Why It Works
- Corn flakes and chopped peanuts provide a crunchy texture.
- The corn flakes keep the peanut butter filling from becoming overly dense.
I sure do love my peanut butter. Funny Bones, Reese's pieces, Reese's peanut butter cups, warm peanut butter sundae topping, Captain Crunch Peanut Butter cereal (the best cereal ever), chocolate peanut butter balls, peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter mousse....and every once in a while I wake up in the middle of the night for a spoonful of the stuff right outta the jar. Yes, I wake up with peanut butter on the brain.
So needless to say I get really excited when I get to make something with both peanut butter and chocolate. And it's even more of a thrill when I don't have to turn on an oven to do it. Here, peanut butter and chocolate star once again in these awesome no-bake peanut butter bars that are topped with chopped peanuts and a thin candy coating of pure chocolate.
But there's a twist. This time it's not all about the peanut butter and chocolate: A couple of handfuls of crunchy corn flakes are the secret 'leave-em-guessing' ingredient to these no-bake bar cookies. Corn flake cereal is lightly hand crushed and then folded into the peanut butter mixture before spreading into the pan to set. Texturally, not only do the crispy flakes re-iterate the crunchiness of the chopped peanuts, but also do a fine job lightening the consistency of the peanut butter mixture so that the texture isn't dense. Keeping the finished bars chilled results in a very firm candy-like confection, but if you prefer them softer, keep the bars at room temperature after the first chill to set.
All of the textures and flavors are brought to compelling heights from a pinch of extra salt and salty peanuts. It's almost like you've added a crushed-up Butterfinger into the peanut butter mixture. Whether your guests will be able to figure out the secret ingredient or not, one thing is certain: You won't be able to stop eating them. Now that's just one more reason to get up in the middle of the night to eat peanut butter.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup light brown sugar
4 cups corn flakes, lightly crushed
1/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped and divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with foil (see notes). In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add peanut butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt and continue to cook, stirring, until melted and smooth.
Stir in corn flakes, 1/4 cup peanuts, and vanilla until just combined. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth top.
In a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (or in a microwave), heat chocolate until just melted. Spread over top. Sprinkle with remaining chopped peanuts. Chill until firm, about 2 hours (see notes). Remove from pan and cut into 2-inch squares.
8- by 8-inch pan (see notes)
A 9- by 9-inch pan can also be used.
Bars will soften at room temperature. For best results, keep chilled until ready to serve.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 16g||21%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||29%|
|Total Carbohydrate 24g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 14g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||7%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|