A couple of weekends ago my best childhood friend came to visit for the weekend. We live in different states now, so when we can coordinate our busy schedules to spend time together, we always have tons to catch-up with. I’ve known Hannah since I was six years old, so we’ve had many years to get to know each other, and to learn each other’s likes and dislikes. One thing we’ve always had in common is a love for food, and we have a long history of cooking together. But “cooking” with Hannah goes something like this: Taryn cooks, Hannah eats. It’s a wonderful arrangement really, because I love to make the food, and she loves to eat it! Now don’t get me wrong, I love to eat it too, but when it comes to being in the kitchen, we’re something similar to ying and yang.
Given our history, and our shared love of food and all things sweet (Reese’s Pieces especially!), I decided that it would be a good weekend to bust out an old dessert favorite: Rice Krispy Treats. I can’t remember the last time I made them, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t have anything more than marshmallows, butter and rice krispies. Since we’re a bit more grown up now, it only seemed appropriate to make the rice krispies more “grown-up” too. Now what grown-up rice krispies are, I really couldn’t tell you. I imagine we’re more creative and innovative now, so I came up with a “grown-up twist,” if you will. I made chocolate-covered peanut butter rice krispy treats with chunks of peanut butter cups, and Reese’s Pieces decorating the tops. Sounds kind of deadly, right? Right.
I got my inspiration from a few different blogs, but the recipe I followed most closely was Brown Eyed Baker’s Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Crisp Squares. I didn’t submerge my squares in chocolate, but I did add the peanut butter cups so that totally makes up for it. The squares were a bit crispier than I’d have liked — you actually had to bite into them, instead of just tearing them apart and enjoying their gooey-goodness. The flavor, however, was fantastic. I imagine the addition of some extra marshmallows would’ve done the trick. All in all, a smashing success, and it reminded me of my childhood in the fondest way possible.
Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats
1½ Tablespoons butter
5 ounces (or ½ bag) marshmallows
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups crisped rice cereal
2 cups (1 bag) milk chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening
Optional: chopped peanut butter cups and Reese’s Pieces
1. Grease an 8×8-inch pan. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add in the marshmallow and stir until melted. Add the peanut butter and continue stirring until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in the cereal until completely coated.
3. With buttered hands, press the mixture into the greased pan and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or until set.
4. Remove pan from refrigerator, run a knife around the edges and turn out onto a cutting board. Cut into 36 squares.
5. Using either a double boiler or a microwave heating in 30-second intervals, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together until completely melted and smooth.
6. Working with one square at a time, drop a square into the chocolate and, using a toothpick, turn it over so it is completely covered in chocolate and then remove it to a baking sheet lined with a sheet of wax paper. Repeat with all squares.
7. Refrigerate until chocolate has set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
For someone who loves to make things from scratch (and not the semi-homemade way, like these are made), rice krispy treats have always been a serious weakness of mine, and I’m so happy I’ve rediscovered. Some love never dies, I guess. I can remember being so obsessed with them in the first couple of years at college that on days when they had rice krispies in the dining hall, I’d get several text messages from friends making sure I knew they were there. Usually I’d already been twice, and headed for a third round, but it’s the thought that counts right? I simply couldn’t get enough.
I’ve still got a whole bag of marshmallows, and a half-box of cereal, so don’t be surprised if you see more krispy treats coming soon!
With love, and sugar. I’ll be back very soon