Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

by Kelly on July 28, 2010

It took me a while to warm up to the flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter. This isn’t to say I hated it.  (I’m not really the kind of eater that hates anything, except olives, those I despise.)  It just didn’t have the same magnetic hold on me that it seems to carry with most people.  Sure I’ve always liked the occasional Peanut Butter Cup or peanut M&M, but that was the extent of my desire. I was once a member of a message board for dieters and girls would complain that they were flawless in their eating…until faced with a jar of peanut butter. I was never that girl.

peanut butter & chocolate desserts

Then I dated a guy who loved anything peanut butter & chocolate. And being like most girlfriends, I found myself baking things with this classic pairing to make him happy. In the kitchen I turned out indulgent Peanut Butter Cup Muffins, creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Guianduja, Chocolate-Filled Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies, and extra-rich Peanut Butter Mud Pie.  It became one of my go-to flavor combinations because not only did he enjoy the baked goods that resulted, but everyone else did too.  It was clearly one of those flavor combinations that was universal enough to appeal to a variety of audiences.

Peanut Butter Crispy Bar

And like a lot of things, somewhere along the way, I started to really enjoy it too.  So when I made some Peanut Butter Crispy Bars (via Smitten Kitchen) for my bake sale last week I had to admit I was starting to understand the love affair with peanut butter and chocolate.  These bars are a perfect juxtaposition of textures.  A pleasantly crunchy and chewy bottom contrasts against creamy layers of peanut butter and chocolate.  The (ex)boyfriend and I may not be living happily ever after, but I think my future with peanut butter and chocolate is getting brighter.

And should you have some Rice Krispies left after making this recipe, I highly recommend one of my many varieties of Crispy Crunchies.  They are pretty irresistable in their own right.

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted them from Baked
Yields about 16 small bars


Crispy crust ingredients
-1 3/4 cups rice krispies
-1/4 cup water
-1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
-3 tablespoons light corn syrup
-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Milk chocolate/peanut butter ingredients
-5 ounces good-quality bitter sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
-1 cup creamy peanut butter (I like salted best)

Chocolate icing ingredients
-3 ounces dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
-1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
-1/2 stick unsalted butter


First, make the rice krispie layer. Lightly spray an 8″ square pan with cooking spray. Put cereal in a large bowl and set aside.

Pour water into a small saucepan. Gently add the sugar and corn syrup and stir until just combined. Try not to get any on the sides of the pan, because it will crystallize when it heats. Put a candy thermometer in the pan (theoretically, not touching the bottom, but that’s hard because it’s not a lot of liquid). Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage, or 235 degrees F. (This is crucial!  Overcook it and you’ll end up with a hard rather than pleasantly chewy bottom.)  Remove from the heat, stir in the butter (it will foam up), and pour over the cereal. Now work fast! Stir until the cereal is evenly coated, and then quickly transfer the mixture to the 8″ dish and press it evenly across the bottom. Let it cool to room temperature while you make the next layer.

Place the chocolate and peanut butter in the top of a double boiler (a bowl that fits over a saucepan filled with about an inch of water). Cook, stirring, over simmering water, until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl and stir it for about 30 seconds to cool slightly, then pour the mixture over the cooled crust and spread it over evenly. Chill in the fridge for an hour, or until the top layer hardens. (Be sure to let it chill properly or the next step will be a mess.)

Now it’s time for the chocolate layer. Grab the (clean!) double boiler again and combine the dark chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in the bowl. Set the bowl over the pan of simmering water and cook, stirring, until it is melted and well-incorporated. Again, remove the bowl and stir for 30 seconds to cool the mixture slightly. Pour it over the peanut butter/chocolate layer and spread evenly. An offset spatula works well. Cool in the fridge for another hour until the topping hardens, and then cut into squares. I got 16 squares, but you could certainly go larger or smaller depending on your preferences.  Store in the fridge, wrapped, for several days.

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September 13, 2010 at 6:31 am

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet July 28, 2010 at 7:04 am

LOL I just posted about how peanut butter and chocolate are the ‘best combination on the plant.’ I guess it isn’t for everyone, but I’m glad you enjoy it now! I do love the combination – I always have!


Jessica @ How Sweet July 28, 2010 at 7:05 am

Obviously I meant ‘planet.’ Oops.


Reeni July 28, 2010 at 10:51 am

I’m one of those girls who is crazy for the combo! Especially if the peanut butter is a little on the saltier side. These are divine! I would of bought you out at the bake sale…


Juliana July 28, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Wow, these bars look awesome…peanut butter and chocolate…a perfect combination! And I love the idea of rice crispy as a base 🙂


Rae July 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm

These look yummy to me! My boyfriend is not a lover of olives or PB&Choc together. I wonder if there is a connection?


Carolyn Jung July 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I’m the opposite. I have loved the combo of peanut butter and chocolate from the get-go. And still am addicted to it! 😉


Sophie @ yumventures July 29, 2010 at 9:54 am

It took me a while to like chocolate and pb, but now I can’t get enough!! These sound delish.


UrMomCooks July 31, 2010 at 4:01 pm

The best combo ever I have to say! Even to the point that I used to eat a Reese’s everyday in study hall when I was in high school! This is a great new twist on using the flavors! My daughters and I luv your blog – we included you on a list of blogs we just discovered and want to recommend! Thanx for a great blog!


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