a light, crispy element, kind of like tempura batter to sushi rolls. And then there is this recipe, a fine specimen for using up my stash of cereal. This is another great recipe from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the boys from Baked bakery in Brooklyn. They are so good at taking regular ol', Granny's kitchen, Mom and Pop, American desserts and making them delicious and fun. Their cookbooks are so cool, you feel like you are making something new and trendy from just flipping through their pretty pages. These Peanut Butter Crispy Bars are the customer's favorite refrigerated bar from their popular bakery.
Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
Origin: Baked, New Frontiers in Baking
Notes: There are 3 layers and 3 steps to making these bars. Each step is pretty easy on its own, and there is waiting/chilling time in between each layer. If you give yourself some time and take it step by step, they are really quite simple to prepare. You need a candy thermometer for the crispy base.
1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer
5 ounces good quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 ounces dark chocolate (60-72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
To make the crispy crust, grease an 8 inch square baking pan very lightly, using neutral vegetable oil or cooking spray. Use a paper towel to remove excess oil, set aside. Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine a 1/4 cup of water, sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan (be careful to not splash any sugar or syrup onto the sides of the pan). Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stir with a wooden spoon just until combined. Use a candy thermometer and boil the mixture until it reaches 235 degrees F.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir to combine thoroughly. Pour the cereal mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer using your hands or a spatula. Let the crust cool to room temperature.
To make the chocolate peanut butter layer, using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and peanut butter together, stirring with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir the mixture for 30 seconds to cool it slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust and smooth it into an even layer using a spatula. Put the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer is firm.
To make the chocolate icing, using a double boiler, melt the chocolate, corn syrup and butter together, stirring with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir the mixture for 30 seconds to cool it slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled chocolate/peanut butter layer and spread into an even layer using a spatula. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour or until the topping is firm.
Cut into squares and serve chilled. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly for up to 4 days.