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.

MY OTHER RECIPES

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

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.

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.
Only Eats

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?

107 comments on “Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars”

  1. These crunch bars just made my life feel complete. They are incredible!

  2. OMG Averie!! I am never disappointed when I visit your blog!!! These look fabulous and must be made immediately! and yes, you ARE the queen of no-bake bars!! love it!

  3. Heavenly marriage!!! Kit Kats are my favorite… PB is my next favorite… once again, I don’t think I would share these bars. I want the entire pan. :-D

  4. No-bake AND Kit Kats on top? I gotta have these!! Pinning!

  5. Averie, I’m dying for that stack of bars there! And the best part is that I just bought a halloween size bag of kit kat bars for Jason, except I’m going to use them all in this recipe! Pinned!

  6. O. M. G. Can you please stop crawling into my brain, discovering my cravings du jour, and then tempting me with them each and every day in the form of gorgeous, perfectly shaped bars, and irresistible recipes? I mean, seriously: UNCLE! I’m making these for friends tomorrow and I’ll be surprised if said friends actually get any. SWOOOOOOOON.

    • Omg you HAVE to tell me what you think and what your friends think! They’re seriously one of the best bars ever (in my opinion!). How could anyone not like PB + chocolate + all that texture though!

  7. i seriously love how peanut butter is one of your food groups — your blog is a love letter to my pb-loving self!
    xx

  8. Wow if you are saying these are the best no-bake bars you have ever made, I need to run to the store immediately to buy some Kit Kats!!

  9. Great idea these look absolutely AMAZING!

  10. I think you are the Queen of all things in bar cookie form. You’re brilliant at it all!

  11. Another jaw-dropping treat! Wow!

  12. Wowwie, wow, wow!!! Stopping by from Talent Show Tuesday, and had to check these out. Kitkats – no way! I’m all over these. Gorgeous photos! Have pinned!

  13. All hail the QUEEN! Gorgeous job, Averie!

  14. Ohhhh la laaa. These look dangerous!

  15. Mmmmmm, kit kats! I love how simple these are!

  16. And I thought Kit-Kats couldn’t get any better! OUT-rageous, Averie!

  17. Hail the queen of bars! These look awesome! :D

  18. The crunchy top layer with the chewy bottom and the KIT KATS!!! I am dying over this! Also, yay for no bake!

  19. Av- this ARE the best no-bake.
    Kit Kats are a serious weakness of mine.
    I once bought one of those giant Kit Kat bars (have you seen those?)
    Unreal.
    You don’t want to know how long it took me to eat it. lol

  20. These look really, really good! You are definitely the queen of bars!!

  21. Oh my gosh! A texture lover’s dream dessert right here. I love crunch bars. Always have, always will. I’ve been wanting to make homemade crunch bars for a few years now just have never actually done it! Anyway, I have a huge craving for peanut butter and chocolate at about this hour every night and this is exactly what I’m in the mood for. Look at all the peanut butter you used! This is my kind of dessert.

    And…”best-ever” — ok, I know they must be pretty darn good!

    • You know I don’t toss around the words ‘best’ or ‘best ever’ lightly. I thought long and hard about that for these, and yep, they deserve it. The topping is a topping I included on some bars on my blog about 2 yrs ago and then also in my book in some triple layer brownies (they’re the ones that lindsay of love and olive oil made when she wrote about my book a few weeks back – she fell in love with the topping so much, she repurposed it in another recipe, too). SO GOOD Sally! You would love the texture. Like nothing else!

  22. I’m dying! And yes, you are the queen of bars! :)

  23. I am loving the texture of the crunch bars!! I loved crunch bars growing up but then adding pb and kit kats, serious drool happening over here?! Can you pass me one through the screen please ;) I do not know why I have never made crunch bars- I clearly need to get on it!!

  24. Kit kat bars were my absolute favorite candy bar when I was a child. I seriously LOVED them. I can still remember the taste, though it has been probably over 15 years since I had one. These bars combine two of the the best flavor profiles in dessert, ever! Gonna have to make these for the fellas and make sure I inhale deeply when I am baking and serving them! :-)

  25. I bow down to the queen of bars…..

    OMG

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