Everyday Food (March 2012)
We spent this weekend out in West Virginia. Our friends Charlie and Scott invited us, along with our friends Drew and Ralph, to come out to their cabin for a few days in the country. We jumped at the chance to get out of the city for the weekend.
You may remember this cabin as the scene of the crime for The Bacon Explosion two years ago. (Never. Forget.) You may also recall that Scott and Charlie introduced us to a lovely libation known as a Porch Crawler. This weekend introduced us to another new drink -- the Pickleback. It's a whiskey shot with a pickle-juice chaser. Believe it or not, we really enjoyed 'em!
Anyway, we didn't want to show up to the cabin empty-handed. So we took a quick spin through the current food magazines, searching for something that we could easily make on a Thursday night, and that would travel well to work on Friday, and then on the two-hour drive out to the cabin. Cakes and pies were out of the question. We needed something easy that would be a crowd-pleaser.
These no-bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cereal Bars looked like just the ticket. We ran to the supermarket on Thursday after work to buy some sugary cereal.
This recipe makes 12 bars, but since there were going to be six of us there for the weekend, and we knew the two of us would sample at least one bar apiece while making them, doubling this recipe was a no-brainer.
So we did. Two boxes of cereal, more than eight cups of marshmallows, and an ample amount of peanut butter and chocolate chips make a whole lot of cereal bars. Not that too many bars was a problem. Never you fear, they were all consumed.
The bars were a hit. If we had one slight criticism, it's that's the bars didn't have enough marshmallow in them, so the result was a bit crunchier than we expected. (The fault there may have been our own, in sloppy doubling of the recipe.) We found an easy fix for that, though, by popping the bars in the microwave for 20 seconds.
Just don't eat these with a Pickleback. Those are not flavors you want to be mixing. TRUST.
Makes 12 bars
8 cups chocolate crisp-puffed rice cereal
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
10 ounces miniature marshmallows (4 3/4 cups)
3/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment. Lightly spray parchment. Place cereal in a large bowl.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium. Add marshmallows, peanut butter and salt and cook, stirring, until mixture is melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and and stir into cereal until combined. Let mixture cool slightly, 4 minutes (mixture should still be pliable), then stir in chocolate chips and peanuts.
With a spatula (or your fingers) lightly coated with cooking spray, press into pan. Let stand at room temperature until set, about 20 minutes. Using parchment, lift from pan and cut into 12 bars. (Store in an airtight container up to 5 days.)