As I think I've mentioned before, when I became a stay-at-home mom last year I also became a Pampered Chef consultant. I needed a way to make some extra money without having to be outside the house too much, and Pampered Chef fit the bill. It's a super fun job to have - I get out, I meet new people, and I get to try awesome new recipes like this one.
I'm doing a show this weekend with a Valentine's Day theme, so I'm making a dessert and a wine-based drink. The host and I chose this recipe together, but I'd never actually made it so I figured it would be good to give it a whirl before the show. And I am SO glad I did. Wow - these are good!
They are sort of like a kicked-up rice krispie treat. The bottom layer is your standard rice krispie treat, but with pretzels mixed in for crunch and salt. Then it's topped with a peanut butter layer, and finally a coating of chocolate ganace garnished with peanuts and pretzels. The salty/sweet/chewy/crunchy combos are out of this world. I ate way more of these than I care to admit. Plus, they are quick and easy - no baking required. Any Valentine would be more than happy to receive these treats!
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
Recipe from: The Pampered Chef
1/4 cup (50 mL) dry-roasted peanuts
3 cups (750 mL) mini pretzel twists (about 1 2/3 cups/400 mL coarsely crushed), divided
3 cups (750 mL) crisp rice cereal
3/4 cup (175 mL) butter (1½ sticks), divided
1 bag (10.5 oz or 250 g) miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup (125 mL) light corn syrup, divided
1 bag (10 oz or 300 g) peanut butter morsels
1 cup (250 mL) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Coarsely chop peanuts using Food Chopper; set aside. Place pretzels into large resealable plastic bag; coarsely crush using flat side of Meat Tenderizer. Set aside 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the pretzels. Place remaining pretzels and cereal in Stainless (4-qt./4-L) Mixing Bowl.
Place 6 tbsp (90 mL) of the butter in Classic Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 60-90 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows; microwave on HIGH 60-90 seconds. Stir until marshmallows are completely melted using Mix ‘N Scraper® (see Cook's Tip). Immediately add marshmallow mixture to mixing bowl; mix thoroughly. Spread crust evenly over Medium Sheet Pan; firmly press into pan using Baker's Roller®.
Combine 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the butter and half of the corn syrup in Small Micro-Cooker®. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 60-90 seconds or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in peanut butter morsels; mix until melted (mixture will be stiff). Spread peanut butter mixture over crust using Small Spreader.
For ganache, place remaining butter and corn syrup in Small Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 60-90 seconds or until melted. Stir in chocolate morsels; mix until smooth. Spread ganache evenly over peanut butter mixture. Sprinkle with peanuts and reserved pretzels. Place in freezer 5-10 minutes or until ganache is set. Cut into 24 squares; cut squares in half.
Yield: 24 servings