Back in September (feels like yesterday, really it’s December?!) I went to the famous Baked Bakery in Brooklyn. Uhhhh so good. [moment to remember the amazingness that is Baked]. I tried about 15 different delectable items and all of them were memorable but I think my favorite by far were the Peanut Butter Crispy Bars. I have said many a time that PB+choco happens to be my favorite combination. It’s just natural that the two things go together. Like Diet Coke and me, like Vodka and soda, like Don & Betty Draper (well that’s not a great example), like Juliette & Sawyer on LOST, like Ron & Hermoine and like cream and…well…everything. Needless to say these PB Crispy Bars get the job done.
The bars might seem intimidating, yes you may have to whip out the candy thermometer, but they’re rather easy once you get down to it. And there’s actually no baking involved. Just cooling in the fridge, which is almost worse. Patience is a virtue my friends. I have none, but luckily for the bars I had stuff to do today and so they had time to chill in the fridge in between errands. I would recommend this approach, because otherwise you may catch yourself digging into the bars prematurely, layer by layer, ruining your beautiful creation, layer by layer, and probably burning your mouth on each layer. So set yourself up for success: and plan on making these when you have 5 minutes to spare for each layer between other things you gotta do.
If you didn’t get it already then you should make these bars ASAP. They have the perfect combination of textures, your bite in and simultaneously get krispies along with the soft and smooth chocolate. Of course the flavors are perfect as well, two types of chocolate, PB, butter, sugar–heaven. I gotta go get one of these out of the fridge right now. Done.
Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
From Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Milk Chocolate PB Layer:
5 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cocoa), coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Lightly spray a paper towel with nonstick cooking spray and use it to rub the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan.
Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
Pour 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan. Gently add the sugar and corn syrup (do not let any sugar or syrup get on the sides of the pan) and use a small wooden spoon to stir the mixture until just combined. Put a candy thermometer in the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 235 degrees F.
Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and pour the mixture over the cereal. Working quickly, stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated, then pour it into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan (do not press up the sides). Let the crust cool to room temperature while you make the next layer.
Milk chocolate PB layer: In a large nonreactive metal bowl, stir together the chocolate and the peanut butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refridgerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens.
Chocolate icing: In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.
Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the chilled milk chocolate peanut butter layer and spread (actually, I found it easier to just roll it around until it coated smoothly, avoiding the risk of picking up any of the peanut butter layer with it) into an even layer. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the topping hardens.
Cut into 9 (I cut it into 16) squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.