Copycat Payday Candy Bars

Copycat Payday Bars

Homemade payday candy bars made of sticky-sweet, gooey caramel balanced by the crunch of a thousand salty peanuts. They’re almost paydays. They would be more aptly titled payday “wannabees” being they’re not exactly alike yet completely delicious in their own right. You’ll find the same flavors are present but with a much softer caramel, not the firm, crunchy one found in the originals.

The caramel is super easy to make by melting dulce de leche, mini marshmallows, butter and peanut butter together on the stove. You can easily make your own dulce de leche, a milk caramel, by roasting sweetened condensed milk in the oven for an hour or you can buy it already made. Look for it in the baking aisle or the Spanish section of your market. If you never had it before then you’ll want to seek it out because it is one of the most delightful things you will ever taste. Think smooth, creamy, spoon-able caramel that doesn’t stick to your teeth.

Homemade Payday Bars

To assemble the bars half the peanuts are spread in a pan, the caramel confection is poured over them then the rest of the peanuts are sprinkled on top. After spending a little time in the refrigerator they’re ready to cut up into bars and devour enjoy.

They don’t look like much, you might be thinking, because I thought the same, but for all their simplicity they have strangely addictive qualities. I hope you get a chance to make them, even if you’re not a payday candy bar lover, so you can understand exactly what I’m talking about.

Salty Peanut Caramel Bars

Copycat Payday Candy Bars

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 (9x9-inch) pan

Copycat Payday Candy Bars

Homemade payday candy bars made of sticky-sweet, gooey caramel balanced by the crunch of a thousand salty peanuts. They're almost paydays. They would be more aptly titled payday “wannabees” being they're not exactly alike yet completely delicious in their own right.


1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk or dulce de leche
32 ounces (4 cups) salty roasted peanuts, divided
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter


    Make the caramel/dulce de leche (skip this step if you bought it already made):
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a shallow baking dish - I like to use a non-stick loaf pan.
  2. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and set it inside a larger roasting pan. Pour in hot water to reach about halfway up the side of the smaller pan.
  3. Bake 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool.
  4. Make the bars:
  5. Line a 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Add 2 cups of peanuts and spread them out evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  6. Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium-sized heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the marshmallows and stir until they're melted.
  7. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the dulce de leche and the peanut butter. When the mixture is completely combined, pour gently over the peanuts. Smooth it out with a rubber spatula then sprinkle the remaining peanuts evenly over the top. Use your hand to press them down gently into the caramel.
  8. Refrigerate until set about 2 hours. Use the parchment to remove from the pan to a cutting board and cut into squares or bars with a sharp paring or chef's knife. Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator or in a cool, dry place up to one week.


Adapted from Michael Symon

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Peanut butter rice krispie treats layered atop fudge brownies and enrobed completely in chocolate like a little gift.

Let’s talk about the brownie layer first. It’s soft, rich and fudgy with an occasional crunchy bite because it has rice krispies in it too. They’re softer than what’s found in the top layer from being baked and there’s just enough to give it a little texture and subtle crunch.

The rice krispie layer is a little more denser than the traditional rice krispie treat and tastes more of peanut butter than marshmallows. It’s in equal proportion to the brownie layer and together they make the perfect bite.

If the brownies were any taller it would be hard to wrap your mouth around them. While that’s never a bad thing when it comes to desserts, my intention was to get a mouthful of both so you experience crunchy peanut butter-laced cereal and soft fudgy brownie all at once in one beautiful bite.

The chocolate coating is the facet that ties them both together and makes the brownie feel complete. It unites them. Without it all you have are rice krispies on top of brownies. With it you have “peanut butter rice krispie treat brownies“. Brownie bombs. A perfect juxtaposition of chocolate to peanut butter to make your heart pitter patter a little faster. {Of course you can make them without it but I don’t recommend it.}

I do recommend you bake up a batch of these completely irresistible treats as soon as humanly possible. . .

You’re very welcome.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Brownies

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 1 (8x8-inch) pan/16 (1-inch) squares

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies


1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
1 + 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Rice Krispie Layer:
1 tablespoon butter
20 (about 5 ounces) regular marshmallows or 2 heaping cups miniature marshmallows
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Chocolate Coating:
1 + 1/2 cups chopped milk or semi-sweet chocolate (I like Callebaut )
1 teaspoon melted shortening


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease just the very center of an 8x8 baking pan to get the parchment to stick - then line it with parchment paper (or aluminum foil), leave it overhanging on two sides; lightly butter the paper.
  2. Make the brownies:
  3. Melt the butter and 1 cup of the chocolate chips together in a double boiler or in the microwave on the chocolate setting in 20 second increments, stirring in between until smooth.
  4. Stir in the sugars and salt, then the eggs, then the flour, stirring just until combined. Stir in the rice krispies - it will be pretty thick.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove the brownies from the oven to a wire rack and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over top. Wait 15 - 20 minutes then spread the melted chips gently over the top - they won't cover it completely - it's just to give the rice krispie layer something to adhere to. Let cool completely.
  7. Make the rice krispies:
  8. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until melted.
  9. Add the cereal and stir until well combined. Scoop it out onto the brownies and spread it out with a buttered spatula or wet fingers edge to edge as evenly as possible. Refrigerate 25 minutes to make for easier cutting and covering in chocolate.
  10. After about 25 minutes remove from refrigerator and lift them out using the overhanging parchment onto a cutting board. Cut into squares or bars using a large chef's knife or a paring knife wiped clean between cuts. Set them on a wire rack or on clean piece of parchment.
  11. Make the chocolate coating:
  12. In a medium microwave safe bowl melt all the chocolate except about a tablespoon (set it aside) in 20 second increments, stirring in between until chocolate is smooth and melted. Add the chocolate you set aside and stir until melted. Stir in the shortening.
  13. Dip the brownies one at a time - you can stick a skewer or chopstick into them to make it easier - using a spoon to cover them all over with chocolate. Let excess drip off and then set on a wire rack or on parchment. Working fast, repeat until all the brownies are coated. The chocolate should set up quickly - if it doesn't, you can place them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until set.
  14. Store in a cool dry place, tightly covered up to 5 days. Layer them with parchment paper to prevent sticking.


Brownies adapted from these Rocky Road Brownies

Rice Krispie Treats adapted from

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

A Little Help for the Holidays from Kraft

Homemade chocolate chip peanut butter cups are the perfect holiday treats! They round out a cookie tray nicely and can be used for any and all your entertaining purposes.

You can hand them out as party swag, give them as a hostess gift, tuck them into stockings on Christmas eve or leave them on Santa’s cookie dish for an unexpected treat.

You know what makes these extra special? Two things, really. The first is that they have mini chocolate chips in them making them kind of taste like cookie dough. The second is that I used my favorite peanut butter, Planters®, to make them.

Right now you can save up to 20 dollars on participating Kraft products, including Planters® peanut butter, using these coupons offered by Kraft, at Target.

You can use all that savings to make delicious recipes for quick weeknight meals and to help make your holiday entertaining easy. Kraft has you covered!

Here’s a little recipe inspiration:

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Pimento-Cheese Pinwheels

Favorite Holiday Turkey Melt

Chicken Italiano

Did you know peanut butter cups are really easy to make? You can make up a batch in under an hour and they are a fun project to involve kids in. Don’t forget the Planters® peanut butter!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cups

  • 1 cup Planters® peanut butter
  • 2/3 -1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt, optional
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 16 ounces chopped milk chocolate, divided
  • 2 teaspoons shortening, melted

In a medium mixing bowl combine peanut butter, 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt with a fork until well mixed. Taste and add additional sugar/salt if desired.

Add the chocolate chips and work them in with a spoon – the mixture will be thick.

Line a mini muffin tin or baking sheet with small aluminum candy cups or baking cups.

Add half the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and then remove about 1 tablespoon of it and set aside. Use the chocolate setting on your microwave to melt the chocolate until smooth and creamy, checking it in 30 second increments and stirring.

Once it is completely melted stir in the little bit of chocolate you set aside – keep stirring until it melts completely. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the melted shortening.

Drop a teaspoonful of chocolate into the bottom of each liner and use the back of a spoon to draw the chocolate up the sides. A 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon works well for this. Refrigerate for ten minutes or until set up.

Add a spoonful of filling to each cup and flatten out the top. Depending on how much confectioners’ sugar you used the filling might be thick enough to shape with your hands.

Melt the remaining chocolate using the same method. Drop a teaspoonful over top of each one and smooth out. Refrigerate until the tops set 15 minutes.

Store in a cool, dry place up to 10 days.

*Makes about 32 candy cups.

From shopping for gifts to planning family dinners, it’s hard to keep up with all your holiday to-do’s. This year, Kraft is helping out with great weeknight meals and entertaining ideas to make the season a little bit easier. Plus, Kraft is offering up to $20 in coupons, redeemable exclusively at Target, to make food shopping easier and to help you have a happy holiday season.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kraft. The opinions and text are all mine.

Three Dove® Promises® Dessert Recipes

This is a sponsored post for Dove® Promises®. I received product and compensation to help facilitate my post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dove Promises

As part of the Dove® Chocolate Tastemaker program I was asked to create three original recipes using the Dove® Promises® Silky Smooth Chocolate Collection that includes Dark Chocolate Mint Swirl, Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate…. 

Read More »

Peanut Butter Panko Chicken with Coconut Noodles

Oven-fried chicken crusted with peanut butter sauce and Japanese panko crumbs served with silky coconut milk noodles. The most insanely delicious Asian-inspired comfort meal.  Ever.

The peanut butter sauce is mostly creamy peanut butter with… 

Read More »

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

A chocolate and peanut butter filling sits atop a pretzel crust with more chopped pretzels sprinkled on top. A sweet and salty paradise.

They are quick and easy to throw together being the only part requiring baking is the bottom layer. … 

Read More »