Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars

These may be the best no-bake bar I’ve ever made. And I’m the queen of bars, so that’s quite a statement.

They’re like a homemade peanut buttery Crunch Bar topped with Kit Kats, and they’re worth every empty calorie.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars (no-bake) - Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com

No-bake Cereal Bars are a real specialty of mine. Some people can make macarons in their sleep or pipe flowers onto 4-tiered fondant-covered cakes.

Me, I’ve got a real knack for combining peanut buttersugarcereal, and chocolate in the microwave, with some candy bars tossed in to complete the classy ensemble.

And I’ve done it in more combinations and permutations than should be legal.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars (no-bake) - Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com

So when I can get excited about a new bar, given all the dozens (hundreds) that have come before it, I do a little happy dance. These bars are the new top dog to beat in no-bake cereal bar adventures.

They’re vegan and gluten-free up until they’re topped with Kit Kats. If you top them with peanut butter cups instead, they’re vegan and gluten-free since since Kit Kats are the only thing that’s not vegan/GF in the recipe. Simple swap.

Ironically, there’s no butter or buttery spreads used in these very buttery and rich bars.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars (no-bake) - Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com

They’re fast and easy to make, with less than 15 minutes of active work.

They combine two favorite recipes. The base is a duplication of Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars, which are adapted from my Grandma’s Special K Bar recipe. I love that recipe so much that I included it in my cookbook.

The base is made by combining sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter in the microwave to make a bastardized 2-minute caramel sauce. It serves as the glue to hold together Rice Krispies cereal that’s stirred in.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars (no-bake) - Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com

I’m a huge fan of any version of Rice Krispies Treats. These use peanut butter rather than marshmallows as the glue. Can’t go wrong either way.

They’re firm enough so they’re not a gooey mess, and the texture is chewy and dense, yet soft.

They have a pronounced pop of peanut butter flavor, with caramel and vanilla notes. The flavor is exceedingly buttery-tasting, despite no butter being used.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars (no-bake) - Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com

The top layer is an adaptation of the topping of Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars. I don’t know why I haven’t repurposed the topping until now, but I’m so glad I did.

It’s chocolaty with just a hint of peanut butter, and has the most amazing texture after it sets up. Dense, firm, crispy and crunchy, and reminds me of a Nestle Crunch bar, with a little more airiness and less snap.

It’s made by melting chocolate chips with a little peanut butter, and just enough cereal is stirred in to soak up some of the melted, saucy mixture.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars (no-bake) - Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com

Last but not least, I chopped Kit Kats for the top.

When I pushed them down onto the still warm chocolate layer, they melted just enough to become embedded.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars (no-bake) - Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com

I’ve always loved the flaky,crunchy layers of Kit Kats and they paired perfectly with the crunchy-yet-softened cereal in both the base and topping layers. Their sweeter milk chocolate complemented the semi-sweet chocolate in the topping.

They’re definitely the new bar to beat.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars (no-bake) - Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars - Easy, no-bake bars that are packed with peanut butter, chocolate & topped off with a wall of KitKats!  At averiecooks.com

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars

A soft, yet very chewy, rich, dense, peanut buttery base is topped with a crunchy chocolate topping that reminds me of a Nestle Crunch bar. There's Kit Kat candy bar pieces embedded, for extra crunch, texture, and flavor. Despite tasting extra buttery, there's no butter used. If you swap out the Kit Kats for peanut butter cups, the bars are vegan and gluten-free (since the Kit Kats are the only thing that's not vegan/GF in the recipe). If you need a fast and easy dessert that's sure to be a huge hit, I highly recommend these. They keep extremely well and can be made in advance, but I know leftovers will not linger. Quite possibly my favorite cereal bar of all time.

Yield: one 8-by-8-inch pan, 9 to 12 squares

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes, microwave

Total Time: 2+ hours, for chilling

Ingredients:

Base
1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter (use Jif, Skippy, or similar; do not use natural or homemade peanut butter)
1/2 cup light corn syrup (light-colored, not lite)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups Rice Krispies cereal (or similar crispy rice cereal that's vegan/GF, if necessary)

Chocolate Topping
1 heaping cup diced Kit Kat pieces (I used three 1.50-ounce bars, diced)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (use Jif, Skippy, or similar; do not use natural or homemade peanut butter)
1 cup Rice Krispies cereal (or similar crispy rice cereal that's vegan/GF, if necessary)

Directions:

  1. Base - Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter, corn syrup, sugars, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt.
  3. Stop to stir. Mixture will be on the granular side, this is okay.
  4. Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power.
  5. Stir in the vanilla.
  6. Stir in 3 cups cereal.
  7. Turn mixture out into prepared pan, packing it down somewhat firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top; set pan aside.
  8. Chocolate Topping - Dice the Kit Kats; set aside.
  9. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt.
  10. Stop to stir. Chips may not be completely melted. Return bowl to microwave and heat in 15-second bursts until chocolate can be stirred smooth, 15 seconds is likely all they'll need.
  11. Stir in 1 cup cereal.
  12. Pour chocolate mixture over base, packing it down somewhat firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top.
  13. Place the Kit Kats in about 10 evenly and tightly spaced rows over the surface, with about 1/4-inch space between each piece (does not have to be perfect). By the time you get all the pieces on and in rows, the pieces you placed on first will likely have started to melt at the base. Push them down lightly so they embed into the chocolate-crispy layer. Go back over and push on all the pieces with your finger to ensure they're all embedded and will stick as the bars cool and set up.
  14. Cover pan with a sheet of foil (to prevent fridge smells), and place pan in fridge to set up for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, or until chocolate layer is completely set before lifting out with foil overhang, slicing, and serving.
  15. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Related Recipes

Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars (vegan, GF)

Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars (vegan, gluten-free) - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cereal Bars (GF)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cereal Bars - Easy 5-Minute Recipe at averiecooks.com

Biscoff Marshmallow Chocolate Bars (no-bake)

Biscoff Marshmallow Chocolate Bars from | @Averie Sunshine {Averie Cooks}

No-Bake Nutter Butter Special K Bars

No-Bake Nutter Butter Special K Bars

 Special K Bars (no-bake)

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars (almost no-bake)

Peanut Chewy Payday Bars (almost no-bake)

Peanut Chewy Payday Bars (almost no-bake)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF)

Double Chocolate Caramel Corn & Cocoa Rice Krispies Candy Bars (GF)

Browned Butter Rice Krispies Treats (GF) – The best RKTs I have ever had. Double the butter and it’s browned, for great flavor and soft, buttery, chewy bars

This post is being linked to Roxana’s Chocolate Party!

Fan of Kit Kats? Chocolate and peanut butter? Favorite no-bake bar?

   

97 Responses to “Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars”

  1. #
    51
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — October 9, 2013 at 6:16 am

    I’m dying over these. SOOOOO amazing. Everything about them!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 9th, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Thanks, Lori! I loved these bars – so many layers of flavor and texture, which for me, is the best kind of bar!

      Reply

  2. #
    52
    Peanut Butter Boy — October 9, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Jeeeeeez……

    Reply

  3. #
    53
    Sarah — October 9, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I love how you pieced the kit-kats together like a grid! Reminds me of legos – super cute.

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Jocelyn — October 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Oh.em.geeeeeee!! Averie, I’m dying over these!!! I must have them!!

    Reply

  5. #
    55
    Valerie — October 10, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Kit Kat bars! You know me too well. Kit Kats are one of my favourite candy bars. You truly are the Queen of bars! :D

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:33 am

      They’re your faves? That’s awesome. I don’t know if they’re my fave (pb cups and heath bars are high up, so are rolos and snickers…) but kitkats are definitely high up on the list!

      Reply

  6. #
    56
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked — October 10, 2013 at 10:58 am

    HOLY *&#%(*#@&@#&$ (insert expletives). My mind is blown. I want this, all of it, in my life, like now! Bravo Averie, for creating this masterpiece. And you used my favourite chocolate bar, the Kit Kat. I can never resist it!

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    Nutmeg Nanny — October 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    DROOLING!! Oh man, I need five of these :)

    Reply

  8. #
    58
    lorraine — October 12, 2013 at 3:35 am

    it is possible to get gluten free outlays from Tesco in their free from range. So excellent recipe xx

    Reply

  9. #
    59
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — October 12, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Omggggg. How do you come up with this stuff?! You are such an evil genius when it comes to desserts. :) I want to eat a whole batch of these!

    Reply

  10. #
    60
    Emily @ Life on Food — October 13, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I always seem to fail at no bake cookies and bars. I know they are supposed to be easy but i just cannot seem to get my act together.

    Reply

  11. #
    61
    Suzanne — October 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Whoa… I want the whole pan of these little babies! Look so tasty and love the crunch factor with kit-kat and chewy rice crispy treats!

    Reply

  12. #
    62
    Trish - Mom On Timeout — October 15, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Can’t. Stop. Drooling. These bars are out of this world Averie! Pinned and shared on Facebook cause I just love ‘em so much :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 15th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks so much Trish for the pin and the share! You’re so sweet! THANKS!!

      Reply

  13. #
    63
    Laura — October 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I just bought some of those little bags of unwrapped candy (because that is the only way I will ever have spare kit kats in this house lol) and I think I just found my use for them! These are positively over the top swoon worthy decadent! Pinning!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 25th, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks for pinning and I too only had a few Kit Kats b/c more is not better, just laying around to tempt me :)

      Reply

  14. #
    64
    bridget {bake at 350} — October 28, 2013 at 5:17 am

    Those look AMAZING, Averie!

    Reply

  15. #
    65
    Paula — November 2, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I decided to make these for the neighborhood Halloween party yesterday and am so glad I did! I remember when I first saw them I liked how the kit kats looked on top–like crispy little chocolate tiles or something. As for taste, well, there weren’t any leftovers (thank goodness because I think I’d eat them for breakfast)!! The base is peanut buttery gooey-chewy and the top is fudgy with layers of texture all the way through. These definitely take rice krispies to a whole new level!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — November 2nd, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      I’m so glad you loved them as well as the party-goers. And glad to hear there weren’t any leftovers (I didn’t think there would be)! Little chocolate tiles is a perfect description and so many layers of texture from the top to the bottom, in one bite, yes indeed! So happy you made these b/c they’re a huge personal fave of mine :)

      Reply

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