We love a good mixing project in our household, and this non-bake one keeps our kiddos mixing until the sweets are ready to eat! We generally like to make every element of our treats, but for home cooking it's also nice to use what we have around the house (and things we just love to eat). Crunchy Nut Cornflakes are definitely a favourite. When I (Steph) first moved to England, I picked up a box because they claimed to be "moorishly good". Now, I don't think it says that on the box anymore, but at the time, I'd never heard the word "moorish" (we don't have it in American English), and it peaked my interest. Best decision I ever made.
This recipe combines a lot of loves: crunchy nut, dark chocolate. peanut butter, and honey, alongside a little homemade peanut brittle (my grandfather's favourite). It's pretty simple to make, but does require some patience between each layer while it sets. But that leaves plenty of time for mixing of the next layer, which my children definitely appreciate (those two could mix all day!).
These are super rich and sweet, and definitely moorish. That old ad campaign is still working it's magic!
Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars
200g caster sugar
90g whole roasted peanuts
400g good quality dark chocolate chips (you'll use 200g x 200g for different layers)
60g + 1 Tbsp runny honey
150g crunchy nut cornflakes (NB from Chef: regular cornflakes will also work here if that's what you have to hand... to be fair, so would any cereal really, though you may have to adjust the weight of cereal depending what type you go for)
150g smooth peanut butter
220g icing sugar, sifted
10ml whole milk
1. Make the peanut brittle crumble (n.b. from Steph: the "peanut sparkle" as our three-year-old calls it. That's probably a better name for it!). Prepare a baking sheet with a silpat mat (n.b. from Chef: parchment will not work here as the melted sugar will just stick to it. These non-stick mats are awesome and our kitchen wouldn't be complete without them!). In a medium saucepan, over high heat, cook caster sugar until it begins to melt and turn golden (around 3-5 minutes). It will turn from melting to dark caramel very quickly, so don't move from the stove! Remove from heat and immediately stir in the peanuts. Pour directly onto the silmat and spread out as much as possible. This is imperative: move as quickly as you can. You probably have about 30 seconds before the sugar sets and you can't pour it to the mat. Allow to cool then smash into a million tiny pieces (we used a thermomix blender, but a food processor will also do the trick or place into a plastic baggy and crush/beat with a rolling pin.). Set aside.
2. Line a 9x9inch pan with greaseproof paper. Set aside. (n.b from Chef: This may complicate the matter, but don't stress about pan size. These bars aren't baked, so they can be as shallow or deep as you like. You can also put them in a round tin, a star-shaped tin, doesn't matter, they'll still work.).
3. Layer 1: In a medium saucepan, stirring with a heatproof spatula, melt 200g of the chocolate and the 60g of honey together until fully melted. Quickly poor in the cornflakes and stir until the flakes are evenly coated in the chocolate/honey mix. Pour into the lined tray and smooth until evenly distributed in the tray. Place in the refrigerator until fully cool and set (about 20 minutes).
4. Layer 2: In a medium saucepan, stirring with a heatproof spatula, melt butter, peanut butter, icing sugar, and milk to a lovely tan pourable mixture. Pour the peanut butter layer over the cooled cornflake layer and evenly spread out over top. Place in the refrigerator until fully cool and set (about 20 minutes).
5. Layer 3: In a medium saucepan, stirring with a heatproof spatula, melt remaining 200g of dark chocolate with 1 Tbsp runny honey. Pour over cooled peanut butter layer and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with the peanut brittle sparkle. Place in the fridge until fully cool and set (about 20 minutes).
6. Cut into shapes and eat at will! Since it's made with cereal we can have some for breakfast, right? :-) Or, it's just perfect with a mid-morning cuppa (or afternoon one at that!). Hope you enjoy!