Would you believe me if I told you I had no idea that Rice Krispie Treats were a thing until junior high school. It not because I had never had them before. It’s because I had never had them made with Rice Krispies. Confused? Let me explain…
My mom always made Cocoa Krispie Treats. These delicious dessert bars are made with Cocoa Krispies and are little pieces of chocolatey goodness. My mom always made them with peanut butter mixed in too, so they had a slight chocolate peanut butter flavor. Yum!
Until junior high school, I had only experienced Cocoa Krispie Treats. Then one day, I was sitting my my friends at lunch and one of them pulled out a Rice Krispie Treat. I was baffled. Befuddled. I didn’t understand what I was seeing. A Rice Krispie Treat? What? Just plain, no chocolate? Why on Earth would anyone want to eat one of those?
I was curious and tried a bite and I was totally grossed out because there was too much sweet marshmallow flavor. To this day, I can’t eat plain Rice Krispie Treats. But I can devour an entire 13×9″ pan of Cocoa Krispie Treats faster than you can play a game of Spot It.
Cocoa Krispie Treats have now become one of my son’s favorite snacks. Every year, when I ask the kids what special things they want to me to make for them on Christmas Day, Carter always chooses Cocoa Krispie Treats — and thankfully, they are very easy and very fast to make.
All you have to do is melt one stick of butter over low heat in a large sauce pan. Once melted, add peanut butter, cocoa powder, and marshmallows, and stir until the marshmallows are completely melted and all ingredients are combined. Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in the Cocoa Krispies until they are completely coated, and press the gooey mixture evenly into a 13×9″ baking dish. When cool, simply cut into bars and serve.
There are a few tricks to making the perfect Cocoa Krispie Treat.
- Don’t assume that you can just add extra cereal. If you do, you risk turning your Cocoa Krispie Treats into a crumbly mess.
- Don’t use extra marshmallows. The recipe calls for 10 ounces of marshmallows, so buy a 10 ounce bag. Don’t buy a larger bag and just add extra marshmallows. If you do, the consistency will be off and you’ll risk the treats turning hard.
- Don’t make them without the cocoa powder. The cocoa powder makes a huge difference, not just by enhancing the chocolatey taste, but by making the bars pretty. The cocoa powder turned the marshmallow the color of chocolate. Without it, your Cocoa Krispie Bars will look almost moldy from the white marshmallow showing.
- My mom always spreads just a tiny bit of peanut butter over the top of the Cocoa Krispie Treats just after pressing them into the pan, while they are still hot.
I used to grease my baking dish before pressing the Cocoa Krispie mixture into the dish and it worked great. But these days, I’m all about reducing clean up time, so now I line my baking dish with foil. When the Cocoa Krispie Treats have cooled completely, I used the foil to lift the entire pan of Cocoa Krispie Treats our onto a cutting board, peel off the foil, and cut them into squares.
Much easier and no dish to wash.
Cocoa Krispie Treats
Skip the Rice Krispie Treats everyone makes and make these chocolatey Cocoa Krispie Treats!
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 10 oz marshmallows
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 6 cups cocoa krispies
- Melt butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. Once melted, add 2 tbsp peanut butter, cocoa powder, and marshmallows. Stir until melted and well blended.
- Remove from heat and stir in cereal until well coated. Press into greased 13x9" pan. Cool and cut into squares.
I usually add an extra tbsp of peanut butter to the marshmallow mixture, and like my mom, spread a little extra peanut butter over the top of the Cocoa Krispie Treats just after pressing them into the pan.