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Rice Krispie & Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Rice Krispie & Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

The first rule of entertaining: always stash some for yourself.

Especially when it comes to dessert.

Because after the crowd of tipsy beer-fanatics have their way with the dessert tray, there won’t be a solitary crumb left.

In hindsight, perhaps this particular dessert wasn’t the best choice for an outdoor gathering that day, considering the humidity had to be at least 327% (in other words, downright sticky). But the fact that the topping was melting all over everyone’s hands didn’t stop them from devouring the whole tray.

Rice Krispie & Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

What starts as a seemingly ordinary brownie gets sprinkled with chocolate chips and peanut butter cup candies, baked until they just start to melt and puddle, and then topped with a double thick layer of crispy chocolate and peanut butter paradise. It’s like brownie meets rice krispie treat meets peanut butter cup… meets my mouth.

This recipe comes from my friend Averie’s delightful new cookbook, called Peanut Butter Comfort. An entire book about peanut butter? I’m sold. But of course I flipped right to the peanut butter and chocolate chapter, as that is where my true heart lies. (Also, if the idea of a peanut butter cookbook makes you giddy like a schoolgirl, you don’t want to miss tomorrow’s post!)

And remember, even though it seems like a 13-by-9-inch pan makes more than enough, wrap up a few bars and tuck them in a dark corner of the fridge, maybe behind the broccoli or the who-knows-how-old-it-is jar of whatnot where the other members of your household won’t think to look. Trust me. Your future self will thank me later.

Rice Krispie & Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Yield: 18 to 24 brownies

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

For Brownie Base:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder or 2 tablespoons brewed coffee (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 full-sized peanut butter cups, chopped, or 1 cup mini peanut butter cups

For Crispie Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil; spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Combine butter and 3/4 cup chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat on high power for 60 to 90 seconds, stirring every 10 to 15 seconds to prevent scorching. When chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, stir in sugar and brown sugar. Batter may seem grainy, that's ok.
  3. Add the coffee or espresso powder and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
  4. Whisk in eggs until incorporated. Sprinkle the flour over top and fold until just combined. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips then pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until brownies are mostly done. Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped peanut butter cups and remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips over top, then return to oven and bake for 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, to prepare topping, combine 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat on high power for 1 minute, stirring every 10 to 15 seconds, until melted and smooth. Add rice cereal and toss to coat. Spread cereal mixture in a smooth layer on top of brownies, then cover and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes or overnight, or until topping is cooled and set before slicing and serving. Brownies will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.

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54 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Oh my! These definitely qualify for pre-guest stashing!! :)

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Holy crapolla yummy!!

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Such goodness!!! I agree with the stashing definitely

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Lindsay they are beautiful! They make me want to re-make this recipe! As you said, even though a 9×13 pan seems like plenty, it’s always good to stash a few :) I am so glad to hear they were a hit and I am convinced that no matter the weather, PB + chocolate are always a win.

    Thank you for trying this recipe from my cookbook and for the wonderful post!

    And that tree trunk board…you find the BEST props! I want it! :)

    Reply

    • Posted On August 13, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Found it at World Market! Word of warning: it smells like bacon (go figure).

  5. 5
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I’m not a peanut butter lover, but I think I am now! These look fantastic and as always your photos are gorgeous! Now I’m off to World Market ;)

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Oh my! These are utterly over the top. I can’t wait to give them a try! :)

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I have that same board from Crate & Barrel…it definitely smells like bacon haha

    These are beautiful and beyond genius!!!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Those little peanut butter cups are about the cutest things I’ve seen!

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I love your food photography! And these look so amazing, I need to make them especially since I’ve been on a big peanut butter kick this summer. :D

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 10:48 am

    YUM!!! will def be making this! peanut butter is the best. and this look like everything i love. thanks for sharing!

    kbaked.wordpress.com

    Reply

  11. 11
    Larissa
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 11:03 am

    The amount of chocolate chips in the brownie part doesn’t add up. Or else I am just missing it (which is possible, it happens all the time). I think you have a remaining 3/4 cup for the melting on top of the brownie part. No?
    Help!

    Reply

    • Posted On August 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      You’re right, it’s 1/4 cup off, should be 1 3/4 cup total. Fixed in recipe! :)

  12. 12
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 11:15 am

    oh my… those look decadent. xox

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 11:21 am

    How convenient – i have a box of rice krispies and chocolate already in the house!!

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Loving your styling, Averie’s recipe and your first rule of entertaining, “… always stash some for yourself.” I have Averie’s PB cookbook and need to make these soon! Wonderful adaptation and post, Lindsay!

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I think this might just be the perfect dessert for my upcoming cocktail party on Sunday afternoon. And… if I pair it with grapefruit juice can I call it breakfast? It’s got eggs, cereal, coffee…..

    Reply

  16. 16
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Your brownies are gorgeous, but what I REALLY want is that tray!!

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Forget some, I’m keeping the whole tray to myself!

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    These look so chocolatey and peanut-buttery good! I would definitely stash some…or not share at all. These just look too good!

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    They might not be outdoor-friendly but they sure look delicious.

    Reply

  20. 20
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    These bars are gorgeous! Loving this recipe!

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Averie has such a tasty ideas. And I like the wooden board, so pretty.

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Absolutely love the sound of these!

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Yeah, I would definitely need to stash some of these away for myself!

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I haven’t been able to look at your site in weeks as my husband and I are currently eating Paleo, and I just caved and had to see what you’re baking and feel like I cheated on my diet just reading this! Delicious.

    Reply

  25. 25
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Wow! These sound in look incredible!! I would double the recipe and and stash one whole pan for myself!

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On August 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I’d be tempted not to share in the first place!

    Reply

  27. 27
    Posted On August 14, 2013 at 10:34 am

    SO glad to know I’m not the only one hiding stuff in the back of the fridge. ;) If I made these, I know FOR SURE I would be stashing some for later!

    Reply

  28. 28
    Posted On August 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Guests? Pffff These would have never made it to the party!

    Reply

  29. 29
    Posted On August 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Love the pictures and the recipe is a keeper.

    Reply

  30. 30
    Posted On August 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    If I had a tray of these brownies, I’d definitely hoard some for myself, too. What beauties. Also, the tree trunk board is pretty.

    Reply

  31. 31
    Posted On August 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    YUM!! I love a little added crunch, makes for great texture!

    Reply

  32. 32
    Posted On August 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Yum! The best of both worlds– brownies and rice krispies!

    Reply

  33. 33
    Posted On August 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    This is such a fun recipe!

    Reply

  34. 34
    Posted On August 14, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    These are just beautiful Lindsay! I am a peanut butter and chocolate girl through and through so I would just adore these. Great recipe Averie!! :)

    Reply

  35. 35
    Posted On August 14, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Averie always creates the most delicious peanut butter and chocolate treats, it looks like you made an excellent selection!

    Reply

  36. 36
    Posted On August 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    These look incredible! I love the thick fudgy krispie layer. I am all about anything with pb and chocolate!

    Reply

  37. 37
    Posted On August 15, 2013 at 12:49 am

    OMG, I NEED to make these! They look insanely good!

    Reply

  38. 38
    darel
    Posted On August 15, 2013 at 3:37 am

    The recipe looks very enticing. Anything with chocolate and peanut butter is heavenly :-) .

    Reply

  39. 39
    Posted On August 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    These sound like a mixture of Crunch bars and Reese’s pb cups…and that’s all good!

    Reply

  40. 40
    Posted On August 15, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I LOVE the idea of combining rice crispy bars with brownies! These look amazing.

    Reply

  41. 41
    Knightcraft
    Posted On August 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I couldnt resist making these last night. Unfortunately, I miss judged the cooling time, so we couldnt have them with the pre-season football goodies. But TODAY… these were freaking awesome!! I brought half of them to work and my desk has been mobbed all day!
    Thank goodness the recipe gives you lots of brownies, or my life may have been in danger!
    Thank you for sharing the LOVE & OLIVE OIL! (see what I did there?)

    Reply

  42. 42
    Posted On August 19, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Aw, sorry to hear you didn’t have any leftovers! These were SO good!

    Reply

  43. 43
    Posted On August 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

    These look aaaamazing! I need them in my life right now! I’d need to make them when I have people round though, otherwise I’d definitely eat all of them to myself!

    Reply

  44. 44
    Posted On August 22, 2013 at 2:49 am

    Oh my word! TWO layers of chocolate-peanut-brownie yumminess.

    Reply

  45. 45
    Posted On August 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Oh goodness! Is there a more heavenly combination?! This just looks divine!

    Reply

  46. 46
    steph
    Posted On September 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Will these last awhile? I have free time today to make these, but I will not need them until two days from now. Whattya think? Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Posted On September 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Covered and refrigerated, yes, I think they’d be fine for 2 days, although the crispies might not be quite as crispy as the first day. But I think the bigger problem is can you not devour them while they sit there for 2 days? haha. :) Good luck!

  47. 47
    Marsha
    Posted On October 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    What a wonderful recipe! My grandsons are going to love this and they are big peanut butter lovers.
    My hubby doesn’t like PB so that means the ones I put aside I won’t have to hid…I get to eat them all!!!! Thank you.

    Reply

  48. 48
    Linda Rudy
    Posted On February 10, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I just found peanut butter filled oreos at CVS.  I might chop some up and add them to that middle layer.  Do you think that would be CPB overkill?  Naw!

    Reply

  49. 49
    Tammy
    Posted On February 13, 2014 at 11:19 am

    They are in the oven now. making for my honey  for Valentines day. Hopefully i won’t eat  all the peanut butter cups before they goon the brownies

    Reply

  50. 50
    Carrie
    Posted On February 16, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    It says total cook time 45 min but then in instructions says to cook for 25, add chips and PB cups then cook 3-4 min more? Mine are still liquid after 30 min? Is this wrong? I’ve never done brownies before… Please help!!

    Reply

  51. 51
    Tammy
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I cooked mine the 25 minutes then 4 minutes more. once they are cooled, they are okay. they look like the ones in the picture and everyone who tastes them says they are good,you just eat them cooled,not warm. so i guess they are supposed to be gooey on the bottom. but to me 25 minutes does seem to be too little time.

    Reply

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