Saturday, September 19, 2009
Creamy milk chocolate peanut butter, decadent dark chocolate and the perfect amount of crunch…. This is the ultimate dessert in perfected form. I made these for my friends at work for my first day back. Thankfully I was able to remove them from my house before I managed to eat the entire batch by myself.
Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
For the Crispy Crust
- 1 ¾ cups crisped rice cereal
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer
- 5 ounces good-quality milk chocolate coarsely chopped (I used ghiradelli)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Natural Jif)
For the Chocolate Icing
- 3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon light corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted 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 ¼ cup water into a small saucepan. Gently add the sugar and corn syrup (do not let any sugar or corn syrup touch 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 F.
Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and pour the mixture over the cereal. Working quickly, stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated, then 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 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:
Combine the chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a large nonreactive metal bowl and follow the same steps as the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer.
Once you pour the chocolate icing over the chilled milk chocolate layer, refrigerate the pan for 1 hour or until the top hardens.
Cut into 9 squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to four days.