No bake kid friendly and gluten free Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares make perfect do-it-yourself summer kid snacks. Also, kind of addictive, for kids of all ages.
I have a peanut butter addict. She can, and often does, eat peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and snack. Don’t judge. Picky eater that she is, grateful she’s eating. One must pick one’s battles
Peanut Butter It Is
Go with what works, I say! During the school year it’s Wowbutter (every single day) for lunch. You can substitute Wowbutter here if you wish (melt it slightly in the microwave, it’s stiffer than peanut butter). Unless there’s peanut issues, Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares are WAY better with peanut butter, trust me.
Despite her particular nature, she loves to cook! We often cook and bake together, and try to do a post every year with Miss Camille as guest blogger. This year I handed over all the measuring, mixing and pouring, as well as a crack at art direction, propping and food styling. Because she’s eleven now, such a big girl!
The Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares recipe is a measure, mix and chill recipe. Which makes it perfect for older kids to try themselves.
Brutally easy, it’s just six ingredients – crispy rice cereal, peanut butter, honey, vanilla, salt and chocolate. Requiring only basic kitchen tools; measuring cups, measuring spoons, wooden spoon, spatula, bowl, microwavable vessel for melting the chocolate and an 8 x 8 pan. Pretty manageable stuff.
Had to jump in to chop the chocolate (use chocolate chips and eliminate that) and fit the parchment to the pan. (Note: you don’t have to run the parchment up the sides, just on the bottom. But this way she could unmold on her own.) Other than that, all her muscle work on this post.
Marketing Guru of the Future
Turns out she’s pretty gifted as art direction and marketing goes. As we were shooting the hero shot above (top image) she ran into the house to get her Hermione Granger Time Turner necklace because she wanted other kids who make our Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares recipe to know she’s a Harry Potter fan.
Genius niche targeting. I’m certain that will broaden my base with 12 year-old Potter fans beating a path to THIS recipe. I never would have thought of that. Never. We should do this more often. I’ll be HUGE with pre-teens!
Kid Cooking Tips, From the Kid
After our time in the kitchen I asked if she had any tips for other junior bakers (who will no doubt flock here following Harry Potter clues)?
“Measure your ingredients first, because then it’s fast and easy! Oh, and store your Peanut Butter Chocolate Treats in the freezer. So good cold on a hot day, and… less messy! ” – Miss Camille.
Paying attention. (Mis en place people!) Good advice, no matter how old you are.
No bake, kid friendly and gluten free, Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares make the perfect do-it-yourself summer snacks for kids of all ages!
1¼ cup chunky peanut butter (1 cup for smooth peanut butter)
⅓ cup honey
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups crispy brown rice cereal
Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping:
1 cup bittersweet / semi sweet chocolate, chips or chopped
1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
Measure all your ingredients. Coat 8 x 8 pan with non-stick spray and line bottom with parchment paper then reserve until needed
In a large bowl add rice crispies, chunky peanut butter, honey, vanilla and salt. Combine until well mixed.
Pour crispy peanut butter mixture into waiting 8 x 8 pan. Press into corners and make a flat, even surface.
Place chocolate and smooth peanut butter into a small microwavable bowl and melt, in 30 second intervals stirring in between until chocolate is melted and easy to pour. Pour chocolate over crispy peanut butter base and smooth it out with a clean spatula.
Place immediately in fridge or freezer to set, about 1 hour.
Remove when set. Unmold from pan by running a warm blade around the edges, then sliding it on to a waiting cutting board. Let stand for about 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to warm slightly to avoid cracking (see those tiny cracks in the chocolate above? *Someone* was a little impatient…) Cut with a warm, dry knife. For best results clean blade in between. Store in freezer. Break out as needed. Roll on summer.
Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer, recipe blogger and Food Business Consultant. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn, ten years in catering, and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.