Happy Fri-yay! Let’s celebrate by making some salted caramel, peanut butter, and chocolate rice krispy treats. I guess I can’t really call them “rice krispy” treats since I used the rice cereal from Trader Joe’s. But you get the idea. They’re GOOD. Like, make-them-right-now-even-if-you-don’t-have-all-the-ingredients good.
As soon as my kids ate these, they both said it reminded them of a Twix bar. Which I think is so funny, because neither knew the other made that comparison. I pointed out that Twix bars have that cookie crunch. Which is confirmed by George Costanza.
A friend of mine would always quote Seinfeld episodes. We’d have these conversations with quotes from an episode and go back and forth with dialogue. I’m weird like that.
But let’s not get side-tracked and discuss what’s really important. Like chocolate. And peanut butter. And salted caramel. “How can these really be better than a rice krispy treat?” you ask. Well, let me just break it down for you.
Homemade salted caramel. That should be enough to convince you. And don’t get scared off by the homemade part instead of store-bought. There’s really no comparison. It’s really important to me to use butter and natural oils when I can. And all the recipes I see for “Scotcheroos” include corn syrup. I just didn’t want that in these. Apparently it makes them chewy, but that stuff is not the best thing to put in your body. I know. I know. This coming from a woman that makes desserts and treats like every day is a holiday.
If you can get past any fear you have of making a homemade caramel sauce, you’ll be grateful you did. It’s science, baby. Baking is science.
How do you make salted caramel sauce?
Use a heavy-bottom saucepan for this. When the sugar is melted and then butter is added, the mixture tends to get angry. 🙂 I’m being a dork – but it just bubbles up a lot and is loud and you almost feel like you did something wrong. But rest assured, you did not. Butter reacts this way when introduced to such a hot substance. The cold cream will also react this way. Get all your stress and anger out by watching butter and cream fight with each other.
Have all your ingredients ready
This is called mise en place, which just means “to put in place”. This is really helpful in most any baking experience. Sometimes recipes call for ingredients to be added quickly and if you have to stop and measure something, it could throw off the timing. It’s good practice when baking with children, too. When mine were little, we took out all the ingredients we needed and made sure we had enough before we began. Good life skills going on here.
Since I weigh ingredients like flours and sugars, I already tend to put everything in small containers or bowls and have them ready to go. It really helps with organization. It’s also good practice to add ingredients in the order listed. This doesn’t always matter with cooking. However in baking, it makes a huge difference adding the butter and sugars together, rather than adding butter to flour. Totally different results.
Chocolate can be finicky. But I still love it. Melting chocolate is best done over indirect heat. Lots of people like to use a microwave, but this can be risky as heating too quickly can cause the chocolate to seize or become grainy. By placing a bowl of chocolate over simmering water, you ensure the chocolate melts slowly at a more controlled rate. Ghirardelli has a great article about heating and tempering chocolate. Check it out here. You can also read all about chocolate in another blog post I wrote, which you can find here.
Can’t wait to hear how you like these! There’s a handy scaling calculator on the recipes if you want to double or even triple it. Which will no doubt come in handy for making salted caramel, peanut butter, and chocolate rice krispy treats.
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For the salted caramel
- 1 cup | 7 ounces granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the rice krispy treats
- 6 cups rice krispies
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with non-stick spray and line with a parchment sling. Set aside.
- Measure out 6 cups of rice krispies into large bowl. Set aside.
To make the caramel sauce:
- In a deep, heavy saucepan, heat sugar over medium low heat. Stir with non-stick spatula until sugar is completely dissolved. Low and slow is the key.
- Remove from heat and immediately add the salted butter. Mixture will bubble vigorously, which is exactly what to expect.
- Slowly add the heavy cream and whisk until completely combined. Mixture will bubble up again. Add salt and whisk.
- Add the peanut butter while mixture is still warm, and continue whisking until mixture is combined and smooth.
- Add caramel peanut butter mixture to rice krispies. Use a rubber spatula coated with non-stick to gently fold in the sauce until evenly mixed.
- Place mixture into prepared pan and press evenly with coated spatula to prevent sticking.
- Set aside to cool
Make the chocolate topping:
- Using a heavy bottom saucepan, add 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Place 2 cups of chocolate chips in glass bowl and place over simmering water.
- Do not let the bowl touch the water. Let the chocolate melt slowly. As the chocolate melts, stir with a rubber spatula (nothing metal as the temperature of the metal could cause the chocolate to seize). When chocolate is melted and smooth, remove bowl from heat and place on towel.
- Add remaining cup of chocolate and stir until completely melted and smooth.
- Pour chocolate over rice krispy mixture and smooth surface.
- Cool completely. Remove by lifting out parchment sling and cut into squares.
If you have gas burners, simply turn off the heat to add the next ingredients. However, if you have traditional burners, you will need to remove the pan from the heat so the caramel does not continue to cook. Use salted butter for this recipe. You will also add salt to deepen the sweet/salty taste of the caramel.
There’s a nifty little feature on these WP Tasty recipe plug ins – you can scale a recipe up or down with the click of a button. However, I use both weight and volume measurements for ingredients like flour and sugar, as I feel it’s a more accurate way to measure. I noticed that the ingredients were only scaled for the first type of measurement. So be aware that you’ll have to double or triple the weight measurement manually.