I had a special place when I was a kid, called the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. When I had been extra good, or my parents were in an unusually good mood, we’d go into town and I’d get a treat.
Now, I wasn’t one to just choose a treat willy nilly. I’d weigh my options, factoring in deliciousness (of course), but also the size and price. The measly little truffles, as good as they may be, weren’t worth it. I was only getting one treat and I wanted to make it a good one. I wanted more bang for my parents’ buck.
More often than not, I’d end up with an Avalanche Bar. A fist-sized square of crunchy, peanut buttery goodness. And I’d enjoy every last bite.
Yes, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory was my special place. And seeing as we lived in the Rocky Mountains, I thought it was a local joint. I was excited when one popped up in the Denver airport (Mom! Dad! But I need a snack for the flight!), but when I spotted one in Florida (of all places), my special place wasn’t so special anymore. Florida is about as far from the Rocky Mountains as you can get, why on earth do THEY have a chocolate factory? Apparently 7-year-olds don’t quite understand the concept of franchising.
I don’t think I’ve stepped foot in a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in 15 years. The one in my hometown has long been replaced by some fancy-schmancy jewelry store, and the airport versions just don’t have the same appeal. But that’s not saying I haven’t thought of my beloved avalanche bar plenty of times during those years. To be honest, I’m not sure why I didn’t seek out a recipe for them sooner. But the fates collided when a recipe popped up on my radar just a few weeks ago. The Internets have a way of knowing just what you’re craving (or, rather, revealing things you didn’t know you were craving).
Call it a fancy rice crispy treat if you must, (and don’t get me wrong because these truly were delicious), but the Avalanche bar I remember was a bit less crispy and a bit more smooth and fudgy. At least, that’s what I think I remember. Perhaps I need to seek out the nearest Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and engage in some good old fashioned research.
Yes, that sounds like a good plan to me.
Rocky Mountain Avalanche Bars
12 oz (2 cups) white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups crisp rice cereal
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Lightly grease an 8-by-8-inch square baking pan. Alternatively, line with lightly greased parchment paper. This recipe can easily be doubled to fit a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
In microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave on medium powder for 30 seconds. Stir and heat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate is melted.
Add the peanut butter to the melted chocolate and stir until smooth.
Place the rice cereal in a large bowl. Pour over melted chocolate mixture and gently toss until completely coated. Continue to stir until the mixture is no longer warm to the touch, about 10 minutes.
When the cereal mixture has cooled, fold in the marshmallows and 1/3 cup of the mini chips.
Spread into prepared pan, compressing lightly with the back of your spoon. Don’t press too hard or you’ll crush the cereal. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and press lightly to adhere. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes, then cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Bars will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.
Recipe from Cookies and Cups.All images and text © Lindsay Landis / Love & Olive Oil
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These are delicious and so easy to make! They’ve become one of my favorite recipes to make.
My bars fell apart when I cut them. What did I do wrong?
Just tried these and they are amazing. I was just wondering if I can freeze these?
I just made these and they are fantastic! I also recently read your recipe for the rockslide bars. If you were to replace dark chocolate for white chocolate in this recipe would they hold their gooey texture? Or are you saying that you need to add butter and cream to do so? Thanks again for the great blog!
I tried these bars the other day. They’re so good. I’m taking them to a church function tonight.
you said they tasted more fudgy before well instaed of the base being rice crispy you should make the base white chocolate and peanut butter youll get a softer bite out of it
I’d add honey roasted peanuts or chocolte covered peanuts — get those little boulders in the avalanche . .
They look like marshmallow and chocolate chip rice crispies. My grand-kids would love to eat these. Maybe I will bring them on our next campout.
Lisa, without the marshmallows and chocolate chips these sound exactly like what I remember buying at the student union while in college at Indiana university. They were called K Bars. A very special treat!!!! What amount of marshmallows and chocolate chips do you use in this recipe? Thanks! Can’t wait to try these!
My hometown (Durango, CO) is the hometown of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!! I grew up eating the best chocolate in the country without realizing it! :-) This recipe sounds amazing and very like the wonderful Avalanche Bars (also one of my favorite treats)! Thanks!! :-)
I looked up some recipes for them – and everywhere I looked it was called Avalance ‘Bark’, not an Avalance Bar, and they look a lot more like what you’re referring to remembering them as. Here’s one recipe I found on another blog – is this closer to what you remember? Looks like twice as much PB and half as much Rice Krispies.
12 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup peanut butter
1½ cups Rice Krispies
1½ cups miniature marshmallows
½ cup miniature chocolate chips
So, Lindsay….(Hoping you see this as it’s been a while since the original post)……you mention (as do several other posts) that you remember these Avalanche Bars as being “more fudgy”……are you sure that it’s a combination of white chocolate chips & peanut butter? Here in Iowa, we make a “fudgy” version of crispy treats that is a corn syrup, sugar base with butter & peanut butter stirred in once the sugar has dissolved….Because it’s more or less boiled & hotter than the chips/peanut butter I would think one would need to allow it to cool slightly before folding in the mallows & mini chips….but maybe might be what you remember.
Interesting! Any chance you have a recipe for this version? I’d be curious to try it out.
I do Lindsay….like I said, it’s really a Midwest thing, I think…I could pull any “church cookbook” off the shelf & find several recipes. Some people call them “Special K” bars, some “Peanut Butter Chews”….but most are the same basic recipe:
1 C granulated (white) sugar
1 C white corn syrup
1 C peanut butter (smooth or chunky…you choose)
1/2 C real butter, room temperature (no substitutes, please)**
6 C crisp rice cereal or “Special K”
Combine sugar & syrup in large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on full power, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved. Blend in peanut butter & butter, stirring until completely blended & both have melted. Place cereal in a very large bowl, pour peanut butter mixture over all & stir to mix. Press mixture into a 9″X13″ greased or spray treated pan.
** (The original recipes do not include the butter. Over the years I found that I got a MUCH richer bar with the addition of 1/2 C REAL butter…..the water in margarine just leaves things soggy.)
It’s at this point you’re gonna’ be on a trial & error basis….checking temperature of cereal mixture until it’s cool enough to not melt the marshmallows or mini chips. (I think you’d have the most issues with mini chips as they’ll melt pretty quick.)
Generally, we “frost” these bars (when we do frost….often the kiddos won’t leave them alone long enough to set up as they’re eat outta’ the bowl good) with a combination of melted chocolate chips & peanut butter or chocolate & butterscotch chips. Usually 1 cup of each….the peanut butter chocolate frosting takes much longer to set up, especially in the summer months.
They’re NOT low calorie, they’re NOT ‘healthy’ but they ARE so yummy. My husband doesn’t like marshmallows so the standard crisp rice treats are out in our home….he makes these instead;-)
Just made these for a quick snack for everyone after Mother’s Day .. They were a huge hit !!
I am going to try these as soon as I get the white chips from the store tomorrow. However, I am going to substitute one ingredient: rice krispies replaced with Golden Grahams cereal..YUM!
These are delicious!! I’m wondering how they will taste with crushed peppermint to give away for Christmas…
yum. i am sick at home and made a special run to the grocery store, just to get white chocolate chips for these. they did not disappoint!
Yup – these sound like a pretty dang good bang for your buck – esp, made at home! I die! ~Megan
Sadly I have never tried these delightful sounding treats before, something that will have to quickly be rectified by a trip to my local RMCF store. And of course then there will need to be the side by side taste test comparison. Looks like my new year’s diet can wait a little longer ;)
I pinned these little goodies, they look delish and simple, thanks for the recipe.
We had a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory at our local outlet mall, too. I used to love that place! I never got these bars, but they definitely look amazing!
Yes!! Since I live in Colorado and also have a love affair with Avalanche Bark, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a copycat version for awhile. I’ll definitely be trying this one! The bark they sell at RMCF definitely looks a little more like candy/fudge than the ones that you show above. I wonder if they use more white chocolate?
These bars look amazing! Seeing them when I’m in the mood for something sweet & a little crunchy just makes them look all the more appetizing! =)
Aren’t they the BEST? I could eat a tray of them all by myself. I mean, not that I have ever tried…ummm, yeah, I just think that I could, ahem.
K & our nephew love scarfing these down. I will definitely keep this in mind and make this soon ! Thank you .
These look great. Want to make them this weekend. Question, is it 12 ounces of chocolate or 1 cup? I generally get 2 cups out of a 12 ounce bag of chips. Thanks!
You’re right, should be 2 cups. One 12oz bag is what the recipe calls for. :)
I just added Rice Krispies to my list! I NEED these!
Oh. My. GOSH! These are all the things I love wrapped into one fabulous bar!
These look like a beautiful Christmas treat! Mmmm….
Yum! I make marshmallow krispies quite often but have never tried including peanut butter – definitely one to try!
Oh these look sticky and chewy and delicious!
I too love avalanche bars.. Very nicely done!
This avalanche bar looks amazing!!
The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is my happy place. Whenever I’m on the 16th Street Mall, I make sure to walk the length of it and hit up both RMCFs. I’ve never tried the Avalanche bar, but I have more than a few friends who get it every time we go.
These are beautiful, a gorgeous blend of old fashioned rice crispy treats, and peanut butter cups, which are two of my favorite things to eat. And I also appreciate how this is naturally gluten free. I know one thing I’ll be making this holiday break…
I have a special place in my heart (and stomach) for avalanche bars. They’re just part of my ski vacation to me! Great memories. I agree…more fudgy, less rice cereal. But oh so close, and delicious!
Merry Christmas! I have always wanted to stop at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Estes Park, but my husband never lets me. We just moved to Fort Collins, so maybe my close proximity will help me now!
I have never had an Avalanche bar before, I really want to try one though, they look so good!
These sound lovely. And they’re so pretty!
I make mine to be more like a bark than a rice crispy treat. I think I probably only use 1/2c to 1c or rice crispies or occasionally unsweetened puffed rice (which I like alot more).
I love this! Nicely done…a kicked up rice krispies treat! :)
Love the white chocolate in there! Mmm, so underrated.
I love bars like this…just made some doosies with marshmallows, caramel corn, two kinds of chocolate chips…yours look so chomp-worthy… wanna take a big bite :)
Just was in a RMCF the other day. We have one not to far from my house. My daughter likes their truffles best.
You should come and visit Denver soon, so we can go together! Unfortunately the Avalanche are not playing at the moment.
Great bars. Love your pictures !
Greetings from the Rockies
Looks awesome! I don’t enjoy marshmallows too much so I’m not sure about the bigger chunks for myself. Mut choc peanut butter krispie treats are awesome!
Merry Christmas- these look wonderful!
I pretty much love every single detail about these gorgeous bars. I think my family will to when I surprise them with some over Christmas! Thank you!