Saturday, June 12, 2010

"baked" pb crispy bars: 0 for 3

I gave it the ol' college try, but I've now made three recipes from Baked, and I truly haven't liked any of them. Everyone raves about them, so maybe it's just me, but I think I'm done trying. (Not to say I wouldn't give the bakery a chance next time I'm in NY!)

This time, I tried the peanut butter crispy bars, which are three-layer bars: homemade rice krispie treats on the bottom, topped with a milk chocolate/peanut butter mix, finished with a shmear of dark chocolate. Sounds wonderful, right? Looks pretty good, too:

But they just didn't do it for me. The leftovers actually sat in my fridge for several days, uneaten. To be fair, I think I overcooked the sugar for the rice krispie treat layer (no marshmallows here!), yielding a crunchy, rather than chewy, layer. It was really hard to keep the thermometer in without touching the bottom of the pan, so I'm not sure how accurate my read was. The peanut butter and chocolate layers were fine, but not overwhelming, and not enough to save these.

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
from Baked

Crispy crust ingredients
1 3/4 cups rice krispies
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Milk chocolate/peanut butter ingredients
5 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Chocolate icing ingredients
3 ounces dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 stick unsalted butter

First make the rice krispie layer. Lightly spray an 8" square pan with cooking spray. Put cereal in a large bowl and set aside.

Pour water into a small saucepan. Gently add the sugar and corn syrup and stir until just combined. Try not to get any on the sides of the pan, because it will crystallize when it heats. Put a candy thermometer in the pan (theoretically, not touching the bottom, but that's hard because it's not a lot of liquid). Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage, or 235F. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter (it will foam up), and pour over the cereal. Now work fast! Stir until the cereal is evenly coated, and then quickly transfer the mixture to the 8" dish and press it evenly across the bottom. Let it cool to room temperature while you make the next layer.

Place the chocolate and peanut butter in the top of a double boiler (a bowl that fits over a saucepan filled with about an inch of water). Cook, stirring, over simmering water, until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl and stir it for about 30 seconds to cool slightly, then pour the mixture over the cooled crust and spread it over evenly. Chill in the fridge for an hour, or until the top layer hardens. (If it's warm, you won't be successful with the next step!)

Now it's time for the chocolate layer. Grab the (clean!) double boiler again and combine the dark chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in the bowl. Set the bowl over the pan of simmering water and cook, stirring, until it is melted and well-incorporated. Again, remove the bowl and stir for 30 seconds to cool the mixture slightly. Pour it over the peanut butter/chocolate layer and spread evenly. An offset spatula works well. Cool in the fridge for another hour until the topping hardens, and then cut into squares. I cut about 20 squares. They're pretty rich, so small squares work just fine. Store in the fridge, wrapped, for several days.


sugarmagnolia70 said...

Well....they LOOK good!

ajcabuang04 said...

This looks so simple to make but looks really delicious!! I'm going to try this!
Would you mind checking out my blog? :D

The Urban Baker said...

that book is on my list...thanks for the review!

steph said...

These look great! I'll have to give them a try.

jami said...

Thanks, everyone! If you make them and have good luck with them, let me know!

Anonymous said...

I tried these from the cookbook too since they look really delicious but everyone who ate them was underwhelmed. The peanut butter layer overpowered everything else. If I did it again (but am not really inclined to since I didn't like them much), I would increase the crispy rice layer by 1/4 and decrease the peanut butter/chock layer by at least half. The dark chocolate top layer seemed about right. I have to agree with you on the cookbook as a whole. The only recipe I actually liked (and I tried most of them) was the peanut butter cookies recipe. I thought those were the best I have ever made...

sweetie said...

agreed on feeling underwhelmed with baked although unlike anonymous, i didn't like the pb cookies even!