Friday, May 10, 2013

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that spring is finally here to stay!  It was 65 degrees out the other day - so I ran all over my house to open up the windows and let the fresh air in so it could swirl around and infect us with uplifted spirits general joy.  And air the place out. . .who am I kidding?  

With the windows open and the sun shining in - I reached way back in my memory to pull out a recipe I hadn't used in a long time:  Peanut Butter Crispy Bars. 

So easy.  So delicious.  I could barely wait to devour.  But I did.  And only barely enough to let them set up properly.  Please disregard my ugly hand.  I was too impatient to plate this baby.

This is a no-bake recipe, which is great for the summer.  I just love, love, love these!  You can use any kind of unsweetened cereal.  My hubby insisted on using crispy rice cereal this time.  I actually prefer a blend of bran flakes and puffed wheat.  But hey, they are delicious regardless!

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

6 Cups Cereal of Choice (must be unsweetened - suggestions:  corn flakes, rice cereal, puffed wheat)
2 Cups Peanut Butter
1 Cup Honey or Corn Syrup (I used Honey)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Frosting (optional)
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Butterscotch Chips
2 TB Milk

Step 1:  Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan.  Set aside.

Step 2:  In a saucepan over low heat, combine the Honey, Salt, Sugar, Vanilla and Peanut Butter.  Heat over medium low, stirring to make sure it doesn't burn, until all ingredients are well combined and the sugar has melted into the other ingredients.  Remove from heat.

Step 3:  Measure out the cereal into a large bowl.  Pour the peanut mixture over the cereal and stir to combine really well.  Do this while the mixture is still warm . .. once the peanut butter goo starts to cool off, it's harder to stir in the cereal.

Step 4:  Spread the mixture into the cake pan and press down so it is firmly compacted into the pan.

And for the frosting . . .

Step 5:  In a microwavable bowl, add the Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch Chips and Milk.  Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir.  If it is not completely melted yet, microwave for another 10 seconds and then stir. It shouldn't take too long to get this all melted together - and you do not want to overcook it!  If it still isn't smooth, microwave for another 10 seconds and then stir.  Once all melted together and smooth, pour over the bars and spread evenly.  Let set before cutting and eating.

I've eaten these many times without the frosting.  In fact, don't be afraid to eat them without.  They truly are delicious with or without the frosting!

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