Friday, May 4, 2012

Dessert: Ultimate Peanut Butter Bars

I made these last summer when going through recipes I'd been holding onto waiting to make. They were a predictable hit at our house. The original recipe came from the side of a cereal box. 

1/3 cup margarine or butter
¾ cup milk chocolate baking chips
2 ½ cups crushed Cocoa & Peanut Butter Fusion cereal (or Reese's) (approx 6 cups)

½ cup creamy peanut butter
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoon sugar
12 oz frozen whipped topping, divided


1 jar hot fudge flavored ice cream topping, divided
frozen whipped topping
¼ to ½ cup cocoa & peanut butter fusion cereal (optional)
¼ to ½ cup peanut butter (optional)


  1. To Prepare Pizza Crust: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Lightly spray bottom of a 11 x 13” pan with sides (alternately, if making as a “pizza”, use a round 12 to 14” pizza pan – deep dish with sides) with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium saucepan, combine butter and milk chocolate baking chips; warm over low heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in crushed cereal. Using a flat surface, such as a measuring cup bottom, press the cereal mixture firmly over bottom and up sides of pan. Bake for 10 minutes; cool completely on wire rack.
  2. To Prepare Filling: In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Mix in 2 cups thawed frozen whipped topping with spoon or spatula. Spread filling evenly over peanut butter crust and chill.
  3. Topping: Heat ¾ cup to 1 cup of the hot fudge flavored topping in microwave 45 seconds; spread topping evenly over the chilled peanut butter filling layer. Refrigerate or freeze 2 hours. Just before serving, spread remaining thawed frozen whipped topping over chilled hot fudge flavored layer.
  4. For decorative top, *heat an additional ¼ to ½ cup peanut butter in microwave for 40-45 seconds and drizzle over top layer of frozen whipped topping. Dip cereal pieces in additional heated hot fudge flavored topping and place randomly across top.
  5. Chill and serve.

Other details:

  • Makes 16 servings.
  • *Due to differences in microwave ovens, heating time may need adjustment.
  • Gotten from the back of cereal box.

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