Peanut Butter Krispies Layered Brownies

by aimee @ shugarysweets on October 14, 2013

Dark Chocolate Brownies layered with mini Rolos and Peanut Butter Krispies. Thanks to Cook’s Illustrated for the delicious recipe for the brownie base!

Rich, fudgy chocolate brownies topped with Rolos and peanut butter krispie topping!

I’m often asked, where do I get my inspiration for recipes? Seriously, I can’t even pin point. They come to me in dreams! I wake up and scribble notes at my bedside.

I keep a list on my phone as I’m walking through a grocery store and an idea may pop into my head.

I go to retreats and hear Chef’s talk about products and techniques and stick post it notes all over my computer!

I read dozens of blogs every day.

I subscribe to and read half a dozen food magazines and I have a bookshelf overflowing with cookbooks.

I have spent a lot of money on those cookbooks through the years, only to be sorely disappointed. Some of them are filled with food I would never dream of making, or techniques that are vaguely explained.

When America’s Test Kitchen reached out to me and asked if I wanted to review the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book cookbook, I actually jumped at the chance! I have so many friends and family who LOVE their work. And how they explain the what and the why behind using certain ingredients is eye opening!


This Baking Book is no different! I am in love with all of the detail put into this book. Seriously, you guys, I kinda feel embarrassed encouraging you to buy this book. You won’t ever have to stop by my blog anymore, all the recipes you’ve dreamed of making are in The Baking Book.

However, I had to find a way to remind you all why I exist.

In my ever loving quest to find the perfect brownie recipe (hey, you can never have too many perfect brownie recipes) I decided to give The Baking Book a try. I am pretty picky when it comes to brownies. I don’t like those dried out blocks of chocolate brownies you see in the bakery. I like a gooey, fudgy, undercooked dark chocolate brownie. Any one else?

Today’s recipe is the “Chewy Brownies” from page 236. Here are some of the fun tips they tell you about these brownies:

  • for extra chew, add extra yolks
  • balance the saturated fat of butter with unsaturated vegetable oil
  • bloom the cocoa powder
  • for chewiest texture, let brownies cool thoroughly before cutting
  • use high quality chocolate for best flavor (that’s important in all my recipes!!)

To make this recipe even better, I added some Rolo minis on top. And that layer or krispies? It’s a peanut butter, chocolate, crispy rice cereal mixture that Chef Joe from Duncan Hines taught us!

Rich, fudgy chocolate brownies topped with Rolos and peanut butter krispie topping!

So yes, get a copy of this book for yourself. I highly recommend it! The cookbook is filled with over 450 recipes! 450! But then, be sure to stop by my blog to see my twist and tricks on those recipes, ha!!

Peanut Butter Krispies Layered Brownies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 24 brownies


    For the Brownies:
  • 1/3 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp boiling water
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • For the topping:
  • 12 oz mini Rolos (or equivalent in regular sized)
  • 1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 11.5oz bag milk chocolate morsels
  • 2 cup crispy rice cereal


  1. Line a 13x9 baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cocoa powder with boiling water. Whisk until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and continue to whisk until melted. Add oil and melted butter, mixture may appear curdled. Add eggs, vanilla and sugar, whisking until fully combined.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold in flour and salt just until combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading into the corners of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with rolos in a single layer and return to oven for 3-5 minutes. Using a spatula, smooth melted Rolos over the top. Place on wire rack to begin cooling.
  5. In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, butter and milk chocolate. Heat over low and stir constantly until mixture is smooth. Fold in cereal. Spread over warm brownies and allow to cool completely.
  6. Once brownies have cooled, cover with foil and refrigerate for 2-4 hours (or overnight), allowing the top layer to harden. Cut into squares and enjoy!


**I use 1 1/2 bags (8oz each) stand-up packages of unwrapped mini Rolos. Feel free to use whatever candy you have on hand! **recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated Baking Book 2013

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Love Brownies? I happen to have a few favorite recipes….


Previously, my favorite Dark Chocolate Brownie recipe!

milky way brownies

Milky Way Double Fudge Brownies 


Peanut Butter Brookies: when cookies meet brownies!

**I was provided a copy of the book, Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are, as always, 100% my own!

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcie October 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm

These look like a chocolate lover’s dream, (and that means me)! I’m always on the lookout for the next greatest brownie recipe, so I need to try this. I dream about food too, and I can tell you I will see these in my sleep tonight.
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Julie @ Table for Two October 14, 2013 at 8:30 pm

these look awesome! i love the crunchy texture that’s incorporated into these!
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Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet October 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm

They look absolutely wonderful! This cookbook looks like a gem and I love how you took a basic recipe and added your own twist!!
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Jenn@eatcakefordinner October 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I love Cook’s Illustrated!! Your brownies look divine.
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Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent October 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Thanks for sharing this great baking book. I”m totally want a copy now :) I chuckled when you said you get inspiration everywhere. I almost.. ok did create a shopping cart jam in the store on Sunday, because I saw something that piqued my interest. I reminded myself that peak time on Sunday was not the best time to brainstorm new ideas in the grocery store :)
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Kayle (The Cooking Actress) October 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I love America’s Test Kitchen and I love these krispie brownies! So much yumminess in one bar!
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Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust October 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm

*mind blown*

These are amazing. The end.
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Medeja October 14, 2013 at 10:10 pm

This brownie looks wonderful and so tempting! I will never have too many brownie recipes :D
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Erin | The Emerging Foodie October 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Umm, wow! These look unbelievably delicious. And you totally have me sold on the cookbook! Looking it up right now! :)


Averie @ Averie Cooks October 15, 2013 at 1:19 am

I have a recipe for brownies along these lines in my Peanut Butter cookbook! Thankfully they’re different enough – but it’s a brownie base, with a layer of Reese’s Cups, topped with the a choc-PB-crispy cereal topping. As much as I love fudgy brownies, I truly think the topping is where it’s at. I can tell your topping is excellent! I love this kind of topping so much I re-purposed it in a recipe last week!

The Cooks Illustrated New Best Recipe (1200 pages) is amazing – I can only imagine how great the BAKING version is!
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Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life October 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Those tips are great! I’ve never been able to nail down the chewy texture – now I can! And you made me laugh when trying to list your inspiration:) Seriously, I’m constantly thinking about it, like, in my sleep. It doesn’t help I read your blog either; you are FULL of amazing ideas! Like this, Rolos and brownies must be a match made in heaven!
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Jess @ On Sugar Mountain October 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Well now I know I need to add another cookbook to my Xmas wish list! Ugh, as if I don’t have enough of them lol ;) These brownies are absolutely amazing, Aimee! Decadent and I adore all the layers of flavor!
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Abbie October 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Oh my gosh, these look so delicious! I think your brownies recipe looks fabulous, even on its own. Pinned!
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Kammie @Sensual Appeal October 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Oh my goodness, is this real life? These look so decadent, so lustfully amazing, drooling is totally happening on this side of the screen. I do wish I could just reach out and grab one. Or five. Of these amazing layered brownies. Wow.
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Vicki Bensinger October 16, 2013 at 10:22 am

YUM! This is doubly delicious with the two layers. My husband would go nuts over this recipe. Thanks for sharing. I’m saving it to try very soon!
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tahnycooks October 16, 2013 at 11:53 am

These seriously look like the best brownies on the planet!! My hubby is gonna love these!

That is so cool that you got the review Cooks mag. That has alway been one of my favorite cooking/baking resources.
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Regan October 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I’ve been hooked on the America’s Test Kitchen show on Create channel. Everything they make is amazing; well explained and very do-able! I can’t wait to get a hold of this cookbook! And those brownies! Holy cow! They look amazing! That extra topping with the krispies I’m betting put them right over the edge of insanity! LOL Thanks for the recipe!


Deborah October 17, 2013 at 1:57 am

I am totally dying over these. And totally adding that cookbook to my wish list!
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Eva @ Eva Bakes October 17, 2013 at 9:44 am

The genius people at CI always know what they’re doing! Thanks for sharing the wonderful tips and for creating these perfect brownies!
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Natasha @ The Cake Merchant October 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I love Cook’s Illustrated, especially the explanation they give at the beginning of each recipe. These brownies look out of this world decadent! Pinning!
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Stephanie @ PlainChicken October 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Insanely delicious! I must give these a try!
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Cissy October 31, 2013 at 6:57 pm

This recipe was so exceptional, I had to leave a comment. We ate it for days, tiny slice by tiny slice. I thought about it in the car on my way home, knowing it was sitting on the counter waiting for me. Absolutely sensational.


Joy January 21, 2014 at 6:54 pm

finally someone who tried the recipe ~ thanks for sharing :D


Marianna January 27, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I have just made these. They look divine. Can’t wait for them to cool so I can try them. Will let you know when I do :)


Anonymous February 18, 2014 at 6:10 am

I have got to say I these were a massive hit with everyone. Saved and shared the recipe it was so good.


aimee @ shugarysweets February 18, 2014 at 8:26 pm

I’m so glad to hear it, thanks for letting me know!


Melissa September 18, 2014 at 9:11 am

Curious if I were to make this recipe 1.5 times – to make a small pan of them to keep at home, because I know that they will be devoured! :) How long should I cook the brownies…I would be making a 13×9 pan and then like a 8×8…Thank you! :)


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