I admire those folks who are up and at ’em in the early hours of the morning, and I can certainly see the appeal. Nothing like getting a good sunrise run or walk in, a load of laundry done, a few chapters of your book read, or a stack of bills paid… and all before hitting the office for the day. That feeling of early-rise accomplishment is pretty special. Try as I might, however, I’d much rather hit that snooze button about 20 times instead of hopping out of bed with a spring in my step. I’m not always in the most pleasant of moods before noon either. Sure, I can muster up a smile and do what’s required of me, but you best ply me with coffee (ironically, for health purposes, I drink decaf – black, mind you) and maybe some chocolate to get me through. The expression, “Good Morning!” is wasted on me.
In other words, you won’t see me taking a tip from Mickey and Judy…
All of which is why I had to chuckle at this week’s recipe selected by Baked Sunday Mornings – Good Morning Sunshine Bars from Baked Elements. While the conceit is set forth in the recipe’s intro that these peanutty, sweet and salty snack cereal bars are a welcome morning treat, they can also be made for pretty near any fun occasion – or anytime you want a quick dessert without too much fuss.
Indeed, these are remarkably easy to make and put together. Simply cook brown sugar and corn syrup (a walloping 1 cup) together, then stir in peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir this almost candy/caramel-like mixture into Rice Chex cereal and coarsely chopped peanuts, and press it all into a greased pan. Melt some milk chocolate, drizzling it in thin bands across the top (Baked advises not to overdo on the chocolate to allow the peanuts and peanut butter flavors to really shine through as the stars of this recipe). Truly, these bars are almost the essence of your standard Rice Krispy treat – they satisfy your craving for a sweet, chewy treat without too much elbow grease in the making.
I opted to make two pans myself, as – while I can tolerate peanut butter – I’m not a huge fan of peanuts. I made a half batch with peanuts (to give away) and half without (so I could have a taste). Unfortunately, by anticipating this would not be a favorite recipe of mine – I confess a small prejudice and snobbery against recipes which seem this easy to toss together – I rushed the preparation of these and didn’t consider my ingredients too carefully. Make sure you use peanut butter with some salt to it, and also salted peanuts. I used Trader Joe’s 50% less salted, roasted peanuts, and Trader Joe’s unsalted, natural peanut butter – resulting in a rather bland-tasting bar. I did sprinkle a bit of kosher salt across the top of the bars before drizzling them with chocolate, which helped a touch with achieving more of that saltiness juxtaposed against the sweet.
These didn’t “wow” me too much, and I found this to be a curious recipe to begin the first chapter (on peanut butter) of Baked Elements. They may have their appeal to some, but I found them lacking. Perhaps this was my use of bland peanuts and peanut butter – who knows. I’ve also never found Chex to be an interesting cereal base for any recipe, even Chex Mix! Honestly, I probably won’t make them again. Personally, I think I’ll stick to Baked’s fabulous Peanut Butter Crispy Bars recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking – which I have made many, many times – to satiate my craving for a peanut butter/chocolate/crisp cereal treat.
If Good Morning Sunshine Bars sound amazing enough to rouse you from your morning slumber and give you an early head-start on your day, follow this link to make your own:
And be sure to see what my fellow bakers thought on the Baked Sunday Mornings website!
Just don’t ask me to do anything for you in the morning… If you’ll pardon me, I have a snooze button to roll over and slap! Until next time, my friends!