Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Bars
I haven’t posted a no-bake cereal bar recipe in ages. From 2009 to 2011 that was my blog’s apparent specialty.
Just scroll through some of the vintage recipes under the Related Recipes section for a reminder.
The bars are no-bake, easy, loaded with bold peanut butter flavor, and plenty of chocolate. There’s both a layer of melted chocolate and assorted candy bar pieces adorn the top.
If you need a way to use up that random assortment of Halloween (or Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter, etc.) candy that you have on hand, the bars are perfect. Snickers, Milky Way, Payday, you name it, use it up.
The bars are super soft, very dense and chewy, and they’re total comfort food for me. Caramely, peanut buttery, brown sugary goodness.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Bars
The bars are no-bake, easy, loaded with bold peanut butter flavor, and plenty of chocolate. There’s both a layer of melted chocolate and assorted candy bar pieces adorn the top. If you need a way to use up that random assortment of Halloween (or Christmas, Easter, etc.) candy that you have on hand, the bars are perfect. They’re super soft, very dense and chewy, and total comfort food. Caramely, peanut buttery, brown sugary goodness.
- 1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter (use Jif, Skippy, or similar; do not use natural or homemade peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups Special K Cereal
- 1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- about 1 cup bite-sized candy bar pieces (I used Rolo, Reese’s Pieces, mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Butterfinger Cups; substitute with your favorite candy as desired)
- Bars – Line an 8×8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large microwave-safe bowl, add 1 heaping cup peanut butter, corn syrup, sugars, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt.
- Stop to stir. Mixture will be on the granular side, this is okay.
- Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power. Stop to stir.
- Return bowl to microwave and heat for 30 more seconds on high power. Stop to stir. (That was 2 1/2 minutes total microwave time)
- Stir in the vanilla. (1 tablespoon is 3 teaspoons, use less if you prefer less vanilla flavor)
- Stir in the cereal.
- Turn mixture out into prepared pan, packing it down somewhat firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top; set pan aside.
- Topping – To a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and heat on high power for 30 seconds. Stop to stir. Heat in increments of 20 to 30 seconds, stopping to stir after each 20 to 30 second increment until chocolate has melted and can be stirred smooth. It will probably take 1 1/2 to 2 minutes total.
- Evenly pour chocolate mixture over Special K layer, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
- Evenly place the candy pieces over the top. Add as many as you like (I’m generous) and use your favorite candy including Snickers, Turtles, Milky Way, 3 Muskateers, Payday, etc.
- Cover pan with foil and allow bars to cool at room temp until chocolate has set, likely 4+ hours. I don’t like to refrigerate them because the chocolate topping and the candy bars can sometimes turn color (bloom) or experience condensation droplets when brought back to room temp however these are purely cosmetic issues, won’t effect taste, and will speed up the cooling process if you’re in a hurry.
- Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the refrigerator for up 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Adapted from Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars
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