Peanut Butter Krispie Bars, speckled in spring colors, are a no bake treat that’s ready in minutes. Peanuts and peanut butter add flavor and crisp rice cereal adds crunch for a crunchy, chewy care package or lunch box treat.
I have nothing against marshmallow. I love traditional cereal and marshmallow bars, but they don’t stay fresh for weeks traveling in a care package, and these bars do.
Peanut Butter Krispie Bars are a granola bar- krispie treat hybrid. Take a chewy-crunchy, peanut granola bar recipe, add pastel m&m’s and sprinkles, and you have a cereal bar pretty enough for a holiday platter and long lasting enough for national or international mailing.
I’ve made this recipe many times using chocolate chips. For spring color, I used pastel m&m’s instead of chocolate chips in these bars.
I was happy with the looks and taste of the treats (two batches were dispatched in care packages), but adding the m&m’s required some recipe tweaking.
Chocolate chips melt a bit during the assembly process, adding to the sweet “glue” that holds the bars together. M&m’s don’t do that.
I have three suggestions based on my m&m trial and error. First, though you may be tempted, don’t use more than ½ cup of m&m’s. I tried. The resulting crumbles were delicious, but weren’t bars.
Second, if the m&m’s are roughly chopped before adding to the mix, they will distribute more evenly. Clumps of whole m&m’s also promote crumbles. The candies are going to get crushed anyway as the mixture is compressed in the pan, so they might as well be chopped.
My final suggestion is that using a 9”x12” pan produces the thin bars you see in the photos. This recipe can be used to make thicker bars using a 9”x9” pan.
Peanut Butter Krispie Bars are quick and easy. They can be made at the last minute or a week or more in advance. The pastel candy and sprinkles add festive flair for spring celebrations and care packages.
One batch of these bars is enroute to Sailor J. in an Easter care package bulging (quite literally) with treats and thanks. Details on the care package contents will be in a post this weekend!
Peanut Butter Krispie Bars
- 2 cups quick cook oats
- 2 cups Rice Krispie cereal
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup or corn syrup or additional honey
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup peanut nut butter
- ½ cup M &M’s chopped slightly
- ½ cup chopped peanuts
- Easter sprinkles
- Use non-stick spray to coat a 9”x12” pan for thin bars, a 9”x9” pan for thicker bars.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, rice cereal, and peanuts. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add honey, syrup, and brown sugar. Stir constantly, until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and mix in peanut butter.
- Immediately, pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir to coat and combine.
- Add the M&M’s and stir to distribute. The granola will be very stiff and hard to mix.
- Distribute the granola into the prepared pan.
- VERY IMPORTANT: Place a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper over the pan and firmly press the krispie mixture into the pan evenly. The mixture must be compressed or you will end up with snack mix instead of bars.
- Allow to cool and become firm for about 30 minutes. (15 minutes in the refrigerator).
- Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap.
Wrap bars individually in plastic wrap. Store the wrapped bars at room temperature in an air-tight container or freezer weight zip lock bag for up to 3 weeks.
More recipes for Easter treats are just a click away! Click on the photo to get the recipe.