Double Chocolate Caramel Corn & Cocoa Rice Krispies Candy Bars

I could call these everything but the kitchen sink bars.

I had all kinds of little bits and pieces of candies, cereals, white and dark chocolate chips, marshmallows, caramel corn, you name it, I had somehow accumulated it in two weeks time in Aruba.

All the nearly empty bags and boxes were cluttering up my cupboards.  Storage space is a foreign concept in this foreign land and I needed to clear the decks.

And clear out the cupboards.  Declutter so I could make room for more was my theory.

Necessity is the mother of invention and I’m grateful for the ‘necessity’ when it comes in the form of one of these.

I am big on texture and these are crunchy and chewy.

And of course, sweet.  Marshmallows, M & M’s candy, white and dark chocolate chips, a slab of peanut butter, a dollop of cookie butter, and some butter thrown in for good measure.

This is not a precise recipe.  Simply melt marshmallows, or use ‘Fluff or marshmallow creme if you have that open, add a little butter and some nut butter if you want, too.  Or don’t if you don’t.  It’s a flexible and forgiving recipe; the way cooking should be in my book.

Add the dry ingredients you have on hand like chocolate chips (white, dark, butterscotch), random candy from M & M’s to a chopped up Butterfinger bar you chop up to a handful of raisins to a handful of Crunch ‘n Munch.  Dice up Grandma Ethel’s aging sugar cookies that everyone is sick of but no one has the heart to toss.  Toss them into these.

Or deconstruct that gingerbread house your kids made a few days and put it in these bars.  Or just throw away old gingerbread houses but make sure your kids don’t see you; tears tend to ensue when they do.

Just throw it all into the melted marshmallow-butter-peanut butter gooey hot mess, stir, and in under a half hour these babies will be ready for consumption.

I told you necessity was a good thing.

 

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Double Chocolate Caramel Corn & Cocoa Rice Krispies Candy Bars - with Dark & White Chocolate Chips, M & Ms and a Dark Chocolate Drizzle (recipe adapted from my own recipe, with gluten free and vegan options; )

3 c marshmallows (most of a 10.5-oz bag of marshmallows)

2 tbsp butter or margarine, softened to room temperature

2 tbsp peanut butter (optional, or other nut butter or spread such as Nutella, Cookie Butter Spread, TJs Speculoos Spread, Biscoff Spread, etc.)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

5 to 6 c dry ingredients:  For me this was 1 c caramel corn (Crunch ‘n Munch), 1. 5 c Crispix Cereal, and 3.5 c Cocoa Krispies Cereal (the exact quantity of dry ingredients will depend on the types used.  You could use graham crackers, cereals of any kind, popcorn, diced up Christmas cookies, etc  Note: you will likely not need less than 5 c of cereal but you could need more than 6 depending on what you choose; your batter should be sticky but not soaking wet; use common sense)

1/2 c chocolate chips (white or dark) for final drizzle over the top of the finished bars, optional

Optional Add Ins:

1/4 c + white chocolate chips

1/4 c + dark chocolate chips

1/2 c + M & M’s (or other candy, Reese’s Pieces, chopped up Butterfinger bars, Snickers, Milky Way bars, etc.)

1/2 c + marshmallows

1/4 c + peanuts, seeds, nuts, raisins, yogurt covered raisins, toffee bits, sprinkles, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, etc.

any odds and ends in your cupboard you have and want to use up (a handful of this or that, throw it in)

Directions:

Line a 9 x 9 or similar sized pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat the marshmallows until the puff up considerably and are almost melted, which is probably about 60-75 seconds, but watch them.  To the hot marshmallows add the softened butter and nut butter (if using) and stir.  Then add the vanilla extract and stir.

Add in all dry ingredients and cereals, adding by a half cup at a time nearing the end.  (If you like gooey-ier/chewier bars, use about 5 c of cereal and if you like drier/denser bars use more towards 6 c of cereal).  Stir to combine.

Fold in the optional add-in ingredients, chips and candies, and press into the prepared pan.  Press very firmly.  Pack it down.  It’s okay if the cereal “breaks”.  Push it in and down, very well.  Place the pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes and allow the bars to set up.

If desired, melt 1/2 c chocolate chips (white or dark) in the microwave for approximately 45 seconds or until melted and then drizzle chocolate over the top of the bars.  Or make chocolate frosting.  Or drizzle with Nutella, Speculoos, Biscoff Spread, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.

Store bars on countertop, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer and pull one or two squares out 15 minutes before you want to eat them.  I freeze all my desserts and keep a stash on hand in my freezer.

Notes:

For vegan option: use margarine or Earth Balance, use vegan marshmallows, use vegan white chocolate chips or another suitable chip, i.e. dark chocolate chips, peanut butter chips; use vegan cereal and take care that any optional candies that you add in are vegan.  Read the labels for all products you incorporate based on your needs and preferences.

For gluten free option: Rice Krispies Gluten Free cereal are GF or use another suitable GF cereal; use popcorn popped at home not storebought; take care any add-in’s are gluten free and suitable for your needs such as the candies, chips, etc.  Read the labels for all products you incorporate based on your needs and preferences.

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And just like the Chocolate Saltine Toffee that I made here…

…the Cocoa Krispies Candy Bars were melting before my very eyes while I was trying to take pictures but I am getting faster and know what kind of meltfest I’m up against.

If after the holiday baking season, you don’t find yourself sweating to death but you do find your cupboards being taken oven by a plethora of nearly-empty bags of baking chips and sprinkles and things that you just can’t bear the thought of tossing, now you know what to do with them.

Marshmallows, butter, and nut butter are beautiful because they will soften anything and help make just about anything taste pretty darn amazing.

Add chocolate for good measure.  Of course.

That puffy thing by the green M & M in the photo below is not a marshmallow.  It’s a piece of Crunch ‘n Munch caramel corn that had gone sort of stale in the humidity here, which tends to happen about 4 seconds after you open a box or bag of anything.  But it was sure tasty in the bars.

I would also recommend these bars post-Halloween candy season, post Valentine’s candy season, post Easter Bunny season.

Or any time you feel your kitchen, or life, has been taken over with bits and pieces of candy and various odds and ends.

If you’re like me, there’s never a shortage of one-third of a cup of something in a baggie because my grandmother taught me to never throw food away.

I think my Grandma would be proud of my re-purposing efforts.

Necessity is the mother of invention after all.

Questions:

1. Do you have lots of baggies of odds and ends in your cupboards (especially during/after holiday baking season)?

I think anyone who’s a cook or a baker has more than her fair share of bits and pieces of ingredients laying around.

A quarter cup of Heath Bar bits, a half cup of marshmallows, a handful of chocolate chips at the bottom of a bag because some recipe you made called for an uneven amount rather than one full bag.

2. Do you throw food away?  Or do you save it for a rainy day?

My cupboards are filled with Ziplock baggies full of nearly empty bags but I can’t bring myself to throw away perfectly good unused items.  You never know when you may need that half cup of corn starch in the bottom of a bag that’s worth about 37 cents.  God forbid I pitched it.

To say I am a saver for a rainy day is an understatement.  An eighth of a cup of slivered almonds?  Sure, save them.  Never know when you may need them despite them taking up valuable space and going stale before I go to use them in the year 2017 and find they’re rancid anyway.

I grew up with a Grandmother who lived through the Depression and taught us never to throw away perfectly good baking supplies.  Or any food for that matter!

Same with food and recipe flops.  It may not make the blog, but if it has peanut butter, sugar, or chocolate in it, somehow some way, I usually find a way to save it.  It may not be photo-worthy at that point but that’s usually the stuff tastes the best.

P.S. If you’re a Rice Krispies fan, check out Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Marshmallow Stuffed Rice Krispie Bars (No Bake)

Have a great week!

   

69 Responses to “Double Chocolate Caramel Corn & Cocoa Rice Krispies Candy Bars”

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    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — December 18, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I love “busy” bars! I’ve been meaning to make something similar with all of the odds and ends ingredients that I have lingering, but it’s one of those things on my ever-growing to-make list, lol.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — December 18th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      I just commented under you on a few blogs…hope you’ve been having a relaxing weekend!

      Reply

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    lauren@spicedplate — December 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I love how festive these look, Avery! The M&M’s add the perfect amount of color. How fun! I have TONS of odds and ends spices in little baggies and jars — my husband is really great about cleaning them up but I’m terrible at it!

    Reply

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    Katie — December 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    These are my 5-year old self’s dream bar. Literally. I think every kid in America would grin from ear to ear when presented with this. And adult too, for that matter.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — December 18th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      after you and the fam get done with your bake-stravaganza and have tons of random bits laying around, make these.

      Reply

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    Bev Weidner — December 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I wouldn’t kick these little ones out of bed. Nor my mouth.

    I make no sense.

    Reply

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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — December 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    What a fun project with the kids too – I’m thinking of my niece and nephew just getting in the kitchen and playing, experimenting and having fun. I hate to toss food and have sooooo many odds and ends baggies and jars or containers of ingredients.

    Reply

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    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — December 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    This may be a new addiction of mine. Uh oh!

    Reply

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    Amanda — December 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I always have odds and ends because I am constantly trying new recipes. I tend to hold on to stuff and then have a use up period. These look so good, I love any kind of cereal bar, I guess it’s a childhood thing :)

    Reply

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    Brooke — December 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Wow! Those looks AWESOME!

    Brooke
    http://www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

    Reply

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    Amanda — December 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    So you pictures are seriously so beautiful and clear! I really wish I could reach through my screen right about now!! These look delicious :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — December 18th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      One of the highest compliments you could ever give me is this: So you pictures are seriously so beautiful and clear!

      That means more to me than anything else. Thank you!!

      And if you could reach thru the screen and snag one, I’d be happy for that, too :)

      Reply

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    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) — December 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Holy cow, these look incredible! I’ve been wanting to make rice krispie treats for awhile… these would definitely be a special batch!

    Reply

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    Baking Serendipity — December 18, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I love your technique of cleaning out the cupboards! At my house, we start mixing cereals when we get near the end…and my husband will eat any chocolate chip in sight, which cleans out the leftover baking supplies quick! If I can convince him to slow down, this is definitely going to be on my spring cleaning list :)

    Reply

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    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — December 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Yum! Your rice krispie treats look amazing! I happen to have rice kispies and marshmallow in the cupboard. I’ll have to make a batch this week!!

    Reply

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    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — December 18, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    I need to get rice krispies soon — and try your no-bake version, with yummy marshmallow :)

    Reply

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    Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl — December 18, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    OMG girl… those look as sweet as the time my friend made me fruity pebble marshmallow treats. This will definitely clear the baking cupboard. Maybe grandmothers should makes these so they can send there grandkids back to their parents with a whirlwind of energy. :)

    BTW, congrats on being part of the Martha Stewart list.

    Reply

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    Courtney (Pancakes and Postcards) — December 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    these look amazing… and it’s all my favorite ingredients. and your photographs are seriously beautiful!

    Reply

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    Anna — December 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    All I want for Christmas is your luxurious bars…Really awesome treats! Glad that they are easy to make, no bake! Great for anything you’d like to add on! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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    Char @ www.charskitchen.ca — December 18, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Ooohh gosh, your treats always look so decadent!! And no, I don’t like to throw food away unless I HAVE to. That’s what the freezer is for ;)

    Reply

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    Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco — December 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Thank goodness for these! Not that I would ever have any unneeded stuff around or anything…

    Reply

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    Kathryn — December 19, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Wow, these sound amazing! I often complain that this kind of bar doesn’t have enough ‘stuff’ in it but I certainly can’t say that about these ones!

    Reply

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    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — December 19, 2011 at 3:04 am

    These look unbelievable! Clearing out the old to make way for the new never looked so darn tasty!

    Reply

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    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — December 19, 2011 at 5:21 am

    These look so amazing! Just browsed some of your bazillion latest posts (you are a machine–and so good with comments, how do you do it?!?!) and wanted to say congrats on your appearance on Martha’s site! How exciting! I think I’m going to make that toffee this week. It’s stayed with me ever since I first saw it :)

    Reply

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    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — December 19, 2011 at 5:23 am

    such fun treats! Hope you had a great weekend!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — December 19th, 2011 at 6:41 am

      It rained here all weekend but can’t complain. Hope you and the fam are doing great :)

      Reply

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    Erica — December 19, 2011 at 5:31 am

    I totally have a half bag of marshmallows and I have no idea what to do with them….this kitchen sink concept sounds perfect for them! I don’t really have any cereal on hand, so I may need to be creative ;) I try not to throw out food!

    Reply

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    Gillian — December 19, 2011 at 6:11 am

    I LOVE rice krispies squares! Can you please come over and bake for me?? These look to die for.

    Reply

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    tweal — December 19, 2011 at 6:36 am

    These look yummy. I’m like you, I save everything from a small handful of raisins to a few tablespoons of flour. And I do always find ways to use these ‘leftovers’, usually in bars too.

    By the way, I made your ‘caramel apple’ bars last night. I split the batter into 2 batches in loaf pans, one with white chocolate and butterscotch chips, and one without. They are really delicious! Very decadent and sticky. The ones without chips are for my mother, and I just know she will love them. Thanks for the recipe :)

    Reply

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    katie @ KatieDid — December 19, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Love the pops of colors! Browns, whites, and tan… what cookies usually are, can be tough to photograph. So when color comes creeping in its always fun to get shots of :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — December 19th, 2011 at 11:02 am

      thanks, Katie. And the reason why I did that drizzle was for photography purposes….when messy is good. And saves the shot. Sometimes it just looks like a chocolate explosion though. It’s always a crap shoot when doing a photo shoot :)

      Reply

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    Cat @Breakfast to Bed — December 19, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I am going to have half bags of chocolate, pb, butterscotch, mint, white, and dark chocolate chips. Not to mention nuts, peppermint candies, molasses, etc etc etc.

    Reply

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    AikoVenus — December 19, 2011 at 9:11 am

    This looks so delicious! I make similar ones (I use mochi instead of krispies) whenever I need to clean out the cupboards too. ^^ Its like one big sticky marshmallow filled with even more goodness.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — December 19th, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Its like one big sticky marshmallow filled with even more goodness = you got that right!

      Reply

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    Amber K — December 19, 2011 at 10:45 am

    What a great idea to use up extra candy and cereal and…anything else! I think these would especially be perfect after Halloween. Not that I need any extra excuse to eat the leftover candy. ;)

    You must have been a photographing mad woman to get these so beautifully taken even with your melting subject. All still tastes good melted, in my opinion.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — December 19th, 2011 at 11:00 am

      thank you for the compliments and for noticing the photographing like a mad woman part. Yes, I have…but I know better what to do, what my “set up” is going to look like…so with each photo shoot, I’m getting better and faster…but still it’s a meltfest. Lol.

      Reply

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    Christine (The Raw Project) — December 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Wow, these are crazy! Very creative, you’re still the dessert queen! :-) I usually end up with partial boxes of pasta, flour, quinoa, and opened stale bags of chips from hubby.

    Reply

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    HRCK the Herald — December 19, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Wowza. I want to make these RIGHT now! Such a great, easy recipe!

    Reply

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    Liz — December 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Wow, those look delicious!!

    Reply

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    Deborah — December 20, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I always have a little bit of this and a little bit of that – what a great way to use it all up!!

    Reply

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    Alicia — December 20, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Just made these for my vb girls. I used cocoa krispies, rice chex, and then I added in mint m&ms. I think they will be good, I’m sure they will gobble them up in no time! Plus they are festive. :)

    Reply

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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — December 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I have waaaaay too many odds and ends in my cupboards, fridge, freezer, pantry … I hate it. I never know what to do with leftover ingredients …. but this is an idea!

    Reply

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    Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles — December 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    These look like a combo of all the most delicious things! =)

    Reply

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    Stacy — October 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Oh YUM!!!!!!!!! We’re making these while we have electric! Great way to use up left over cereals… just in time for Hurricane Sandy! DELICIOUS!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — October 29th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      that’s when I made the bars – when I was leaving my other house and had all kinds of odds and ends to use up! Glad they are a hit and stay SAFE!!!

      Reply

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