There are certain foods that instantly take me back to my childhood, and rice crispy treats is definitely one of them (I have fond memories of coming home from school and diving into a plate of them with my best friends). These cereal squares start out with the traditional ingredients--butter and marshmallows, melted together until they're nice and gooey--but the addition of creamy peanut butter and M&Ms almost transforms them into a crispy, chocolatey candy bar (like a cross between a peanut butter cup and a Whatchamacallit). I had a batch waiting for my daughter when we came home on Friday, and I'm hoping that eating them with her mommy and baby sister on the last day of first grade will be as fond a memory for her as it was for me.
Peanut Butter and M&Ms Rice Crispy Squares
5 tablespoons salted butter
6 cups mini marshmallows
1 ¼ cup creamy peanut butter, divided
6 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup plain M&Ms candies, plus more for garnishing
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Butter a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.
- In a large pan, melt butter on medium heat; add marshmallows and stir constantly until smooth and melted. Remove from heat and add ½ cup of the peanut butter, stirring until well combined.
- Add cereal and M&Ms and gently fold until incorporated. Press cereal mixture into prepared pan, using wax paper or a rubber spatula to press evenly.
- Microwave chocolate chips and ¾ cup peanut butter in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth, stirring after each interval. Pour over the cereal and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly over the entire pan of bars.
- Garnish with additional M&Ms candies (I coarsely chopped a small handful and sprinkled them over the top, along with 7 or 8 whole candies).
- Refrigerate for an hour, or until the chocolate is set, before cutting into squares.