grown-up rice krispie treats


There is something you should know about Chicago. The ENTIRE city goes completely apeshit for St. Patrick’s Day. This is not a normal kind of apeshit. This is a -dye the entire river green, 48 hours straight of drinking, drunk people everywhere, barf in the streets/on the sidewalks, take over every restaurant and bar in the city- kind of insanity. It might be the one weekend a year where I actually hate Chicago. Although remarkably, everything gets cleaned up pretty quickly.

How do you deal with a city gone mad? Bake. And eat. And maybe have a beer or two so you don’t feel completely left out.

I made what are pretty much grown-up rice krispie treats. Except you replace the rice krispies with rice chex and peanuts and the marshmallow with what is essentially the beginnings of a peanut butter caramel.ย  And then you add a chocolate drizzle on top. They also sort of remind me of those Kudos bars I used to get in my lunch in elementary/middle school. Except these are better. Much better.


Good Morning Sunshine Bars
recipe from Baked Elements by Renato Poliafito and Matt Lewis

6 cups rice chex cereal
1 1/4 cups roasted salted peanuts, chopped
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 TB vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
4 to 6 oz milk chocolate, melted


  1. Use nonstick spray to lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish. Line with parchment. Spray parchment lightly with nonstick spray.
  2. Toss cereal and chopped peanuts with your hands in a large bowl until combined.
  3. Combine brown sugar and corn syrup in a small or medium saucepan. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Caution: hot sugar is basically lava.
  4. Pour mixture over the cereal/peanuts, and stir until the cereal is coated. Be gentle so as to not crush too much of the cereal.
  5. Once cereal is coated, press into the bottom of prepared pan. Cool to room temperature. You can also refrigerate it for 20 minutes to speed up the process.
  6. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Drizzle on top.
  7. Once chocolate sets, lift out of pan using the overhanging parchment and cut into pieces. Store in an airtight container (in the fridge, if your kitchen is warm and/or humid). You can also wrap them individually and store in the fridge, like I did in the picture above.




  1. differentbeautifully

    wish I could find a version of these with less fat and sugar…they look so good. How many bars does this make in one batch?

    • mel

      i got 30 bars out of the recipe, but you could cut them even smaller and get more. One bar is pretty satisfying, so thankfully they’re not something you want to snack on repeatedly throughout the day. hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

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