Ever since I was a kid, I have adored Rice Krispies Treats. There was always something so satisfying about the combination of crispy cereal with gooey, chewy marshmallows. In grade school, my mom would make them as an occasional treat, following the directions on the back of the box. One summer during middle school when we went to the beach, my mom surprised us with some “fun” cereals, which we usually were not allowed to eat at home. Among the boxes was Rice Krispies Treats cereal. Possibly one of the most underrated cereals of all-time. Then in high school, they came out with the pre-packaged Rice Krispies Treats, which were not nearly as good as the ones mom whipped up, but they were quick and easy, so I was sold.
Once I started spending a lot of time in my own kitchen, I would make a batch of classic Rice Krispies treats every now and then for get-togethers. Then I discovered the world of amped-up Rice Krispies Treats; versions with peanut butter cups, white chocolate and pretzels came flying out of the kitchen. Suddenly, it seemed I was long overdue for a peanut/caramel/chocolate variation. No more.
I played around with the original recipe, adding caramel sauce, peanuts and chopped Snickers bars to the mix. As if that wasn’t enough, I topped it all off with a chocolate-peanut butter glaze and more chopped peanuts.
The result? Quite possibly the best Rice Krispies Treats to ever come out of my kitchen. They’re insanely gooey with just enough crunch, and packed full of sweet and salty flavors. I really haven’t grown up much since I was first introduced to Rice Krispies Treats; give me one of these babies and you’ll be sure to see some marshmallow and chocolate on my face ;-)
Melt the butter and marshmallows together in a medium saucepan over low heat. Once melted, stir in the caramel sauce and remove from the heat.
Stir in the Rice Krispies until they are evenly coated with the sauce. Working quickly, stir in the peanuts and chopped Snickers bars, mixing as gently as possible.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Use the back of a greased wooden spoon to press down firmly over the surface of the treats to ensure that they are packed down tightly.
Melt together the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely smooth and melted. Pour the chocolate/peanut butter mixture over the Rice Krispies treats and spread into an even layer with a spatula.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until set. Cut into bars and serve. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator (room temperature for softer, more gooey bars; refrigerator for firmer bars).