It’s a homemade candy kind of Christmas

It’s been a few years since I’ve made candy for Christmas. Mick’s mom gave me her recipe for fudge and I did make that last year. So, that was definitely on the list of candy to make. I made a batch of Moonmallows the other day that just did not come out right. They fell flat, but still had a great taste, just not a good texture. I decided that I would find a use for them. I turned flat into crispy with the addition of a little butter, a little heat, and some Rice Crispy cereal. Now I have Over the Moon Crispy Treats!

Then as I was cleaning up in the kitchen and reorganizing my cookbooks, I came across an old recipe for Peanut Butter Balls, using Rice Crispy cereal as well. Now seemed as good a time as any for making them again. But like most recipes, I will make them exactly as it is written the first time and then the next time I start playing with it and turn it into something of my own.

I modified the recipe some more from what I had done years ago and made them into bars. Here you go!

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

by The Appalachian Tale

Level of difficulty: easy Total time to make: 10 min prep. 1 hr chill


  • 1 cup of peanut butter – smooth or crunchy
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of Rice Crispy cereal
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil


Prepare an 8×8 pan by spraying it lightly with non-stick spray and then heavily dusting it with powdered sugar. In a 3 quart or larger saucepan, melt the peanut butter and butter until smooth. Remove from heat and add in the powdered sugar and stir. The batter will become thick quickly. Add in the cereal and mix completely. Turn mixture out into the prepared 8×8 pan and with a buttered spatula (or buttered hand) spread the candy to all edges and corners of the pan evenly.

In a 1 cup or larger microwaveable measuring cup, heat the chocolate chips and coconut oil on high for 45 seconds. Stir several times and return to the microwave for 30 seconds more. Remove and stir again. Stir it for a minute or so and if there are still any chunks of chocolate left, return to the microwave for 15 seconds more. Be careful not to overcook the chocolate. You will know if you do because it will set hard in an instant and you will need to start over again. Pour the chocolate over the candy and smooth out to the edges and corners. Let the candy chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour to set. Remove and cut into cubes. Yields approximately 36 1 inch squares. Store in an airtight container.

I posted about Hot Cocoa Blocks the other day. I found the recipe in a post by King Arthur Flour. I made a batch and gave them as gifts with some of my homemade marshmallows (just the regular kind, not the moonmallows. I saved a couple of those for me, which I am having as I write this post!)

They are easy to make and enjoy. If you have ever made a pan of fudge, then you can make these. When I use one, I just put a cup of milk in the microwave for 2 minutes, which gets it nice and steamy and then I stir the block in. I found the sticks I needed at the dollar store and they were actually double the width of a regular popsicle stick, which makes it nice for stirring. Here is the recipe from King Arthur!


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • unsweetened cocoa, for sprinkling (optional)
  • Wooden ice-pop sticks


  1. Line an 8″ square pan with parchment or foil.
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the cream and condensed milk until steaming. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Return the pan to the stove over low heat and whisk vigorously until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is thick and shiny. Add a flavoring or extract (see tips), whisk to combine, and pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Shake it gently to level the top.
  4. Sprinkle the top with cocoa (if using). Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to set up.
  5. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and use the parchment or foil to lift the block out of the pan. Place on a cutting surface.
  6. Dip a large knife in hot water and wipe dry; slice the block into 1 1/4˝ cubes, heating the knife and wiping dry between each cut. Place a wooden stick into the center of each block. Roll in more cocoa (if using).
  7. Place in mini-muffin papers, then wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap to store in the refrigerator.
  8. Yield: 3 dozen blocks


  • Depending on your taste and the occasion, you can flavor your blocks any way you like. Hazelnut, vanilla, and almond extracts are all good choices. Try adding some ground chili or five-spice powder for an intriguing twist.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope it is the very best!

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The Appalachian Tale

Memories, recipes, and Tales of an Appalachian Boy.

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