Serious Eats: Recipes

Cakespy: Chocolate Peanut Butter Special K Bars

[Art and photograph: Jessie Oleson]

To me, the American Midwest is a magical land where bars reign supreme. I'm not talking about places where people meet and drink, although there are plenty of those too. I'm talking about bar cookies. Bakeries in the Midwest seem to devote prime bakery case real estate to the decadent treats in a way I've seen in no other part of the country--it's a truly beautiful thing.

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And while recently taking a road trip through this veritable bar country, I came across an especially fascinating specimen at several different bakeries: the Special K Bar. These no-bake bars, which generally resemble bricks in both size and weight, were comprised of a dense, crunchy-chewy mixture of corn syrup, sugar, peanut butter, and Special K cereal, all topped with about a half-inch of fudgy chocolate topping.

They're almost indescribably rich, but completely addictive--so bad, but so good. Needless to say, upon returning home I immediately set out to recreate this magic in my own kitchen. My version is just as decadent as the ones I found in bakeries, but they seem slightly more virtuous when served in small, truffle-sized portions.

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