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Marshmallow Sludge Bars

January 22, 2009

Marshmallow Sludge Bars

I’m not sure how or why, but somehow a free free sample issue of Cuisine at Home Magazine made it to my mailbox. This was a lucky occurrence however, as it’s quite a nice magazine. The recipes are well written and easy to follow, not to mention tasty looking. One of the recipes that came in the sample issue was for Salted Nut Roll Bars. I tore the page out and it was quickly next in line to be produced in my kitchen. My only cause for hesitance was that Taste Tester had recently criticized my overuse of salted peanuts in my cpb creations. I’ve been using them a good amount in the hopes of getting through the stash that’s been in my pantry.

Wanting to make him happy and also wanting to sneak some chocolate into this chocolate-free recipe, I replaced the two cups of dry-roasted peanuts with milk chocolate chips. The creaminess of milk chocolate is really perfect for this recipe, so I’d stick with it even if you’re tempted to go darker.

I brought these to my office and after they had me describe what was in them (“crushed Nutter Butters, milk chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallow, rice krispies”) they laughed and said, “So you pretty much took everything delicious in the world and made it into one bar.” Yeah, that’s pretty much how it went. And all of the layers produced a really nice variation of textures: crumbly crust, rich thick peanut butter layer, fluffy marshmallow and a crispy chocolate topping.

Marshmallow Sludge Bars

The recipe says to use mini marshmallows but they only had large ones at my grocery store. I just snipped them in half and applied them to the peanut butter layer, sticky side down. Maybe it’s a bit more effort, but they’re nice because you encounter big hunks of marshmallow like this:

Marshmallow Sludge Bars

Put your basic Rice Krispie Treats recipe aside and give these a try. You can thank me later!

Marshmallow Sludge Bars
(modified from Cuisine at Home)
Makes 28 Bars

1 lb peanut butter sandwich cookies, coarsely crushed
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 cups peanut butter chips
2/3 cup light corn syrup
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups large marshmallows, snipped in half with kitchen shears
2 cups Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
2 cups Cocoa Krispies Choconilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350°, coat a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with nonstick spray
2. Pulverize cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter; process until crumbs clump together. Press crumbs into prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden.
3. Melt peanut butter chips, corn syrup, butter and vanilla in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth, about 5 minute. Spread 1/2 cup of the peanut butter mixture over crumb base.
4. Top with marshmallows, sticky side down and return bars to the oven. Bake until marshmallows puff, about 2 minutes, then remove from the oven. Don't let marshmallows brown or they'll turn crunchy.
5. Toss chocolate chips and cereal with remaining peanut mixture to coat. Drop spoonfuls o the topping over the marshmallows, then spread with a spatula. Cool bars before cutting with a knife.
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