Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bars are made with a layer of fudgy brownies, a peanut butter center, and a crunchy rice Krispies topping.
This easy Brownie Recipe takes two crowd-pleasing treats and combines them into one. Fudgy Peanut Butter Brownies and Rice Krispies Treats come together for an amazing dessert that’s perfect for parties and bake sales.
CRISPY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIE BARS
If you’re looking for a way to kick your classic Fudgy Brownies up a notch, then this is the recipe for you! Chocolate and peanut butter are already the perfect match for a sweet and salty dessert. But, this recipe goes beyond the peanut butter layer and adds a crispy chocolate topping!
The Rice Krispies layer is made with rice cereal, melted chocolate, and peanut butter. The chocolate and peanut butter hold the crunchy topping together and add even more delicious flavor to the brownies. If you’re a fan of chocolate and peanut butter, Crispy Peanut Butter Brownie Bars will taste like a dream come true!
With the three separate layers, you might think this dessert is complicated and time-consuming, but it’s actually very easy to make. The brownie base is just prepared like a normal chocolate brownie recipe. Then you just have to wait for that to cool before spreading on the peanut butter, and adding the crispy chocolate topping. The rice Krispy layer does need time to set in the fridge before you can eat the brownies, but the hands-on time in the kitchen is only slightly longer than basic brownies, and they are 100% worth it!
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- Prep time: Preheat the oven and coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Brownie batter: Boil the water in a medium saucepan. Turn off the heat then add in the butter and cocoa powder. Whisk until the chocolate mixture is well blended. Then pour it into a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Blend in the granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until the batter is creamy. Sift in the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Baking time: Pour the brownie batter into the pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if it’s finished. When the toothpick comes out with moist crumbs, take the warm brownies out of the oven and let them completely cool before adding the next layers.
- Peanut butter layer: Use a rubber spatula to spread ½ cup smooth peanut butter over the chocolate layer.
- Crispy topping: Add the chocolate chips and remaining peanut butter to a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Melt in 30-second increments, stirring between each session until smooth and creamy. Add the rice cereal, and stir until well coated. Spread the cereal mixture over the brownies, and refrigerate for 1 hour to let it set.
- Serve: To easily slice the Crispy Brownies without tearing them, spray a sharp knife with nonstick cooking spray to help the blade glide through the bars. Cut into squares and serve.
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- Mix-ins: There are a variety of mix-ins that you could add to the brownies or to the Rice Krispies. For an extra kick of chocolate, mix in milk, semisweet, or dark chocolate chips. You could also add different candies like peanut butter cups, Reese’s Pieces, or M&Ms. For some crunch add chopped peanuts, pecans, or other nuts.
- Marshmallow Rice Krispies: Rice Krispies treats are usually made with marshmallows. To keep that classic flavor in your crispy topping, mix ½ cup of marshmallow cream or marshmallows with the chocolate and peanut butter coating. Once it’s all melted together, mix the rice cereal in the coating.
- Peanut butter: You can use whatever your favorite brand of peanut butter is for this recipe. We opted for creamy butter, but crunchy peanut butter would add some great texture.
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HOW TO STORE
- Serve: You can keep this recipe at room temperature for up to 2 days. Cover the dish in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to make sure the brownies stay moist.
- Store: You can also keep the Crispy Brownies in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep the dish covered or cut the bars into squares and transfer them to an airtight container for storage.
- Freeze: Properly sealed brownies can stay good frozen for up to 3 months. Separate the layers of bars with a sheet of parchment paper so that they don’t get stuck together.
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Peanut Butter Filling:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray.
- To a saucepan bring water to a boil.
- Turn off the heat, add in the butter and cocoa powder.
- Whisk until completely blended.
- Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until creamy.
- Add flour, baking soda, and salt until just combined.
- Pour into baking dish and spread evenly.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Let cool completely, about 30 minutes on an elevated rack.
- Whisk the peanut butter filling: 1 cup peanut butter and one cup powdered sugar, then spread it over the cooled brownies.
- Add the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a large bowl to your microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments until melted, then stir until smooth.
- Mix in the Rice Krispies cereal until well coated.
- Spoon over the brownies and spread evenly, pressing down gently.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour before slicing.