Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars

Some days only the flavors of rich chocolate and smooth peanut butter can soothe your troubled soul which makes these Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars the perfect cure for whatever ails you.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars one sitting on top the other backlit with chocolate chips on the side.

When I was a teenager I went through a phase where I loved making up recipes. I didn’t know what I was doing, of course.

Maybe that’s why I liked it. The process and the outcomes were always a mystery!

A sweet vegan treat of rice crispy bars and soy milk.

Combining chocolate, peanut butter and rice crispies used to be a favorite treat back then, and I had nearly forgotten about it until recently. Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars. Just saying it again makes me feel all happy inside!

Chocolate and peanut butter combined on a spoon with some sprinkles of chocolate chips on the side.

Who can deny the perfect pairing of chocolate and peanut butter? That with a little bit of snap and crackling rice crispies makes for a perfect mid-day treat!

A collage of peanut butter chocolate and rice crispy bar photographs.

If you know any hobbits, they’re not too shabby as a second breakfast either.

A close-up shot of Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars

I do whatever my rice crispies tell me.

I saw that on a bumper sticker once. I’m still laughing about it today.

Namely Marly Chocolate Peanut butter bars are vegan and gluten free

It’s kind of funny to think that I’ve returned to the passions of my youth. I went through a period where I felt cooking was too domestic so I spent as little time as possible in the kitchen. I was making my way in the world and didn’t have time for domesticity. That meant we ended up eating out. A lot!

Then I read a book which changed my life. You may know the author, Sue Monk Kidd. Before she wrote Secret Life of Bees and other fabulous novels, she wrote a little book called The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. I had many powerful take-aways from this book but one of my favorites was understanding that feminine and masculine characteristics fall on a spectrum and that each and every one of us share in those traits, whether male or female.

What an empowering thought! Spending time in the kitchen doesn’t have to be a household, feminine chore. It can be, and is, an expression of creativity!

And a dose of creativity was definitely needed in my kitchen recently. That’s because I could remember eating these delicious rice crispy bars as a teenager, but now as an adult I couldn’t for the life of me remember how I made them.

Afternoon snack bars stacked one on top of the other.

So I know these are not the same as what I made before, but somehow I think they’re actually better.

Vegan, gluten-free, chocolate peanut butter bars.

My favorite flavors of chocolate and peanut butter combine to make a delicious gluten free and vegan sweet treat.

Creativity and science combined = Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars². In other words, they’re so good you might want to double the recipe!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars

Ingredients

  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup cocoa (optional)
  • 3 cups Rice Crispy (or Rice Krispies) cereal
  • Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread (see recipe below)
  • Chocolate Fudge Topping (see recipe below)

Directions

  1. Prepare your pan by using non-dairy margarine to grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Combine corn syrup, white, and brown sugar in a small sauce pan and cover over low to medium heat for several minutes until the mixture becomes smooth. Remove from heat
  3. Add the peanut butter (and cocoa if you’re including that) and stir until everything is combined quite nicely.
  4. Pour in the rice crispy cereal and stir some more until each rice crispy has had its fair share of  peanut butter (or chocolate peanut butter) coating.
  5. Now pour that crispy goodness into your prepared pan and spread it around some. You can use your fingers or the greased back of a spoon to press the crispy treat mix into the bottom of the pan.
  6. Top that with the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread (recipe below)
  7. Then top that with the Chocolate Fudge Topping (recipe below)
  8. Cover and place the pan in the fridge where you can stand nearby for an hour and waiting for it to set. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread

Ingredients

  • 1 package vegan cream cheese
  • 1 cup creamy (or crunchy if you like it that way) peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on low heat for several seconds until the cream cheese is pliable enough to stir.
  2. Stir ingredients together.
  3. This is great as part of this recipe, but you can also use this sweet spread over rice cakes, cookies, and cakes. It’s a multi-talented kind of recipe!

Chocolate Fudge Topping

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Coconut Spread (or coconut oil)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons soy milk

Directions

  1. Combine the chocolate chips and coconut spread (or coconut oil) in a small microwave-safe bowl (or small saucepan if you prefer cooking it over the stove). Microwave for about 22 seconds and stir everything. Repeat until the chocolate is melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate!
  2. Once the chocolate mixture is melted add soy milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach just the right texture – when it’s spreadable, but not too thin.
  3. Just like the Peanut Butter Spread above, this stuff is delicious on just about everything. OK. Maybe not veggie burgers.

 

These dessert bars go perfectly with a tall glass of soy milk. Enjoy!

Posted 2 years ago by Marly on Friday, March 9th, 2012 · Permalink

26 Responses to Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars

  1. could i use brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup??

    • I think you definitely could use brown rice syrup. I’m considering using agave nectar in my next batch. Oh, trust me, there will be a next batch!

      Let me know how the brown rice syrup goes!

    • Just a heads up, on the latest episode of Dr. Oz there were warnings about arsenic being in brown rice syrup.

  2. Oh WOW these look incredible! I used to love rice krispie treats, and I was ecstatic when they came out with peanut butter ones (do they still make those??). But this, this is even better!

    • I agree it’s even better! I used to love rice crispy treats too. It’s surprising to think they’re not even vegetarian, let alone vegan! People look at me like I’m from another planet when I say that. Well, they look at me like that a lot, but that’s beside the point. So glad you like the recipe!

  3. omg! that looks SO good.

    I live in SA and vegan cream cheese is not available. Is there something I can substitute or is there an easy way to make it?

    nom nom nom.

    • Hi Jovana. I have an idea for you, but first you have to promise not to laugh.

      Here’s the deal. I used the vegan cream cheese to give me a creamy, sweet peanut butter spread. One of my favorite things to create creamy spreads is…chickpeas. Can you believe it? I frequently will whip up a can of chickpeas to use in a recipes that might call for tofu or something like that. I feel like the chickpeas are healthier, cheaper, and I just like the way they sound. Chickpeas. Kinda cute, don’t you think?

      Anyway, I have frequently made my own chickpea/peanut butter spread. I should post about that I guess! Rinse a can of chickpeas and place them in a food processor or blender. Add at least 1 cup (maybe even two) of peanut butter. You need enough peanut butter to overshadow the taste of the chickpeas. I add about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of agave nectar or some other kind of sweet syrup. You could probably use powdered sugar here if you don’t mind using sugar. You may need to add a little bit of water to thin out the mixture. Process this for a bit until it’s nice and smooth. Here’s the fun part – take a little taste or two to make sure it meets your needs. It should be slightly sweet and you should taste the peanut butter over the chickpeas. I love this stuff. So tasty!

      The thing is, this will make more than you’ll need for the rice crispy treats. You could have a thicker layer of the peanut butter spread over the rice crispy treats. That sounds yummy! And you can use the leftovers in many fun ways. I like to use this when making recipes that call for peanut butter. It is so delicious, you can even serve it as a creamy, sweet dip at your next party. You could have animal crackers or even pretzels on the side for dipping. Ahh, the possibilities are endless.

      Let me know if this works for you or not.

  4. That works perfectly! :) Thank you so much. I’m going to try it out and let you know tomorrow or Wednesday.

    I want to make these bars so badly.

    Peanut butter + chocolate + rice crispies seems to be a match made in heaven.

    The chickpea idea seems like a PERFECT idea. Can’t wait! Thank you SO SO MUCH :) Often when I read vegan blogs I don’t get a response on substitutes – which can be frustrating because I live in SA where vegans are not really catered for.

    • Can’t wait to hear how it works for you. I think I’m going to try it myself!

  5. “I do whatever my rice crispies tell me.” HAHA! I love that!

  6. Okay, I made them last night.

    It made a decent pan size and I gave half of it away (simply because I can’t afford to eat that many – lol!).

    The Peanut butter with chickpeas…. WORKED LIKE A CHARM. OMG. It was SO, SO good! I was literally licking it off the spoon while working with it… lol!

    These things are absolutely delish….

  7. YUM! What a wonderful combination– chocolate, peanut butter and rice crispies? I love it. And it’s vegan. You are a genius, my friend.

  8. betty hatfield

    This sounds incredible. Does it have to be kept refrigerated?

    • We ate them so quickly that we didn’t need to worry about refrigeration. If you think it will take you longer than a few days to get through them, you might want to refrigerate them. But I’d probably let them sit to get to room temperature before eating them – otherwise they might be difficult to chew!

  9. I am so going to try this with Nutella!

  10. What could I use instead of the coconut oil or spread?

    • Any dairy-free margarine should work just fine. You could probably even use vegetable oil. In fact, if you didn’t want to do that, you could just add little more soy (or other dairy-free) milk. Your chocolate will set on the creamy side but it should still taste just as good!

  11. These look fantastic! And I love the chickpea-rather-than-cream cheese idea. Thanks!

    • I agree. Now I’m going to have to make them again, but this time with the chickpea variation. Yumm!

  12. Oh my lord. I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I need this in my life, like, now. They remind me of something my grandma used to make (but far from vegan). My step-daughter was walking behind me while I was looking at this, and she stopped in her tracks when she saw the pictures. Then she asked when we’re having them, lol. Can’t wait to try them! Thank you!

    • Hi Kristy – I can’t wait for you to try them and then let me know how it goes! I love things that remind me of meals with my family. That reminds me, I think there might be a big family meal coming this weekend! Yeah!

  13. In the first part of the directions, in step 4, it says to coat the crisps in the chocolate peanut butter coating. Is there a missing ingredient to the first section of mixing? I don’t see that there’s chocolate in that part of the recipe. I made it as stated so we’ll see how it turns out tomorrow!:)

    • Hi Della! Thanks for pointing that out. I realized based on your comment that I forgot to include the cocoa in the first part of the recipe. It’s optional and would taste fine either way. I just happened to like the idea of a chocolate peanut buttery spread. I hope you enjoyed the bars!

  14. Made these the other night and oh my dear lord. Did a double batch, here were my swaps:
    -used brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup
    -didn’t use the cream cheese layer
    -only did a single batch of the chocolate, but did dark chocolate and salted it

    Everyone who has been freaking out at how amazing they are. If I had put in the cream cheese layer, our heads might have exploded! Thank you for the recipe!

  15. Hi there, these look absolutely amazing and I love your photos. I am trying to avoid peanut butter, do you think almond butter or cashew butter would work well in these? I know cashew butter works perfectly as a substitute in PB cookies, even better than Almond butter so that might be better. Looking forward to trying these, thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Dana. I’ve never tried anything but peanut butter with these, but I can imagine cashew butter and it sounds fantastic. What about hazelnut butter? I mean, how can you go wrong with hazelnut and chocolate? OK. Well, anything with chocolate really works here so let me know if you try it and how it goes!

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