Here's a tasty little twist on your standard Rice Krispie Treat straight from one of my favorite bloggers, Smitten Kitchen. Kid- (and, who are we kidding, adult-) friendly with a semi-sweet chocolate and peanut butter layer plus a more grown up dark chocolate icing. So rich you'll try your best to eat just one... good luck with that.
Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
For the crispy crust
1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
For the milk chocolate peanut butter layer
5 ounce good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter
For the chocolate icing
3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cocoa), coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
4 tablespoons salted butter
Make the 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.
Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and pour the mixture over the cereal. Working quickly, stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated, the 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.
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.
Make the 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 roll it around until coated smoothly. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour or until the topping hardens.
Cut into 9 or 16 squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.
I followed Deb's recipe exactly, but I doubled it and used a 9x13-inch pan. Be careful when pressing the crispy crust layer into the pan... it's very hot and you'll burn your little fing fings!
I would definitely recommend cutting these into smaller squares as they are very, very rich. Plus, if you cut them into smaller squares, you can have more than one without feeling guilty... right?