3 tablespoons butter
10-ounce bag marshmallows or mini-marshmallows
1 tablespoon vanilla
7 cups Rice Krispies cereal
14-ounce bag unwrapped caramels
2 tablespoons water
1½ cups peanut butter, divided use
12-ounce bag semisweet or dark chocolate
Butter a 9- by 13-inch pan. Also butter the pot and utensils you will be using to melt the marshmallows.
Place 3 tablespoons of butter and the marshmallows in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until melted. When completely melted and smooth, stir in vanilla. Turn off heat and stir in cereal until completely coated; the mixture will be very sticky. Pour into buttered pan. Coat hands with butter and press in mixture firmly. Place in the refrigerator to chill. In another saucepan, place caramels and water over low heat, stirring frequently as caramels melt until smooth. Add 1 cup of the peanut butter to the caramel and stir until completely blended. Pour onto the chilled Rice Krispies mixture and spread to the edges. Place pan back in the refrigerator.
Over low heat, melt the chocolate in a saucepan, stirring frequently and being careful not to scorch the chocolate. When melted, add in the remaining 1/2 cup of peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Pour chocolate mixture over caramel layer, spreading to the edges in an even layer. Place dessert in the refrigerator and allow to set up for about 1 hour or until chocolate is firm to the touch. Cut into squares or rectangles when firm.
Bars are easiest to cut when cold but are best eaten at room temperature or only slightly chilled.