By ALISON LADMAN
For The Associated Press
---- — School often starts when kids still have summer on the brain. So these easy-to-make bars have summer in mind, too.
We aimed for a simple snack with the flavor of s'mores, but with the texture, ease and portability of puffed rice treats.
We ended up with a layer of marshmallow-rich crushed graham crackers topped with chocolate. To make things interesting, we turned them into peanut butter s'mores bars. But if your kids aren't peanut butter inclined, just leave it out.
Peanut Butter S'Mores Bars
Start to finish: 20 minutes (plus cooling)
3 T. unsalted butter
10-oz. package marshmallows
¼ c. smooth natural peanut butter
3 c. graham cereal, lightly crushed
1 sleeve of graham crackers (9 sheets), lightly crushed
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate bits
½ c. lightly salted peanuts
Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
In a large saucepan over medium-low, heat the butter, marshmallows and peanut butter. Stir until completely melted and smooth.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the graham cereal and graham crackers. Stir to coat. Using buttered fingers, press the mixture into the prepared pan. Set aside.
In a microwave-safe dish, melt the chocolate bits by heating in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Spread the melted chocolate over the bars and sprinkle with the peanuts. Allow to cool and then cut into bars.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 320 calories; 130 calories from fat (41 percent of total calories); 15 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 2 g fiber; 190 mg sodium.