Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

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My dad and I happened to both be free one afternoon so we indulged in a weekday downtown lunch + museum exhibit. American artist Dale Chihuly‘s blown glass creations are currently at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and his work is stunning! Now if you’re looking for a weekday indulgence in baking form, these peanut butter crispy bars are it. Rich and sticky, these bars are best consumed in small portions. From smooth to crunchy, the textured layers compliment each other. And who doesn’t love the pairing of chocolate and peanut butter? Enjoy!

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Bon appétit!

Recipe adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Yields 9 bars

Ingredients:
•Crispy crust
1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
•Milk chocolate peanut butter layer
5 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter
•Chocolate icing
3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon light corn syrup
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Instructions:
•Crispy crust
1)Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
2)Pour the cereal into a large bowl and set aside.
3)Pour ¼ cup water into a small saucepan.
4)Add the sugar and corn syrup. Gently stir the mixture until just combined.
5)Attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the mixture until it reaches the soft-ball stage, 235F.
6)Remove the saucepan from the heat.
7)Add the butter.
8)Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir until all the cereal is coated.
9)Pour the cereal into the prepared pan. Use your hands to press it down. Let the crust cool to room temperature.
•Milk chocolate peanut butter layer
1)Stir the chocolate and peanut butter together in a large heat-proof bowl.
2)Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook. Use a spatula to stir the mixture until it is smooth.
3)Remove the bowl from the saucepan and stir for about 30 seconds to cool it slightly.
4)Pour the mixture over the cooled crust.
5)Place the baking pan in the fridge for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens.
•Chocolate icing
1)Combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in a large heat-proof bowl.
2)Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir the mixture until smooth.
3)Remove the bowl from the saucepan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly.
4)Pour the mixture over the chilled milk chocolate peanut butter layer. Use a small offset spatula to spread it evenly.
5)Place the baking pan in the fridge for 1 hour or until the topping hardens.
6)Slice into 9 squares.
Store the bars in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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