Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

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The Christmas season has officially arrived and with it comes the onslaught of family get-togethers and office parties featuring pot luck foods and treats loaded with sugar. Like I did last year, I have decided to use the Holiday season as a time for satisfying my sweet tooth and have committed to creating a couple of new holiday treats. This year the treats will be very simple and only require a few ingredients.

For this recipe, I use one of my favorite breakfast cereals growing up – Peanut Butter Crunch, which was introduced as part of the Cap’n Crunch line of breakfast cereals in 1969. I thought that the crispy texture and peanut butter flavor would be perfect for a homemade candy bar. I use chocolate candy coating, or almond bark, melted in the microwave and mixed with peanut butter as the binder and coating for the treat. For a sweet surprise with each bite I include English toffee as a compliment to the Peanut Butter Crunch, resulting in a decadent treat that comes together in minutes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

I saw a show on the Cooking Channel recently and a chef in New York was featured for having made chocolate covered breakfast cereal a signature item at his candy shop. They showed him tempering the chocolate and bringing it to the perfect temperature, it took a lot of work and expertise to do what he was doing.

Watching this guy make the perfect chocolate coated cereal got me thinking. I could do the same thing but make it easier using candy coating. That is what lead to creating this treat. I was going to use frosted flakes originally but when I was at the grocery store looking for them, I happened to come across Peanut Butter Crunch. I immediately grabbed the box and changed directions. I made a treat similar in concept to this back in May, and thought a few modifications would make it the perfect chocolate peanut butter bar.

I'm not much of a treat maker, so its simplicity makes it perfect for me. I intentionally used the microwave with this one rather than a double boiler, just to make it more appealing to less experienced cooks. A tasty Christmas treat without having to turn on the stove is perfect for the culinary-challenged!

Eat well, cook often ...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

Makes 50 treats;
20 minutes active, 2 hours inactive

1 lb Chocolate candy coating
1/2 C Creamy peanut butter
2 C Peanut Butter Crunch cereal
1 C English toffee bits

Melt candy coating, add peanut butter
Place candy coating in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high in 1 minute intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and runny. Add peanut butter, stir until well incorporated.

Finish, scoop and cool

Add cereal and toffee bits, stir until well combined. A tablespoon at a time, scoop and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Let cool completely, then serve.

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