- 1.75 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups sweetened puffed wheat or puffed rice cereal
- 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1. Prepare a 9x9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil. Place the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating.
2. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the puffed wheat or rice cereal, and stir until the cereal is entirely coated with chocolate. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, and press it into an even layer. Refrigerate to set the chocolate while you prepare the next layer.
3. Place the softened butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in the bowl of a large stand mixer and mix until well-combined and fluffy. If the mixture seems very dry, add just a splash of additional milk to moisten it, but do not add more than a teaspoon or two, as you don't want the peanut butter layer to be too soft.
4. Combine the sunflower seeds and chopped honey-roasted peanuts in a bowl, and then pour 3/4 cup of this mixture into the peanut butter fudge and stir until the nuts and seeds are well-distributed. Reserve the remaining 1/4 cup to use as a topping.
5. Scrape the peanut butter fudge over the chocolate-cereal layer in the pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and seeds on top of the peanut butter and gently press with your hands to embed them into the peanut butter.
6. Place the pan in the refrigerator to chill the candy, for at least 1 hour. Once firm, remove the candy from the pan using the foil as handles, and cut the bars into small squares to serve. Store Bird Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.