I love a good two-for-one deal. Especially when that deal involves peanut butter and chocolate.
Sometimes it’s impossible to pick which one I want, and with these bars I don’t have to.
There’s a peanut butter and white chocolate base that’s soft yet dense, rich, and creamy. The top is a layer of chocolate-peanut butter fudge, and there’s Rice Krispies added for crispy texture. Both layers actually have Krispies in them, but it’s more pronounced in the top layer.
The recipe for the chocolate layer I originally created to top some brownies that are in my first cookbook, Peanut Butter Comfort. They’re perhaps my favorite brownies ever, tied with these.
Recently I was thumbing through my cookbook and remembered how much I loved the topping, and had to make it.
But I didn’t want to turn on my oven and make brownies because San Diego was having a wicked, but typical, hot snap the last few weeks and my condo doesn’t have air so it was 92F inside. No ovens were turned on.
The beauty of these no-bake, one-bowl, gluten-free bars is that they’re fast, easy, and people will go nuts over them. I mean who can resist two thick layers of peanut butter and chocolate-peanut butter fudge sandwiched together. I sure can’t.
Peanut Butter Base
- 2 cups white chocolate chips (one 10.5 to 11.5-ounce bag)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural; use Jif, Skippy or similar)
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal (use gluten-free crispy rice cereal to keep GF)
Chocolate Fudge Top
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
- Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- Peanut Butter Base – In a medium, microwave-safe bowl add the white chocolate chips and heat for 1 minute on high power to soften.
- Remove bowl from microwave, add 1 cup peanut butter (use Jif, Skippy, or similar because natural or homemade peanut butter could separate and may not set up well and/or the bars could turn very oily), and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute or as necessary in your microwave;
- white chocolate scorches easily so keep a careful eye on it. Stir until mixture is smooth and combined.
- Add 1 cup crispy rice cereal and stir to combine.
- Turn mixture out in prepared pan in an even, flat layer, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Place pan in freezer to chill.
- Chocolate Fudge Top – In a medium, microwave-safe bowl (you can use the same one, just wipe out with a paper towel) add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and heat for 1 minute on high power to soften.
- Remove bowl from microwave, add 1 1/2 cups peanut butter, butter, and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Stir until mixture is smooth and combined.
- Add 1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal, and stir to combine.
- Remove pan from freezer (make sure the first layer has set up somewhat before adding the chocolate, if not, return pan to freezer for 5 more minutes) and carefully turn chocolate mixture out into prepared pan in an even, flat layer, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
- Place pan in freezer to chill. Allow bars to chill for 60 to 90 minutes, or until set, before serving. If bars have gotten too firm to slice, let them sit at room temp for 10 minutes.
- I store these bars in the fridge because they get a little too soft at room temp.
- Bars will keep airtight in the fridge for about 1 month and in the freezer for up to 6 months.
You can find complete recipes of this CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE BARS in averiecooks.com