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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars

Slowly, I'm coming back from the dead.  The cold virus that knocked me down like a freight train has been galliantly fought off by my immune system and I'm on the mend.  It has been rough, being sick at this time of the year, because this is the most fun time of year to cook!  This is the time of year that you can make everything red, green and blue, cover everything in sprinkles and frosting and feed your coworkers endless supplies of sugar.  They don't complain because it's festive.

I had big plans to make you lots of cookies the week leading up to Christmas, these bars are as far as I got.  While they were certainly delicious, I can't say that they are terribly festive.  Now that we've made it past December 25th and the presents have been put away, I suppose that you need some treats to celebrate the New Year.

Now that I'm living withing throwing distance to New York City, I've been getting lots of questions about what I'm doing for the big night.  Sadly, since I've been sick, we haven't made any plans at all!  A few years ago, before we were living here, boyfriend and I came to New York for the ball drop.  We figured, "You have to do it once!" 

Unfortunately, that year it was freezing cold.  I'm talking single digit temperatures as we approached midnight.  We had layered pants upon pants and sweaters under our jackets, yet still, we were cold.  There was no way we were going to sit still in Time's square for eight hours.  We would have been peoplesicles.  Instead we wandered the city from four in the afternoon until the ball finally came down to ring in the new year. 
We actually had a good view of the descending ball from our final position at the southeast corner of Bryant park.  The winds were even blowing in our direction and we got a nice shower of confetti and balloons.  However, moments after midnight, the crowds quickly dispersed and we hoofed it back to our hotel room as fast as our frozen bodies could take us.

This year looks to be a lot warmer here in the Big apple.  Does that mean that you'll see me in with the throngs of people in Time's Square?  Not a chance!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I hope you spend it with people you love, whether you decide to ring in the new year at eight o'clock or midnight.

Peanut butter Rice Crispy Bars
Adapted from Cooking Light Cookbook

One Year Ago: Blueberry Macarons

These bars are simple and delicious, the perfect thing to throw together if you are running out of time before your party!  If you're feeling festive, you should top these bad boys off with some sprinkles.  It will be a few months before you have a good reason to celebrate with sprinkles!  Groundhogs isn't really a sprinkle-requiring kind of holiday.

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (like Jif)
1  tbsp butter
1 - 10.5 ounce bag of mini marshmallows
6 cups crisp rice cereal
Cooking spray
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a medium pot, combine butter and peanut butter over low heat.  Stir until melted and combined.  Add marshmallows and stir until melted.  Add cereal and stir to coat the cereal completely in marshmallow.  Transfer to oiled baking pan.  With oiled hands, press down cereal into the pan, even out the top.

In a small pot, combine peanut butter chips and chocolate chips over low heat.  Stir until melted and combined.  Pour over the slab of crispy treat and spread out evenly with an offset spatula.  Cut into 24 squares and hide them from your family members.
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