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 it into the pan to set. Texturally, not only do the crispy flakes re-iterate the crunchiness of the chopped peanuts, but the flakes 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.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.