Monday, December 18, 2017

Auntie Konnie's Peanut Butter Krispy Bars

Running short on time this holiday season? Need a quick, festive treat for your Christmas gathering? My Auntie Konnie's Peanut Butter Krispy Bars – drizzled with chocolate and dressed up with sprinkles – are perfect. These rich, chewy bars are not your average krispy bars. Made with a full stick of Land O Lakes® Butter and lots of peanut butter, they're more fudge than they are cereal.

There are few holiday traditions I love more than creating and decorating Christmas cookies and candies. Each year I develop a list of treats I plan to make. Most often, that list includes more than a dozen different treats – many of them recipes I've created myself, others heirloom recipes that have been passed down from beloved family members and friends, and usually a new recipe or two that I've stumbled upon.

This year, though, life had other plans for me. With Daphne's recent surgeries and hospitalizations, the only things I've been measuring are medications. I've accepted that my long list of Christmas cookies will wait until next year.

But I still wanted to bring something sweet along to Glen's family's Christmas gathering this past weekend. During chores one morning last week, I pondered what I could whip up quickly. Usually, when I need a hurry-up pan of something sweet, I make my Cocoa Crispy Bars, but, tasty as they are, I decided they weren't festive enough.

Then I thought of my Auntie Konnie's Peanut Butter Krispy Bars.

One day this fall, when I was still daydreaming about Christmas cookies and candies, I took inventory of my baking cupboard. I was shocked to find six bags of marshmallows. Who needs six bags of marshmallows? Who bought them all?

(We won't talk about how many pounds of butter we have in inventory. That's never an issue. *wink* )

Determined to reduce our inventory, I decided to make marshmallow krispy bars. The only problem was that marshmallow krispy bars were my culinary nemesis for a long time. I almost always make krispy bars with corn syrup and sugar. Whenever I tried to make krispy bars with marshmallows, they turned out un-chewable.

My Auntie Konnie always made the best peanut butter krispy bars. She died this fall and I will forever regret not asking her for her recipe – although I suspected she never followed one.

I asked my sisters if they had her recipe. They confirmed my suspicion. Auntie Konnie didn't follow a recipe. Just use lots of butter and peanut butter, they said.

Well, I had six bags of marshmallows to experiment with, so I gave it my best shot.

Three bags of marshmallows later, I had both the ingredients and technique perfected. My peanut butter krispy bars now taste just as good as Auntie Konnie's. The secret really is lots of butter and peanut butter. Isn't everything better with lots of butter?

Anyway, back to my need for a quick Christmas treat...

It seemed fitting to remember Konnie by turning her signature dessert into festive, Christmas bars.

I whipped up pan of peanut butter krispy bars and decorated them with white and dark chocolate drizzles and lots of Christmas sprinkles.

Dan, Monika, and Daphne were super impressed. And, I have to say, they disappeared pretty quickly from the dessert table at Christmas.

I'm thinking Auntie Konnie's Peanut Butter Krispy Bars will have a regular spot on my list of Christmas treats.

And just in case you’re still wondering about whether to put them on your list, here are all the reasons Auntie Konnie’s Peanut Butter Krispy Bars are perfect Christmas treats:

✔ Delicious!
✔ Quick and easy to make
✔ Ingredients you probably have on hand
✔ Kid-friendly – to make and to eat
✔ No advance prep or chilling required
✔ No baking
✔ No refrigeration required (save space in the fridge!)
✔ Infinitely customizable – sprinkle with crushed candy, toffee bits, or whatever your heart desires!

Auntie Konnie’s Peanut Butter Krispy Bars

Make time: 30 minutes
Yield: 24 bars


½ cup (1 stick) Land O Lakes® Butter
16-ounce bag of marshmallows
1½ cups peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
6 cups crisp rice cereal

2 ounces chocolate chips (⅓ cup)
½ teaspoon solid coconut oil or shortening
2 ounces white almond bark or white chocolate chips (1 cube or ⅓ cup)
Green and red nonpareil sprinkles


Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and wipe out excess.

Melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven over low heat. (Save the butter wrapper – you’ll use it later!)

Once butter is melted, add marshmallows to pot. Keep heat low and stir frequently until marshmallows are completely melted. (If the heat is too high, the finished krispie bars will be too hard.)

Remove butter-marshmallow mixture from heat and stir in peanut butter, then cereal.

Spoon cereal mixture into prepared pan. Use butter wrapper to press down evenly.

To decorate:

Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil (or shortening) together, then drizzle over bars. (I melt the chocolate chips and shortening in the microwave, transfer the melted chocolate to a plastic sandwich bag, snip off a corner of the bag, and drizzle.)

Repeat with white almond bark or white chocolate.

Top with sprinkles.

Let bars cool before cutting into 24 squares.

Store in airtight container.

I am a Land O'Lakes Cooperative member-owner. I received compensation from Land O'Lakes for this post. All opinions are my own.

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