I made these Midnight Snack Bars with the intention of making a snack/dessert that was both sweet and salty. The base of these bars is much like a rice crispy treat with marshmallow and rice cereal. The difference though is the addition of crushed potato chips and broken pretzel pieces and that is what makes these bars so good.
The inspiration for these bars actually came from a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that unfortunately does not exist anymore. It was called Late Night Snack. I only had it a handful of times but I remember it was a vanilla ice cream base with chocolate-covered potato chip pieces. I was missing that ice cream and although this is not even remotely the same as ice cream, it scratched that itch I had for something both sweet and salty.
Now, as far as the bar itself goes, it is absolutely perfect on its own, you could call it a day and not even bother with the topping. During testing, I actually began with just the bar as my first version of this recipe and it really was perfect. Thinking back on those chocolate-covered potato chip pieces though made me want to dress it up a bit more and add chocolate.
I melted some dark chocolate chips to coat the top and sprinkled on mini M&M’s and extra potato chip and pretzel pieces. Whichever version you choose to make, it is going to be super tasty.
Midnight Snack Bars
- large-sized pot
- silicone spatula
- 9x13 baking pan
- microwave-safe bowl
For the bars
- 6 tbsp salted butter
- 12 oz bag of marshmallows
- 2½ cups crispy rice cereal
- 2½ cups crushed ridged potato chips
- 1 cup crushed pretzel sticks
For the topping
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup crushed ridged potato chips
- ¼ cup crushed pretzel sticks
- ¼ cup mini M&Ms
For the bars
- First, prep all of your ingredients. You'll want your ingredients measured out and the potato chip and pretzels crushed before you start melting marshmallows.
- Grease your 9x13 inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
- Add the marshmallows and stir until they are completely melted.
- Turn off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients that are under the "For the bars" section and stir everything together until it's completely coated in the melted marshmallow.
- Spoon into the prepared baking pan and press, spreading the mixture from corner to corner. Try distributing this evenly across the pan. You may want to grease your spatula, it's pretty sticky. I actually gave up and used my greased hands.
For the topping
- Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave in intervals of 20 seconds, stirring in between until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Using a silicone spatula or a spoon, distribute the chocolate over the bars and spread from corner to corner.
- Sprinkle the rest of the toppings over the bars and press down gently so they adhere to the melted chocolate.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the chocolate has set (about 15-20 minutes).
- Once set, slice into even sized bars. Store any uneaten bars in a sealed container or ziplock bag.