Just Like My Mom Used to Make: Peanut Butter Bars

These peanut butter bars were one of my favourite treats when I was growing up. My mom never used to put anything on top, but who can resist a layer of chocolate or caramel frosting? I love the taste of chocolate and peanut butter and knew this would be awesome, but I’d never thought of a caramel frosting. I haven’t made these since I was a kid because it was a recipe my mom kept in her head and thus I never got it from her before she passed away. I kind of forgot about it, but when I came across something similar it brought back memories from my childhood. I was on staff room duty and had to bring a treat in, so thought I would try out this recipe and see how it measured up to my memories! It was very yummy! I had to make a double batch, so I decided to make half with melted chocolate on top and the other batch with the caramel frosting recipe I found on Now You’re Cooking (by Joan Donogh).

Peanut Butter Bars

 These are quick and easy and can be completed within 20 minutes easily!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup Corn Flakes
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies

Instructions:

  1. Place brown sugar and corn syrup in a microwave safe dish. Microwave until the sugar is melted. Stir well.
  2. Add the peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until peanut butter is melted and ingredients are well combined. (Mic a few extra seconds, if necessary.)
  3. Fold in the cereal.
  4. Line an 8 inch square pan with foil. Press the mixture into the pan.

Optional Toppings:

Nothing!

How boring!

Chocolate Topping:

  •     1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish and heat to melt. My microwave has a “melt chocolate” setting, so I’m not exactly sure how long, but I would only do about 15 seconds at a time and then stop to stir after each interval of heat, if you’re not sure how long to put them on for. Stir melted chocolate until smooth and then spread evenly over the surface. Place in fridge to set.

Caramel Frosting:

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream (or milk)
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Add brown sugar and stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Add milk and cook and stir until it comes to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add icing sugar. Beat until creamy. Stir in vanilla.  Spread icing on top of the peanut butter square base. Refrigerate to set. Cut into squares. Can be stored at room temperature.

Tips:

*I like to line my “squares” with foil. It is generally really easy to lift out the entire square when its set/ready. This makes for easy, even cutting. I much prefer this than trying to dig pieces out of a pan.
*When melting chocolate in the microwave, you do not need to heat it to the point of it all being melted. Stop and stir often and you will find that even when it is still quite lumpy, it often only needs to be stirred in order to melt the remaining pieces. Be careful not to over heat or scorch it.
*When covering a square with melted chocolate, I always set my timer for 10 minutes immediately after placing it in the fridge. When the timer goes check and see if the surface has solidified. If it still appears “melted”, give it only a couple of more minutes before checking on it again. You want to remove it from the fridge and “score” the top with a knife. If you score the surface of the chocolate before the entire surface has hardened, you can avoid breakage during cutting. It is so frustrating when you go to cut a dainty and the chocolate breaks while cutting. Scoring really helps to eliminate this problem.
About Cindy RoyI am a busy mother, wife and kindergarten teacher. I have a huge list of loves! I love my family, Springs Church, old houses, "up-cycling" and DIY projects, scrapbooking, volleyball, interior design, cake decorating, party planning, healthy eating, and sleeping. I am very organized and reflective, and am continually striving to do life more lovingly, passionately, effectively and successfully.

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