Krispy Treats Grow Up

Sometimes, you just want to be a kid again … only better. This time around, I'm sharing a grownup version of krispy bars that feature a trio of sweeteners and a peanut butter and chocolate marbled topping that is both delicious and beautiful:

If you like what you see, you are going to love what you taste! And, while I'm labeling them as grownup, don't think for a moment that your kids won't want to enjoy them right alongside you. It just so happens that these are spiffy enough to serve as dessert at a weekend gathering, tailgate party, or potluck. What's more, they are gluten free! Oh, and did I mention that they are no-bake? In fact, they only require the use of your trusty microwave and can be resting up in the refrigerator in less than a half hour's time. What more could you ask for?

While I'm talking about serving them as dessert, they also pair nicely with coffee for an afternoon break and can rest comfortably alongside other goodies for a dessert bar. They travel well and can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or frozen and stored for up to six months … but who wants to wait that long?

No Bake Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

  • 2 c. creamy peanut butter, divided
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 1/2 heaping cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 2 T. butter

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 3/4 cup of peanut butter, honey, maple syrup & sugars, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt. Carefully mix to combine and return the bowl to the microwave and heat for another minute on high power.

Stir in the vanilla extract and the crispy rice cereal.

Turn the mixture out into a 9x13-inch baking pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray, packing it down somewhat firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top; set the pan aside.

In a large glass measuring cup, combine the chocolate chips & butter, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt. Carefully mix to combine and return the bowl to the microwave and heat in 10 to 15-second bursts until the chocolate can be stirred smooth.

Pour the chocolate over cereal layer. Smooth the top lightly with a spatula or knife; set the pan aside.

Add the remaining 1/4 cup of peanut butter to a small microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave to melt, about 30 seconds. Stir the peanut butter smooth.

To create the marbled pattern, drizzle the peanut butter over the chocolate in wide, evenly spaced, parallel lines, each spanning the width of the pan. Rotate the pan 90-degrees. With a butter knife, starting at the top of the pan, "draw" evenly spaced lines through the peanut butter to create the marbling effect.

Cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator to set up for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, or until chocolate is completely set before slicing, and serving.

  • Yields: 24 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time

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