These chocolate krispie peanut butter shortbread bars are certainly a mouthful to say, but are so good! Buttery shortbread, followed by fudgy peanut butter, and topped with a chocolate krispie mixture - a perfect texture and flavor matchup.
It's been a minute since I've been able to develop and photograph a new recipe with everything going on, and it felt so good to get back into it. I picked it up with these chocolate krispie peanut butter shortbread bars because I wanted to challenge myself, and while this is actually a super simple recipe, I had never made anything like it before. So let's get into it.
Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter so that you can control the level of salt. However, if salted butter is all you have, you can use that just lower the amount of added salt and make sure to taste as you go.
Peanut butter: I used good old faithful Jif for this recipe, but any jarred PB should work. Natural peanut butter tends to be a bit more loose, so if you use that, you may just need to add a bit more powdered sugar to bind it together. I'd recommend adding by the tablespoon until you reach a nice texture that is a bit thicker than PB typically is.
Chocolate: You can use any kind of chocolate you prefer - milk, semisweet, or dark. Semisweet is my go-to because I think it tastes best - but I also don't like how bitter dark chocolate is. Up to you!
HOW TO MAKE THESE KRISPIE SHORTBREAD BARS:
These bars are three delicious layers - each easier to make than the previous.
Shortbread: This is the only layer that requires baking. You take room-temperature butter and using either a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, beat it together with the sugar until pale in color. Then, add the salt, vanilla, and flour, and mix until combined. Spread evenly onto the bottom of a lined + greased 9x9 baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes on 325℉ until the edges are nice and golden. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool to room temp before following with the next layer.
Peanut butter: Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Once melted, add to the same bowl the PB, powdered sugar, and salt. Mix to combine. Spread evenly on top of the shortbread layer, and place in the fridge while you prepare the last layer.
Chocolate krispie: In the same (or different if you wish) microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the heavy cream for 1 minute (stir at :30 then return to the microwave for the remaining :30). Then mix in the Rice Krispies, vanilla extract, and salt. Pour on top of the PB layer and spread in an even layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting up.
HOW TO STORE THESE BARS:
These bars should be kept in the fridge for storing, otherwise they'll get melty! They can keep in the fridge for a week, if you haven't scarfed them all down by that point, they can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Chocolate Krispie Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter 11 tbsp, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Peanut butter layer:
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup unsalted butter 1 stick
- 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Chocolate krispie layer:
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups Rice Krispies
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 325℉ and prep a 9x9 square baking pan with parchment paper and greased.
- Using either a stand or hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until pale - about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla, salt, and AP flour and mix to combine. Spoon into the baking dish and spread out in an even layer on the bottom. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown on the edges. Allow to come to room temp before adding next layer on top.
- For the peanut butter layer, melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl, then add the PB, confectioners sugar and salt and mix to combine. Spread over the shortbread mixture (once the shortbread has cooled!). Then place in the fridge while you prep the chocolate layer.
- For the chocolate layer, in a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips with the heavy cream in 2x increments of :30 - stirring between. It won't look completely melted after the 1 minute, but keep stirring and it will all melt together. Then mix in the Rice Krispies, salt, and vanilla. Add as the top layer to the bars, spreading evenly.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days.