These 20 minute Sweet Marie Squares with Chocolate Icing combines peanuts, peanut butter and chocolate together for this ultimate savoury-sweet flavor combo. These squares are addictive!
Sooo... last week I was sick, so I didn't post the awesome chicken tenders I had planned out! (A future post, I promise.) For the record, I expect this to happen on a regular basis given that I have a toddler in day care. However... no one else in my family has this sickness! It's a complete mystery where it came from. But onward and upwards to this week!
Suddenly I realize it's almost Valentine's Day. So I'm going to ask you, what's the general feeling about this romantic holiday? For myself, it was fun as a child, then had it's ups and downs during the dating years, and currently it doesn't mean much more than take-out (a night off from cooking) once per year now that I'm married. The truth is, we believe it's as important to celebrate your love for one another every day as it is on February 14th.
I recall the last year that my husband (then boyfriend) truly attempted to celebrate Valentine's ... we went out for dinner to a restaurant we had eagerly made reservations at, only to be seated close to the door. Unfortunately it was -40C outside on that frigid winter's day, and with the line-ups out the door (which was being held open) to the street, we shivered through our meal. It was then and there that we agreed to celebrate the holiday with a more casual approach moving forward.
Which leads to today, where I'm bringing back one of my Grandma's recipes that can be made in a handful of minutes, enjoyed by the whole family, and qualify as a legitimate Valentine's (or any day of the year) dessert!
If you need any convincing, here are a few reasons why Sweet Marie Squares with Chocolate Icing are perfect for Valentine’s Day:
- Peanut butter and chocolate. I adore this flavour combination together. Adore = love = valentine-worthy.
- Once again, chocolate. Need I say more?
- These are kid and adult approved! Who doesn't loves a rich savoury-sweet square. If you don't, we can't be friends.
- I have the ingredients on hand - almost always! I love easy-to-make, unfussy recipes.
- They're easily gift-able. You could forget it's the big day, and still come out on top making these upon arriving home.
Did I mention these have peanut butter in them? And chocolate? We are fortunate not to have any nut allergies in our family, because I honestly don't know how I'd survive without this flavour combination. Seriously. One of my all-time favourites.
You could also skip making your own chocolate icing and simply buy a container at the store. But I always find those have too much in them, and frankly (not to be an icing snob), I remember and love the homemade version from when my Grandma and mom made these squares for me during my childhood.
But what I love about this recipe, as an avid baker, is that I generally have all of these staple ingredients on-hand in my pantry (standard baking ingredients, plus peanuts and rice krispies), which makes this an easy go-to option when I need a quick and impressive dessert. And of course, it is definitely valentine's day worthy, in my humble opinion. Add a few themed sprinkles onto the icing to top it off to make it festive, and you're all set!
Sweet Marie Squares with Chocolate Icing
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 9X9 pan of squares
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups rice krispies
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup peanuts, unsalted, lightly crushed
- In a saucepan, over low heat, melt butter. Stir in cocoa powder. Mixture will resemble a thick paste.
- Transfer chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl. With mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar and milk, alternating the two.
- Add vanilla extract.
- Turn mixer to medium high speed and beat about 5 minutes, until frosting is smooth and creamy.
- If frosting is too thick, add in a little more milk. If the frosting is not thick enough, add some additional icing sugar. (I make frosting for these squares relatively thick so that it doesn't smear too easily from the squares, as these are finger-foods.)
- Grease (or line with parchment paper) an 8X8 or 9X9 pan.
- In a medium saucepan, over low heat melt together the corn syrup, brown sugar and peanut butter.
- Turn off the heat and add in the rice krispies, butter and peanuts. Mix well.
- Place the squares mixture into the prepared pan and flatten.
- Once cooled, ice with chocolate icing.
Kids in the Kitchen:
I often made this recipe on my own when I was a kid (because it's so easy)! Younger kids will love helping to turn on the mixer for making the icing, and adding in the ingredients to the pots. Kids can also help to level the squares into the pan with the back of a large spoon or using a spatula, or even icing the squares if they are old enough. Ensure that kids are closely supervised when cooking the squares on the stove-top.