Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats with Salted Caramel and Chocolate
I’ve had these Peanut Butter-Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats locked and loaded for a while. I made them before our family Australia trip, when I was stress baking at the thought of a 14-hour flight and trying to stockpile some recipes to share with you while I was away.
While I succeeded at advance preparing a few yummy treats to share with you from afar, where I failed was in finding adequate wifi access to actually post them. The internet at our AirBnB rental was so bad it took all night to back up a handful of photos to google drive. Anytime I had to send an email with an attachment, it meant an hour of hair-pulling, laptop-shaking, Tim-Tam gorging frustration. A first-world problem, yes, but brutal nonetheless.
I, therefore, stayed mostly offline. Publishing all the blog posts I’d intended would have added up to way too many Tim Tams.
I do you hope you’ll think these were worth the wait, however, because they may be the most addictive rice krispie treats you’ve ever had. Peanut butter in the super-chewy base, followed by a drippy layer of salted caramel, and smoothed over with a sheet of melty dark chocolate.
I set out to make the rice krispie treats of my childhood (which in Canada, we call rice krispie SQUARES. Treats, pfftt). My mom would make them with raisins and chocolate stirred in while the marshmallow mixture was still warm, resulting in chocolatey streaks and slightly plumped sultanas. I loved them.
I wasn’t sure what the rest of the world’s stance would be on raisins in rice krispie treats so I went safe with my second choice – peanut butter and chocolate. And of course caramel. But for the record, raisins: yes? No?
We are slowly getting back into our post-vacation routines, but jet lag has been much more challenging on this end of things than it was when we got to Australia. I have been in a semi-confused fog since our return last Thursday. I actually got myself quite winded last night trying to blow out a battery-operated candle.
You’re gonna need to use your muscles to stir the rice cereal into the cooling marshmallow mixture. It’s actually the best workout my triceps have seen in a long time.
You know how people flaunt their choice of physical activity on t-shirts? Like, “Eat, Sleep, Run” or “Crossfit Vancouver”, or “Barre Made”. I think I’m gonna get a “Marshmallow Made” tank top. Hmm, but marshmallow-stirring muscles are deep and powerful, not obvious and showy, so people might not realize I’m bragging. I’ll think about it some more.
I happened to have a jar of bakery-made salted caramel sauce in my freezer, which I pulled out for these, but I do have a recipe for homemade (which is delicious and fun to make). Or you could just leave out that layer and go with classic pb & choc.
The key to getting a good caramel layer without the melted chocolate mixing in is to pop the squares in the freezer until firm before coating.
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 10 oz marshmallows
- 4.5 cups crispy rice cereal like Rice Krispies
- 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce recipe link in post, or use storebought caramel sauce with a good pinch of salt
- 6 oz dark chocolate coarsely chopped
- Caramel sauce recipe here.
- In a large stockpot, melt peanut butter, butter and marshmallows over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon and a strong arm to stir in the crispy rice cereal, then transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined 8x8" baking dish and press it evenly into the bottom (it helps to use slightly dampened hands).
- Warm the caramel sauce slightly in the microwave (microwave-safe bowl, please) or on the stovetop then spread it evenly over top of the crispy rice base layer. Transfer the pan to the freezer for an hour or until caramel is completely firm.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power for 2 minutes until the chocolate is about 80% melted then stir vigourously to finish melting. (Continue in 30-second intervals on 50% power if needed, but be careful - you don't want to scorch the chocolate or it will seize).
- Let chocolate cool for about 20 minutes before dolloping it over the caramel layer, then spreading it out evenly using an offset spatula. Let the treats stand at room temperature until the chocolate is firm, about 2 hours, before lifting them out by the parchment paper and slicing them into 16 squares. (You can speed things up by popping the pan back in the freezer, but you might get a chalky bloom on the chocolate - nothing problematic, it just won't be as glossy and attractive.)
- Store the treats in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days (if they last that long, which they won't).