Gold Bars…they’re the unicorn of foods. This is a cafeteria staple that at one time was found in lunchrooms across Albuquerque (before the days of peanut allergies), maybe even the entire state of New Mexico. My sister recalls buying these in middle school in Las Cruces. Kirk says she’s a liar. If she’s right, how could these tasty chocolate topped peanut butter bars have slipped through our radar? Since originally posting this recipe in 2011 on my previous food blog I have had lots of folks from all over tell me that they had some version of this bar served in their school cafeterias, as well. I guess they’re universal.
This recipe came to my attention via a Facebook conversation I was eavesdropping on where these elusive bars were mentioned, but no recipe followed. That sparked a quest through the internet to find it. Information was sparse, but I finally ended up in an abandoned chat room and there it was, gleaming in the distance.
I was like the culinary equivalent of Indiana Jones. I located my golden artifact, dusted it off and quickly made my way out of there before the walls tumbled in. Seriously, this was a deep Google, maybe page 8 or 10, so this chat room post was old.
Today this recipe is everywhere, however, this is the version I like and I have it on very good authority that it tastes authentic. Please don’t come at me with “it should be graham crackers, not Rice Krispies” or “the lunch ladies used Magic Shell not Hershey bars”. By all means change it up to suit your tastes. Oh, and just for the record, Magic Shell is gross.
Just a handful of simple ingredients are needed to achieve perfect peanut butter & chocolate nirvana…powdered sugar, Rice Krispies, Hershey bars, crunchy peanut butter, light corn syrup and melted butter. You might be inclined to go fancy, maybe use an almond butter or an expensive chocolate bar. Resist those urges. This bar likes it simple. It’s not trying to impress anyone.
(Skip to the end of this post for the recipe and instructions sans my ludicrous commentary.)
Place all the ingredients, except for the chocolate bars, into a large mixing bowl. Beat until well combined. Start off slow if using a stand mixer, because too much oomph and that powdered sugar will go everywhere, turning your humble kitchen into a Tony Montana scene from Scarface.
Oil a 9 x 13″ pan and line with plastic wrap. Don’t skip this step, it will make you’re life so much easier. Dump the peanut butter mixture into the pan (it will be very crumbly). Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom of the pan.
Break the chocolate bars up and add to a pan or double boiler. Heat the pan over simmering water, be sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat and stir until the chocolate melts and smooth in texture. Next, pour the chocolate over the peanut butter mixture and spread evenly with a spatula.
Pop the pan into the fridge for about 30 mins. Once the chocolate has lost it’s glossy shine, pull it out of the fridge and cut into squares in the pan. Pop it back into the fridge until the chocolate completely hardens. I usually let it sit overnight, but a couple of hours is probably all you need before these sweet beauties are ready to pop in your mouth.
Break them apart and share with family & friends. Or don’t. I’m not here to judge.
- 11 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 cups Rice Krispies
- 2 cups Crunchy Peanut Butter
- 2 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
- 4 tablespoons Butter (melted)
- Add Powdered Sugar, Rice Krispies, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Light Corn Syrup and melted Butter to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well blended using a stand or hand mixer.
- Press mixture evenly into a 9 x 13″ pan that has been lightly oiled and lined with plastic wrap.
- Melt chocolate bars in a double boiler.
- Pour melted chocolate over the peanut butter mixtures and spread evenly.
- Chill until set, but not hard. About 30 mins.
- Cut into pieces of desired size and return pan to the fridge.
- Chill until chocolate completely hardens.
- Remove from the pan and store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
And there you have it…delicious gold bars!