Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

Do not leave your husband home alone with these peanut butter crispy bars. I first made these bars from the recipe posted by Smitten Kitchen. And then I immediately amazon primed the book via 2-day. This is a fabulous book and you should purchase it immediately. My previous go-to, impromptu, dessert for parties was cheesecake marbled brownies by Smitten Kitchen. But these are my new obsession. I use Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate chips for this recipe to make it simple and I find the taste to be indistinguishable from using chocolate bars. The Lindt 70% smooth dark chocolate bar is great for the chocolate icing.

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Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

Crispy crust:
1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Milk chocolate peanut butter layer:
2.5 oz milk chocolate
2.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Chocolate icing:
3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cocoa), coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) salted butter

Make the crispy crust:
Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8 square pan with nonstick aluminum foil. Grease the foil with butter. Measure the cereal into a large bowl.

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 pan. 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 into the cereal. Mix quickly until the cereal is thoroughly coated, transfer into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Let the crust cool to room temperature while you prepare 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 melt together, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for about 30 seconds to cool. Pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refrigerator until the top layer hardens, approximately 1 hour.

Make the chocolate icing:
In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the dark chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.

Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and melt, 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 hardened milk chocolate peanut butter layer and spread into an even layer (just pick the pan up and move it around into an even layer). Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the dark chocolate layer hardens.

Cut into 9 squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.

Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito published by Abrams Books via Smitten Kitchen.

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