I love Rice Krispie treats, but I think they are just about the biggest pain to make of any of my favorite treats. Every time I've made them Rice Krispies end up all over the place and marshmallow is stuck to every surface within five feet of me. It's one of those recipes that is so easy but I get so much anxiety in the process it's not even worth it. Baking shouldn't be stressful.

Alas, thankfully I never gave up on making Rice Krispie treats entirely. I've only done this with a few foods (ahem, lemon curd). I saw these on FoodGawker and knew it was fate. I needed to brave the Rice Krispie/marshmallow duo once again. It was so worth it. These aren't your ordinary RKT, they have peanut butter in them! And not only do they have peanut butter, they also have peanut butter cups AND chocolate. They remind me of the better than crack brownies I used to make all the time, but I think they might be better. Better than the better than crack brownies..that's pretty darn good right there. 

You'll notice that there are multiple steps to this recipe, but the good news is they are all very easy steps. Melting the marshmallows in the microwave takes a huge pain out of the process. You'll also be able to reuse a lot of the bowls because you're using the same ingredients. My advice is just to set everything out first and make it a smooth process. I made them twice in 24 hours (didn't get to take pictures the first time), so they obviously can't be too tedious! 


Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats
Recipe adapted from Sweet Tooth

For the 1st layer rice krispie treat:
3 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

- Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x9 pan.
- Measure out the 3 cups of rice krispies and set aside.
- Put the marshmallows, butter, peanut butter, and vanilla in a large microwave safe bowl.  Melt in the microwave for about 45 seconds, and stir until smooth.
- Stir in rice cereal and spread evenly into pan.  (keep out the bowl, you can reuse it!)

For the 2nd layer peanut butter fudge:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/4 cup mini peanut butter cups (not the ones wrapped in foil, the new kind with the smaller cups)

- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and peanut butter until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth.  Spread evenly over first layer of rice krispies.
- Sprinkle your mini peanut butter cups on top of the fudge and press them gently into the fudge.
- Transfer pan to the fridge to let the fudge set as you prepare the next layer.

For the 3rd layer rice krispie treat:
3 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

- Prepare rice krispie mixture like the first layer, then spread evenly over the peanut butter cup layer.  Set aside.

For the 4th layer chocolate PB ganache:
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups chocolate chips

- Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth, stirring in between each round.  Mix in peanut butter.
- Pour ganache over rice krispies and use an offset spatula to evenly spread the chocolate.  
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ganache is firm.  Cut into bars (I made mine small because they are super rich!) 

I've had brownies in ice cream. I've had ice cream on brownies. But until I made these, I had never heard of putting ice cream IN brownies. What brilliant minds think of these things? I guess you can tell from the pictures I still added ice cream on top of the brownies. Whoops. One of these days I'll learn to practice some restraint...just not today.

I'm sure I've talked about how I prefer everything under-baked. Brownies are no exception. I had a good feeling about this recipe because it seemed like adding ice cream to the batter would inevitably produce a brownie that was right up my alley. I'm talking gooey, rich, have a giant glass of milk on hand in case of chocolate overload brownies. Sometimes my hunches on these things are way off, but not this time! I used french silk ice cream to give the brownies a little boost of espresso flavor. You could use whatever kind of ice cream you like. I'd suggest avoiding plain flavors like vanilla or chocolate chip, but I'm not doing the grocery shopping so that's up to you.

Ice Cream Sundae Brownies
Recipe from Picky Palate

1 box Brownie Mix
2 eggs
1/2 Cup canola or vegetable oil
Heaping 1/2 Cup of your favorite Ice Cream (I used french vanilla)
1 1/2 Cups chocolate chips
1/4 Cup hot fudge topping (chilled)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl mix the brownie mix, 2 eggs and oil until combined…and thick. I did NOT add the water. Scoop in ice cream, chocolate chips and hot fudge; mix until combined. Pour into a foil lined 9×13 inch baking dish that’s been GENEROUSLY sprayed with cooking spray. More is better here. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center.

2. Let cool completely. Remove foil from baking dish, cut into squares and serve.

I'm not a big fan of drinks that are overly sweet. Some people would disagree with that statement considering I've been known to enjoy a glass of vinho verde or two..or three. But that's about as sweet as I can do with wines. Sangria is usually too sweet for me. I love the fruit, but the drink itself gives me a headache. That being said, this white sangria is my perfect summer wine drink. It's the amazing solution to all of my sangria woes! A splash of club soda tones the sweetness down, and you even get to enjoy the delicious fresh fruit afterwards. I'm just not the type to leave the fruit in my cup. If I had it my way I'd skip the liquid wine and just eat the wine soaked fruit. Unfortunately I'll add that to my long list of ideal activities that are not acceptable in the real world. 

I got the recipe from my friend Melissa who made it at a dinner party last weekend. It took me less than a week to make my own batch, and I have a feeling I'll be making this plenty in the future as well. It's the perfect summertime drink with just the right amount of sweetness. White wine sangria might be a bit odd come November, so seize the season! You won't regret it. 

White Sangria

2 Bottles White Wine*
2 White Peaches 
2 Green Apples
2 Limes
4 Tbs Sugar
1 Liter Club Soda

*Good wines for this: pinot grigio, white rioja, riesling, sauvignon blanc or chenin blanc.

Slice apples and peaches into thin wedges. Slice limes into slightly larger wedges. Pour both bottles of wine into a large pitcher, add sugar and stir to combine. Throw in fruit slices, squeezing a few of the limes as you add them in (don't squeeze all of them, you want the majority of them to be in tact and keep their pretty appearance). Place in fridge for 4+ hours. The longer the drink stays in the fridge, the more the fruit will soak up the delicious wine. This can even be made the night before if you have time. 

To serve, pour the wine mixture into glasses and scoop a bit of fruit in from the pitcher (you may want to use a slotted spoon for this). Pour a generous splash of club soda into each glass and stir to blend. Serve! Store the remaining drink in the fridge to keep it nice and cold.