I was not at all looking for something new to bake this week. In fact, I was actively trying to avoid baking because baking generally leads to more crumbs in my house, and even though this is The Crumb Factory, with Pesach coming and all, I am trying to minimize the multiplying crumbs in my house.
But then the daily email from Amanda's Cookin' came and the title sounded so yummy that I just had to look. And when I did, I realized, hey, I have all those ingredients in open packages in my pantry and if I don't use them up before Passover, then I will need to chuck them*. This really could not have worked out better. I read the recipe and kept smiling - why yes, I do have half a box of Rice Krispies and yes, I do have half a bag of chocolate chips just sitting in the freezer from many months ago. And the best, I did have half a recipe of sugar cookie dough sitting next to the chocolate chips in the freezer.
The recipe I made is not exactly the same as the original, but it's close - and it's very good. Even Josh, who normally will not touch anything that mixes peanut butter and chocolate, thought they were pretty good. Yeah, I don't understand him either. He likes chocolate and he likes peanut butter, but believes the two flavors should not be mixed. What is that? My personal feeling is that those two flavors should always be mixed - I am someone who would be willing to sell her house in exchange for a Reese's peanut butter cup, so maybe I am the wrong person to comment, but these were awesome.
Here is what I did:
1. Defrost the half-recipe of sugar cookie dough and press it down into a greased 9x13 pan. I baked it on 350 for ten minutes, just like the original recipe said, but it was not at all done after ten minutes. So I left it in for another five and then took it out, still not done, but I wasn't quite sure how this was going to end up, so I just let it rest on the counter at that point.
2. During the last five minutes of baking, I microwaved half a bag of chocolate chips for about 50 seconds, which turned out to be about ten seconds too long. The chocolate wasn't burnt, but it was headed in that direction. I spread the chocolate over the not quite baked cookie dough bottom, and then realized that I had not yet made the Rice Krispie part of the recipe, which really needed to be added to the top of the chocolate right away, so I stuck the pan with the cookie bottom and melted chocolate top back into the oven for five minutes while I made the cereal mixture.
3. Mix 1/2 cup each of sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter. The original recipe says to heat it on the stovetop until smooth but whatever, time was a-wasting. So I put it into the microwave for 40 seconds, mixed it and put it back for another 20 seconds. At that point it was smooth enough to be mixed in with the 4 cups of rice cereal - and then, quite nicely in the timing department, the timer dinged and I took out the cake. The chocolate had gotten much smoother during it's time in the oven, and was looking much better.
4. Pour the cereal mixture over the cake/chocolate pan and press down, kind of like making Rice Krispie treats. I felt like there was a lot of cereal mixture and not all of it was sticking to the cake because not all of it was touching melted chocolate. What to do? Stick it back in the oven, that's what. Five more minutes in the oven for reasons that I can't explain and the whole things came out pretty nicely.
5. Let cool and cut into bars. Eat one and leave the kitchen because if you sit at the counter and keep cutting just a little more to even out the edges there will be nothing left for the next day.
Store in an airtight container, if there are any left, that is.
*So why would I need to throw things out? Because the laws of Passover dictate that one get rid of all "leavened" items in the house, and this includes open boxes of cereal, half bags of flour, open boxes of pancake mix, half-eaten packages of cookies, you get the idea. So the goal is to try and use up all the different open packages, even if that means having some truly weird pre-Passover dinners.