These Crunchy Peanut Butter Bars with Dark Chocolate are made with crispy rice cereal and a blend of nuts and seeds with a drizzle of dark chocolate.
Rice crispy treats have always been a favorite in my family and growing up my mom would make a batch for most special occasions. She was very experimental and would typically incorporate some new ingredient, whether it be m&ms, skittles, sprinkles, chocolate chips, or peanut butter.
My way of eating has changed so much from when I was younger. Although I do enjoy the taste of a traditional rice crispy treat every once in a while, I prefer this new twist on the classic dessert made with more wholesome ingredients and an extra boost of fiber and protein.
These bars use sprouted brown rice cereal, a mixture of nuts & seeds, and are bound together with a honey and peanut butter “caramel.” A drizzle of dark chocolate tops it off and takes these from tasty snack to a decadent treat. They’re like the adult rice crispy treat. 😉
The nice thing about these treats is that you can easily substitute different ingredients to add a variety of flavors. Use almond butter instead of peanut butter, a different nut or dried berry instead of the almonds, or omit the nuts all together. Any variation you decide on is sure to be equally as delicious. Enjoy!
- 4 cups Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
- 1 cup Almonds, peanuts, or other nut, roughly chopped (can also omit and use extra rice cereal)
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Flaxseed Meal
- ¾ cup Honey or brown rice syrup
- ⅓ cup Natural Peanut Butter or almond butter
- pinch of sea salt
- Place a sheet of wax paper (or plastic wrap) into a 9x9 pan (an 8x8 pan can be used too, but bars will be thicker) and set aside.
- Into a large bowl, mix together the rice cereal, nuts, chia seeds, and flaxseed meal. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat honey over medium-low heat until it comes to a low boil. Continue to boil for about 1 minute, or until it reaches the firm ball stage on a candy thermometer, about 250ºF.
- Remove from heat and mix in peanut butter and a pinch of salt.
- Pour honey peanut butter mixture over the cereal mix in the bowl and gently stir to combine, making sure to coat all dry ingredients evenly.
- Transfer mixture into the prepared parchment lined pan and spread across evenly. Use your hands or the bottom of a glass to press the mixture into the pan, getting the sides and corners well. Cover and place pan into the fridge for 10-15 minutes or until firm.
- Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Place on a cutting board and cut bars evenly. You can get 12-16 bars, depending on how large you cut them. Slightly separate the bars on the parchment paper so that you can drizzle the chocolate over the top.
- Into a small saucepan, combine the chocolate and coconut oil and place on the stove over medium-low heat. Stir often until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the bars and top with flaked sea salt if desired.