Everyone is probably familiar with the marshmallowy crispy cereal treats made with Rice Krispies. I was never a fan, as they were awfully sweet and gooey. As a rule, I love “sweet,” but these things…just a bit much, even for me.
Years ago, my sister shared with me an alternate version of those crispy treats, and I have not made the originals since. This is a recipe her husband grew up with, and I’m so grateful I learned about them. Take a look…
Don’t they look better than those pale, stretchy, make-your-teeth-ache originals?
The difference is butterscotch, peanut butter, chocolate, and no marshmallows. Woot-woot!
Here’s what you do…
Dump 8 cups of crispy rice cereal into a large bowl and set aside.
On low heat, gently melt together 2 C. butterscotch chips and 1 C. peanut butter.
When that divine mixture is smooth, pour it over the crispy cereal and stir gently until all the cereal is coated.
Dump HALF of this mixture into a 9×13 in pan. Spread it around to cover the bottom. (Buttered hands can help with this.) If you want a thicker bar, you can use a smaller pan. Place the pan in the freezer so the crispy cereal can harden. (It’s only in the freezer as long as it takes you to complete this next step.)
Wipe out your butterscotch/peanut butter pan and place it back on the stove. No need to wash the pan, unless you want to. For me personally, anything I can wash less is a bonus.
Slowly melt 4 T. butter, 2 T. water, and 2 C. of chocolate chips (dark, milk, semi-sweet – your choice.)
Once this mixture is smooth, pull the pan out of the freezer and dollop the chocolate ganache-type goodness over the crispy cereal “crust.”
With an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, gently spread the ganache around. If you tug too hard, the crust will lift up, and you don’t want that. Once the chocolate is evenly spread, dollop the remaining crispy cereal over the chocolate and gently move it around until you have a smooth layer.
With buttered hands (or over a sheet of waxed paper) press the layers together, creating a smooth, level surface. The mixture is a bit sticky, but then you get to lick your fingers.
Place the pan back in the freezer for 10 min. or so. The bars are then ready to cut.
You want to cut them at this point because as they harden further, it gets tougher to cut them. (If you don’t have room in your freezer, you can place the pan – at both stages – in the ‘fridge until the crispy cereal is firm.) Don’t remove them from the pan yet, just cut them. I cut them with a solid, sharp spatula. (See image below.)
Place the cut bars back in the ‘fridge or freezer until they are solid, probably just another 15 min. or so. Then you can remove the squares from the pan. They pop out easily with the same spatula.
I store them in an airtight container in the ‘fridge, or I wrap them individually in plastic wrap to give to friends. You will get 20-25 bars, depending on how big/small you cut them.
This is the easiest, no-bake treat to make.
I’ve often wondered how different cereals would taste in this recipe, Cheerios or Corn Flakes maybe. Someday I will experiment.
Here’s my other favorite treat that is as easy to make as these Crunchy Fudge Bars.
Until Covid-19 has passed, don’t we all need some new snacks?