June’s Yum-Yum Bars

Our girls had been eagerly anticipating my upcoming birthday.  They were so excited about their plan to celebrate it, they could hardly contain themselves.  With beaming smiles and antsy pants, they cried out, “We’re taking you to the zoo!”

The zoo!!  THEY were going to take ME to the ZOO!

Hmmmm…not exactly what I had in mind.

But, I weighed it back and forth in my head, knowing I also had plans for some big girl birthday fun and said, “I love it – let’s go to the zoo!”

Once my mind was wrapped around going to the zoo to celebrate my birthday, it turned to my aunt June’s Yum-Yum Bars.  I can just picture these scrumptious candy bar-like treats amongst all the other homemade goodies on her Christmas platter.  And while my early memories of this recipe do involve the Christmas season, June’s Yum-Yum Bars have become an any-time-of-year treat at our house.  They are just too good to eat (and too easy to make!) only 1 month out of the year.

They have also become for me, somewhat oddly so, associated with the Minnesota Zoo.  When we visited the zoo a couple years ago, I took along a few Yum-Yum Bars for a snack.  I did the same thing last year, too.  Besides being heavenly good, they travel well.  They have lots of chocolate flavor, and mixed with the marshmallows and Rice Krispies, they travel so much better than a chocolate candy bar in hot weather.  They are chewy, almost fudge-like, and way better than a candy bar off the rack.

So, yes, I just had to make Yum-Yum Bars again for our zoo visit this past weekend.    We all enjoyed them. Lots of them.

Heck, after 3 years in a row, this must be called an annual tradition, don’t you think?!

June’s Yum-Yum Bars

Yield: 30 Bars

Ingredients:

  • 8 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 12-oz. package chocolate chips (I use Guittard.)
  • 2 10-oz. packages mini marshmallows
  • large spoon of creamy peanut butter
  • 6 c. Rice Krispies cereal

Directions:

Spray a 9” x 13” pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter, chocolate chips, marshmallows and peanut butter. Stir periodically, making sure the mixture isn’t scorching on the bottom of the pan, until completely combined. Fold in the Rice Krispies until completely mixed throughout. Gently spread into the pan. Cool. Cut into squares.

From my aunt June Renelt’s recipe box, originally from a St. Thomas Parish (Kent, MN) cookbook. June bought one of these cookbooks after paging through it and finding an old photo of her Grandma Dauer in it. Her grandma had passed away when June was about 7 years old

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