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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

We all love the marshmallowy, buttery, slightly salty Rice Krispie treats of our childhood. Just the name Rice Krispie treat brings back fond memories of sticky fingers and happy tummies. Cereal bars aren’t just for kids anymore. These hipster desserts are making a powerful comeback! 

The next time you need a crunchy, sweet, and salty treat, choose from one of these six Grown-Up Cereal Bar recipes.

1. Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crispy Bars alternate layers of peanut-buttery cereal, coconut, and dark chocolate for a sophisticated crunch! Melt together ½ cup honey and ½ cup peanut butter. Take the mixture off the heat and add 2 ¼ cups puffed rice cereal, ¼ cup wheat germ, ½ cup oats, and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. Press the cereal mixture into a parchment lined 8x8-inch pan. Mix 1 cup finely ground sweetened coconut flakes with ¾ cup peanut butter and spread it over the cereal layer. Top the coconut mixture with 1 ½ cups melted dark chocolate. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from the pan and peel off the parchment. Cut the bars into squares and store them in the fridge. 

2. Chocolate Cereal Sandwiches are a new take on sandwich cookies. In a small saucepan, mix together ¾ cup chocolate chips, ½ cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons margarine, and 1 tablespoon butter. Cook over low heat until the ingredients come together. Remove the mixture from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla. In a large saucepan, combine 5 cups mini marshmallows, ½ cup peanut butter, ¼ cup margarine, and ¼ cup corn syrup. Once everything is melted, remove the marshmallow mixture from heat and  add 5 cups Cocoa Krispies. Press half of cereal mixture into a greased 9x13 pan. Spread the chocolate filling over cereal layer. Press the remaining cereal mix on top of the filling. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and cut into bars.

3. Chocolate Cherry Bars with Pecans and Pumpkin Seeds are packed with tangy dried cherries and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Mix together 2 ? cups puffed wheat cereal, ½ cup chopped pecan halves, ¼ cup salted pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup chopped dried cherries, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, and 1 tablespoon ground flax. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together ½ cup honey, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and ? teaspoon salt. Once the salt has dissolved, pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is sticky. Cool for 5 minutes and then fold in ½ cup of mini chocolate chips. Bake in a greased, parchment-lined 8x8-inch square pan at 300 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and run a knife along the edges. Cool on a rack for 1 hour and then remove the bars from the pan and peel off the parchment. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

4. Squamish Bars are a Canadian classic. In a large saucepan melt 1 cup peanut butter, ½ cup brown sugar, and ½ cup corn syrup over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the mixture from heat and add 1 cup crisped rice cereal and 1 cup cornflakes. Press into a greased 8x8-inch pan. In a bowl, beat 2 cups powdered sugar and ¼ cup softened butter. Mix well. Add in 2 tablespoons light cream and 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla. Spread the frosting over the cereal mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Melt together 3 ounces semisweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter. Cool for 5 minutes and spread over bars. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and cut into bars. Store in the fridge. Set out on the counter for 5 minutes before serving. 

5. Almond Nougat Crispies are filled with nutty, nougatty, marshmallowy goodness! Mix 5 cups crisped rice cereal with 1 ½ cups toasted sliced almonds. Melt ¾ cup butter in a large skillet. Add 4 cups mini marshmallows and stir until melted. Add 9 ounces chopped toblerone and continue to stir until melted. Remove from the heat and add the cereal mixture. Stir until everything is well coated. Press into a buttered 8-inch baking pan using a buttered spatula. Cool. Cut into squares.

6. Ice Cream Crunch are where cereal bars meet ice cream! Soften 8 cups of vanilla ice cream in the fridge for 30 minutes. In the meantime, mix together 3 cups crisped rice cereal, 2 cups shredded toasted coconut, 1 ½ cups chopped toasted nuts, ½ cup brown sugar, and ½ cup melted butter. Spread half of the cereal mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Spoon softened ice cream over the cereal mix and spread it with a spatula to make an even layer. Sprinkle on the remaining cereal mixture. Freeze for at least 30 minutes or until set. When ready to serve, let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and enjoy. These delicious bars will only last in the freezer for 1 day. 

Need even more delicious Grown-Up Cereal Bars recipes? Try these:

Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Chewy Peanut Butter Bars

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

Peanut Butter and Fudge Bars