Crunchy Peanut Butter-Chocolate Swirl Bars

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Creamy, crunchy, and oh-so-delicious.

Crunchy Peanut Butter-Chocolate Swirl Bars
Photo: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones
Active Time:
20 mins
Chill Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
Yield:
16 bars

Peanut butter and chocolate—they just go together. If you want to create a truly memorable holiday dessert, you can always rely on this classic flavor combination to be a fan-favorite. And if you really want pull out all the stops, we've taken the age-old combination of peanut butter and chocolate to the next level with these Crunchy Peanut Butter-Chocolate Swirl Bars.

A winning combination of white and dark chocolate swirls atop a rich peanut-buttery base makes these sliceable squares irresistible. The bars get their crunch from the crisp rice cereal and a sprinkling of roasted peanuts. The marbled swirl of dark and white chocolates acts as an elegant, built-in decoration for these bars. Because there's no baking involved, you can whip up a batch in just minutes, but beware—they may disappear just as fast.

We developed this recipe for your holiday cookie tins, but after tasting the final product, you can bet that we'll be making these peanut butter chocolate bars year-round. Trust us: this one is a keeper.

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 ¼ cups creamy peanut butter

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 1 ½ cups crisp rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies) 

  • 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar

  • 1 cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips (from 1 [10-oz.] pkg.)

  • 6 teaspoons refined coconut oil, divided

  • ½ cup white chocolate chips (from 1 [11-oz.] pkg.)

  • ½ cup roasted, salted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Directions

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 4 inches to extend over sides. Whisk together melted butter, peanut butter, and salt in a large bowl. Carefully stir in cereal and powdered sugar until well blended, taking care not to crush cereal. Scatter clumps of cereal mixture in prepared pan, and use a sheet of parchment paper to smooth and flatten mixture into an even layer.

  2. Melt bittersweet chocolate chips according to package directions, and stir in 4 teaspoons of the oil until thoroughly combined. Pour bittersweet chocolate over cereal mixture, spreading chocolate evenly over top. Melt white chocolate according to package directions, and stir in remaining 2 teaspoons of oil until thoroughly combined. Spoon large dollops of white chocolate on top of bittersweet chocolate layer. Use a wooden pick to make a swirl pattern in white and bittersweet chocolates, blending slightly. Sprinkle top with chopped peanuts, if desired.

  3. Refrigerate until set and sliceable, about 2 hours. Cut into 16 squares. Store cookies in refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to serve.

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