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.
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
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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil; spray lightly with cooking spray.
- 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.
- Add the coffee or espresso powder and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Recipe from Peanut Butter Comfort by Averie Sunshine.All images and text © Lindsay Landis / Love & Olive Oil
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Let us know what you think!
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I made these for Thanksgiving and these bars are delicious! My 3 year old great nephew literally screamed when he tasted his, holding it up to his mother with the biggest chocolate smile! And Lindsay, you were spot on when you said save a few! I screwed up and only saved 2. Big mistake. So of course, I’m making them again for Christmas….❤️
So glad you enjoyed!!
This recipe looks so good, I shared the link on my blog today in my list of Fabulous Finds, even before I have made it myself. The ingredients are lined up on the counter now, and I will be mixing these up in just a bit! Pinned as well, and I’m following you on Facebook now. I’m glad I happened upon this recipe!
Holy smokes! Just found today’s dessert! Will keep you posted!
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.
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!!
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
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!
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.
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!!
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!
Oh goodness! Is there a more heavenly combination?! This just looks divine!
Oh my word! TWO layers of chocolate-peanut-brownie yumminess.
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!
Aw, sorry to hear you didn’t have any leftovers! These were SO good!
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?)
I LOVE the idea of combining rice crispy bars with brownies! These look amazing.
These sound like a mixture of Crunch bars and Reese’s pb cups…and that’s all good!
The recipe looks very enticing. Anything with chocolate and peanut butter is heavenly :-) .
OMG, I NEED to make these! They look insanely good!
These look incredible! I love the thick fudgy krispie layer. I am all about anything with pb and chocolate!
Averie always creates the most delicious peanut butter and chocolate treats, it looks like you made an excellent selection!
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!! :)
This is such a fun recipe!
Yum! The best of both worlds– brownies and rice krispies!
YUM!! I love a little added crunch, makes for great texture!
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.
Love the pictures and the recipe is a keeper.
Guests? Pffff These would have never made it to the party!
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!
I’d be tempted not to share in the first place!
Wow! These sound in look incredible!! I would double the recipe and and stash one whole pan for myself!
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.
Yeah, I would definitely need to stash some of these away for myself!
Absolutely love the sound of these!
Averie has such a tasty ideas. And I like the wooden board, so pretty.
Is there a substitute for the peanut butter cups as we don’t get that in our country.
These bars are gorgeous! Loving this recipe!
They might not be outdoor-friendly but they sure look delicious.
These look so chocolatey and peanut-buttery good! I would definitely stash some…or not share at all. These just look too good!
Forget some, I’m keeping the whole tray to myself!
Your brownies are gorgeous, but what I REALLY want is that tray!!
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…..
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!
How convenient – i have a box of rice krispies and chocolate already in the house!!
oh my… those look decadent. xox
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?
You’re right, it’s 1/4 cup off, should be 1 3/4 cup total. Fixed in recipe! :)
YUM!!! will def be making this! peanut butter is the best. and this look like everything i love. thanks for sharing!
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
Those little peanut butter cups are about the cutest things I’ve seen!
Not sure if they’re the same but I would guess those little PB cups are from Trader Joe’s…if not, they’re VERY close. I recommend if you have a TJs near you. Tasty but not overly sweet.
I have that same board from Crate & Barrel…it definitely smells like bacon haha
These are beautiful and beyond genius!!!
Oh my! These are utterly over the top. I can’t wait to give them a try! :)
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 ;)
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! :)
Found it at World Market! Word of warning: it smells like bacon (go figure).
Such goodness!!! I agree with the stashing definitely
Holy crapolla yummy!!
Oh my! These definitely qualify for pre-guest stashing!! :)