Chocolate and Peanut Butter Caramel Chex Bars

So I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled programming (French recipes) because holding back this recipe from you guys for another couple of weeks just seemed cruel.

I came home from the supermarket with four boxes of plain Chex over the weekend, creating the perfect opportunity to make these bars, which I’d pinned several months back.   One look at the ingredient list and I knew they’d be a winner.  Chex (naturally gluten-free!), peanut butter, caramel, peanuts and chocolate?  How could these be anything but amazing?

I made them once exactly as written in the original recipe (very, very good), but make some edits for the second batch to make them a little less salty and a bit crunchier.  Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of peanut butter caramel goodness to coat each and every Chex piece.

You might want to save these for a day when you know when you’ll be having company or kids over (or not… I won’t judge).  Because I promise you that these will disappear shockingly fast.   It’s sort of like having two dozen Twix or Take 5 candy bars out and unwrapped.  Totally dangerous.

I should also warn you that Rice Krispy Treats will seem completely inadequate as a cereal bar after you get a taste of these.


Chocolate and Peanut Butter Caramel Chex Bars

Yield: about 24 bars

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes


* 7 cups Rice or Corn Chex
* 1-1/4 cups roasted, salted peanuts
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup light corn syrup
* 1 cup smooth peanut butter
* 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup bittersweet/dark chocolate chips (or 4.5 ounces chunk chocolate)


Use butter to lightly grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Alternatively you can line the pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment set the pan aside.

In a large bowl combine the Chex and peanuts. Lightly toss and set aside.

In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar and corn syrup and stir to mix. Set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for one minute without stirring. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, vanilla and salt and stir until well-combined and smooth.

Pour the peanut butter caramel sauce over the cereal mixture and toss gently but thoroughly, trying your best to not crush the Chex. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan. Use your hands to gently press the mixture down evenly (you can lightly grease your hands if desired. Also be careful as the mixture will still be somewhat hot).

Let cool for at least 20 minutes. Melt the chocolate chips using a microwave or double boiler. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the bars. Let cool completely, placing the bars in the refrigerator if necessary to make sure that the chocolate hardens.

Cut the bars directly in the pan or, if using parchment, lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper and then cut on a cutting board.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature in cooler climates.

Recipe Adapted from Baked Elements via Serious Eats

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13 Responses to “Chocolate and Peanut Butter Caramel Chex Bars”

  1. #
    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) — November 13, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Love bars that have lots of peanuts in them – these look fabulous! yum =)


    • Cate — November 13th, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

      Thanks Rachael :)


  2. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — November 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    these look like the ultimate everything i could ever imagine bar. i seriously am going to make these this holiday season – they look so good!!


    • Cate — November 13th, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

      Hope you like them Julie :) I’m totally obsessed with them at the moment… like I might make yet another batch this coming weekend!


  3. #
    Mindy — November 14, 2012 at 4:31 am

    So, cereal treats of any kind are definitely my weakness. Peanut butter and chocolate Kix treats?! I’ll take two pans please.
    These sound – and look – amazing. Goin’ on the to-make list.


    • Cate — November 14th, 2012 @ 7:29 am

      Peanut butter and chocolate Kix treats? That sounds amazing too… Off to research whether Kix are gluten-free now! :)


      • Mindy — December 29th, 2012 @ 8:51 am

        Made these for one of my Christmas treats. Um, amazing. They won Best In Show out of all the Christmas goodies this year. I’m posting them later this week with a link to your recipe. So friggin’ good.

  4. #
    Natasha — November 15, 2012 at 4:59 am

    This looks like exactly what I’m craving right now! Yum!


  5. #
    Chex — June 19, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Hi Cate! These look scrumptious. May we have your permission to use a photo on our Facebook page? Let us know what you think! :)


    • Cate — June 19th, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

      Sure- not a problem as long as credit and a link are given!


  6. #
    Jana — February 14, 2014 at 3:06 am

    Just made these last night to take to a meeting at church. It was a little embarrassing because everyone was crunching and licking their fingers while the pastor was trying to talk about some serious stuff, but everyone loved them, and a few people came by to snag another one off the plate for their ride home. Anyway, between them and my family, the pan is gone… 12 hours after making them! Guess I’ll be picking up another box of rice chex at the store today. Thanks Cate!


  7. #
    Candice — March 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    This is an awesome dessert! We are a gluten and casein free house hold and this was easy and met our needs. I don’t use corn syrup, so I used 1/2 c. honey and 1/2 c. maple syrup and it turned out great!


    • Cate — June 27th, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

      Awesome- thanks for your comment Candice. I’m sure plenty of other folks are interested in avoiding corn syrup and/or using something a but more natural.


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