Have you ever been struck with a craving? Wait, that was a dumb question. Despite what our middle school teachers told us, there is such a thing. Well, have you ever been struck by multiple cravings and not known how to get a little of each at once? That is the first world problem I solved with these bars one fine Friday after work. I wanted salty and sweet and caramel-y, and chocolatey, and the desire for homemade rice crispy treats had been nagging me all.week.long. These craving bars are layers of classic rice crispy treats, pretzels, caramel, and peanut butter rice crispy treats, dipped in dark chocolate, then sprinkled with sea salt. There's a lot going on here but don't be afraid! The combination is just perfect and the flavor is LIT. If I could add a flame emoji here I would.
These are also easy to make and, although there are a few more steps than many of my recipes (nine to be exact), it's not a complicated process at all. I estimate under thirty minutes to for the whole deal from start to finish. And the reward is so worth it! If you can make regular rice crispy treats then you can most-assuredly make these. And even if you can't, just try them out. I accidentally started eating these before photographing my initial attempt, resulting in another round--which came out just as delicious the first one. I think that's what professionals refer to as recipe testing? So just for y'all, I made another batch. You're welcome. 🙂 Think of these as grown-up rice crispy treats. Kids would probably love them, too but a our mature palates will truly appreciate all the complementary flavors going one here.
I hope you'll try and enjoy these craving bars (and tell me what you think). Thanks for reading!
Rice Crispy Craving Bars
- 12 cups crispy rice cereal
- 2 bags marshmallows about 21 ounces
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 10 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 1 bag caramels 11 ounces
- 24 snack-sized pretzels
- sea salt
- splash of water
- Line a rectangular baking pan with wax paper then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Melt three tablespoons of butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat the add one bag of marshmallows and mix until melted and smooth.
- Turn off heat and add three cups of cereal. Incorporate cereal into the marshmallow mixture then add three more cups of cereal and mix until all cereal is coated and mixture is uniform.
- Spread mixture into lined pan evenly (a rubber spatula is helpful for this) and carefully as it will be hot. Press pretzels into top of mixture.
- Add (unwrapped) caramels and a splash of water to a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until melted and smooth (about 2 minutes).
- Evenly pour caramel on top of pretzels.
- Repeat initial steps with remaining butter, marshmallows, and cereal but this time add peanut butter to the melted butter and mix well before adding marshmallows.
- Spread on top of pretzels and caramel. Allow to cool completely. Cut into two-inch squares.
- Melt chocolate chips (can be done in a microwave-safe bowl by heating for one minute in 30-second intervals and stirring) and dip bars about ⅓ way into chocolate then sprinkle with sea salt.