May 5, 2022

Salted Peanut Chews

I love giving new life to old recipes and this one deserves it! Sweet and salty bars with a gooey marshmallow center and crunchy texture from the peanuts. These bars are great to make for a crowd and share at parties or BBQs. They also make wonderful snacks and we like to take them on hikes or out on the lake. I hope you make these because they are fantastic!

Original recipe from Gertrude Schweitzerhof who brought it to the 1980 Pillsbury Bake-Off. I prefer the recipe version on my blog over the current Pillsbury version.

Salted Peanut Chews

These layered peanut and marshmallow candy bars are a family favorite. A vintage recipe for all peanut or peanut butter lovers.


Anne Voss


Crust - Bottom Layer

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (113g)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (200g)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed (100g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs yolks

Middle Layer

  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows (160g)

Topping - Top Layer

  • 2/3 cup corn syrup (215g)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 10-ounce bag of peanut butter chips
  • 2 cups rice cereal (60g)
  • 2 cups salted peanuts (290g)

Makes 20 large bars or 36 smaller bars

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, if available. Otherwise use an ungreased pan.
  2. Add all crust ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix at low speed until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Pour crumble into the baking pan. Spread crumbs evenly and then press firmly into the bottom of the pan.  
  5. Bake crust for 13 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
  6. While the crust is baking, measure out the mini marshmallows.
  7. Remove the crust from the oven and immediately top with the marshmallows. Distribute marshmallows evenly over the crust.
  8. Place the pan back into the oven for 2-5 minutes until the marshmallows begin to puff up.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven. Let the marshmallow layer cool for 20 minutes.  
  10. To prepare the topping, measure peanuts and rice cereal into a large bowl. Set aside.
  11. In a large saucepan, add corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and peanut butter chips. Heat on the stovetop until the chips and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir constantly while heating.
  12. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in rice cereal and peanuts. Work quickly so the topping mixture remains warm and spreadable.
  13. Spoon topping over the marshmallows and spread to cover.
  14. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes then refrigerate for an additional 30 minutes.
  15. Cut into bars. Store bars in an airtight container.

This website contains affiliate links to Amazon. This means that I may make a small commission if you purchase a product using these links. This is no way affects my opinion of these products. Links are provided to share products I have used when making this recipe.

Recipe Notes

Below you will find tips and tricks to help achieve the best results possible!

side by side photo of marshmallows being poured on top of baked crust and then topping added on top of marshmallows


Butter – make sure the butter for the crust is softened. This will allow for the crust ingredients to mix easily and produce a fine crumb texture.

Peanuts – used salted cocktail peanuts for this recipe. The salt balances out the sweetness of the marshmallow.

Marshmallows – mini marshmallows work best as they can be spread easily over the hot crust and ensure marshmallows get to the edges and the corners.

cross section of candy bar with all three layers visible

Supplies Needed

Stand mixer or hand mixer

9 x 13-inch pan lined with parchment paper

Silicon spatula (optional) but helps when spreading out the topping layer in the last step of the recipe.

Tips and Tricks

Line your baking tray with parchment paper for easier removal from the pan.

Press crust into the baking pan by using the bottom of a measuring cup or the back of a spoon. This will help to get an even crust and press crust into the corners of the pan.

Let the marshmallow layer cool before adding the topping. If the topping is added too soon, the warm marshmallows will displace to the sides of the pans and you won’t get the distinct layers of the candy bar.  

Have the peanuts and rice cereal measured and ready to use before you start heating the topping ingredients.

I like the look and taste of a little additional coarse salt sprinkled on top of the bars before serving.

These bars freeze well and defrost quickly. I like to wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then store them in a freezer bag. That way you can take out a few bars at a time and add them to your lunch box or backpack.  Freezing the bars also allows you to make them ahead of time and share them with friends or family later.

bar being pulled apart with marshmallow stretching


Any salted nut can be used in this recipe, although I love the classic peanut version. You can also try a mixture of nuts, such as peanuts and cashews.

You can substitute the peanut butter chips with butterscotch chips if preferred.

Substitute vanilla extract for vanilla bean paste in the crust to add extra flavor.

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