Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Bars

Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Bars bring back so many childhood memories. These crunchy, marshmallowy treats whip up quickly and they’re always a big hit around our house. I make the lazy girl’s version and just melt everything in the microwave. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it doesn’t change the finished product a bit from the melt-on-the-stove method.

These bars aren’t just a delicious snack, they’re also a great way to introduce your kids to baking, even though there’s no actual baking in the recipe. This is one of those recipes that older kids can be turned loose to make on their own with minimal supervision once they get the hang of it. The best part is, they should only end up with a couple of dishes to clean at the end. Even if your kids aren’t old enough to tackle this recipe on their own, I find that little ones love helping to pour in cups of cereal. They also love stirring the marshmallows and watching them start to melt.

Variety of breakfast cereals.

While puffed rice cereal is the classic choice for this recipe, many other types of cereal can be used in its place. Obviously, the taste and texture will change depending on the cereal you use. I recommend using other light and puffy types of cereal — don’t try to use a shredded wheat or whole grain cereal. I have enjoyed this recipe with the cocoa version of puffed rice cerseal and have also make a corn flake version that was different but still very tasty. I would love to hear about your favorite cereal experiments with this peanut butter bar recipe!

Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Bars

3 from 23 votes
Recipe by Add Recipes Course: Dessert
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups Puffed rice cereal

  • 1 package (10 oz) Mini marshmallows

  • 1/2 cup Peanut butter, creamy

  • 1/4 cup Butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

Directions

  • Grease 9 x 13 inch baking dish with softened butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  • In large microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine mini marshmallows and butter. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir. Repeat microwaving and stirring at 45 second intervals until butter and marshmallows are melted and combined. This usually takes 3-5 minutes, depending on wattage of microwave.
  • Quickly add creamy peanut butter to melted marshmallow/butter mixture, stir to combine. Add salt, mix in thoroughly.
  • Add cereal 1-2 cups at a time, stirring thoroughly until all combine.
  • Pour mixture into greased baking dish, spread and press down with spatula. Cool 1-2 hours on countertop or chill 30 minutes in refrigerator before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • Mini marshmallows can be substituted with 10 oz of other types of marshmallows or marshmallow creme. Mini marshmallows are recommended because they melt more evenly and quickly in the microwave.
  • Creamy peanut butter is highly recommended. Additional butter or peanut butter may be required if chunky peanut butter is used.
  • Salt may be omitted.
  • This recipe will work with virtually any sort of puffy cereal if you would like to experiment with different flavors.
  • Marshmallows and butter can be melted in a saucepan on the stove over low heat. Be sure to stir constantly.

I use mini marshmallows with this recipe. They melt quickly, uniformly, and easily in the microwave. Any other shape of marshmallow will taste the same and is perfectly acceptable, I just like working with the many ones. I have on occasion used marshmallow creme when I have some leftover from fudge-making. The texture of marshmallow creme is a bit different to me, and I don’t really like using it, although the difference it makes is small and probably not worth worrying about it marshmallow creme is what you have on hand.

Semi-sweet chocolate chips.

“To top your Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Bars or not to top them?” that is the question. I do occasionally put a chocolate topping on this recipe. If I have baking chocolate on hand, I use that, but often I just use semi-sweet chocolate chips because I have them. I find 1 1/2 – 2 cups of chocolate chips melted is enough to cover the whole baking dish full of bars. As always with melted chocolate chips, the chocolate can be a bit grainy and there is often a chalky residue on top of the chocolate once it hardens again, but it tastes good.

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