Chocolate Peanut Squares:
2 tablespoons (25 grams) butter, diced
1/2 cup (125 grams) smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup (80 ml) (105 grams) agave syrup (can also use light corn syrup or golden syrup)
1/3 cup (80 ml) (105 grams) mild flavored honey
1/3 cup (35 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular unsweetened or Dutch-processed)
3 cups (165 grams) miniature marshmallows (store bought or homemade)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
3 cups (80 grams) rice cereal
1 cup (135 grams) peanuts (salted or unsalted)
6 ounces (170 grams) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon (13 grams) butter, diced
Chocolate Peanut Squares: Butter, or lightly spray with a non stick vegetable spray, an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan.
Place the butter, peanut butter, agave, honey, and cocoa powder in a large saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture is nice and smooth. Add the marshmallows and stir the mixture constantly until the marshmallows have melted and the mixture is creamy smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Add the rice cereal and peanuts and gently stir until the rice cereal is coated with the chocolate mixture. Press into the prepared pan and allow to set (either at room temperature or in the refrigerator).
Topping: In a heatproof bowl, set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread over the squares and refrigerate until chocolate has just set (about 30 minutes). Cut into squares with a sharp knife. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Makes about 24 squares. Preparation time 45 minutes.
Chocolate Peanut Squares are like a rich and decadent Rice Krispy Square. While they still contain the requisite marshmallows and rice cereal, we also add some peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, and peanuts. And if that weren't enough, the squares are topped with a layer of semi sweet chocolate. So what we end up with is a candy bar-like square that has a soft and chewy texture that tastes of chocolate and peanuts. What's not to like.
These Chocolate Peanut Squares are very easy to make and they're no bake. You need only one pot to melt the butter, peanut butter, agave (or light corn syrup or golden honey), honey, and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy. Then you add the marshmallows and stir until everything is nicely melted and smooth. All that is left to do is to stir in the rice cereal and peanuts. Once the mixture is spread into your pan, it's left to cool before covering with melted chocolate. It is the agave, honey, and melted marshmallows that give these squares their lovely soft and chewy texture, and adding rice cereal and peanuts produces that crunch we all love in candy bars. I usually store these in the refrigerator as my favorite way to eat a chocolate candy bar is cold. As with most things chocolate, these do benefit from sitting overnight in the fridge so the flavors have time to soften and blend.