New Baked book. First chapter. First recipe. Authors Matt and Renato said it was one of their all-time favorite recipes, and normally they don't play favorites. The name is way too cute, and the list of ingredients made me think that I'd be making glorified rice krispie treats, but the Baked guys have never given me reason to doubt them. And so I made these tonight.
They're like the very best treats that awesome woman leaves on the lounge table at work for no reason, only better. They're like Whatchamacallits, only way better and there's 24 of them. No butter. Gluten-free if you use Rice Chex! You can whip them up in 15 minutes. No baking. And when your teeth scrape that caramely, peanutty residue off your mixing spoon, you will know that this recipe is a game-changer. I have no interest in rice krispie treats anymore. These are just stupidly good.
- 6 cups crunchy, plain cereal such as Rice Chex
- 1 1/4 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter <--wanna make your own? Consider trying the bonus recipe below!
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped <--or half a bag of chips
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs the pan on two sides. Butter the parchment. All I did was line the pan with parchment paper and spray it with Pam.
Place the cereal and peanuts in a large bowl and use your hands to toss together until mixed well.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil for one full minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until the mixture is combined.
Pour the sugar mixture over the cereal mixture and use a spoon or well-greased hands (be careful as the liquid may still be very hot) to toss until the cereal is completely coated with the sugar mixture.
Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan. Grease your hands (spray with Pam!) and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan, being careful not to crush the cereal. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature (if you wish to speed this process, you may place the entire pan in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes).
Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler. Use as spoon or piping bag to decorate the tops of the bars in a stripe or zigzag pattern. Allow the chocolate to set.
Lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang, and cut them into approximately 3 by 1.5-inch rectangles, i.e. candy bars.
The bars can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. If the weather is hot and humid, you might want to keep them in the refrigerator instead.
I MADE PEANUT BUTTER!
(I've always said that our living room floor is the exact color of peanut butter, and this photo proves it.)
The substance I created was too dry (Play-Doh texture) to qualify as spreadable peanut butter, but it's a tasty-enough peanutty condiment. I would have done more to make it smoother, but our 22 year-old food processor began overheating and couldn't handle it. Feeling sorry for the food processor, I suspended the peanut butter project. Maybe yours can do a better job...?
I used a 50-50 mixture of this and store-brand smooth peanut butter in the recipe above. I also keep my homemade peanut doh by the couch in the living room and have been known to eat it right out of the jar. Using my fingers. Don't be like me.
- 2 1/2 cups home-roasted or store-bought roasted peanuts
- 1/2 teasoon salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 to 3 teaspoons peanut oil, as needed
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, to taste (optional)
Place the peanuts in a food processor. Sprinkle the salt and drizzle the honey over the peanuts. Pulse in 30-second bursts 4 to 5 times until the peanuts are reduced to a thick, pastelike consistency.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, replace the lid, and process while slowly adding 1 teaspoon of the peanut oil through the feed tube. Continue proessing for another minute or two until you reach the desired consistency. If the peanut butter is too thick, slowly add more peanut oil while pulsing. (I also added more honey and--sorry, Baked guys--a bit of sugar along with the oil. Still too thick! I think my peanuts must have been exceptionally dry.)
Once the preferred consistency is reached, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of fleur de sel and process again for 5 seconds. Taste, and add more fleur de sel if necessary.
Homemade peanut butter can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 45 days.