Contest-Winning Peanut Mallow Bars Recipe
Contest-Winning Peanut Mallow Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Contest-Winning Peanut Mallow Bars Recipe

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4.5 9 12
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Big and little kids alike look forward to eating these snacks that have all the flavor of Payday candy bars. Not only do they beat the clock when time is tight, but they make great contributions to bake sales. -Janice Huelsmann, Trenton, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + cooling Bake: 25 min.
MAKES:30 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + cooling Bake: 25 min.
MAKES: 30 servings


  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 package (10 ounces) peanut butter chips
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 2 cups salted peanuts
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, water, butter and egg until blended (batter will be thick). Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
  2. Bake at 350° for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with marshmallows. Bake 2 minutes longer or until marshmallows are melted. Place on a wire rack.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the peanut butter chips, corn syrup and butter; cook and stir over medium-low heat until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in the cereal, peanuts and vanilla. Spread over marshmallows. Cool completely. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Peanut Mallow Bars in Quick Cooking November/December 2002, p29

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martylb User ID: 1456305 132286
Reviewed Aug. 26, 2014

"Love these bars! Entered them in the fair but judge evidently didn't like them. No win."

shecooksalot User ID: 5888460 82333
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2012

"These bars have a great unique taste. My family loved them and I loved the gooey marshmallow middle. I have to agree with one of the other reviews about the taste being a bit bland. Maybe I will make them with butterscotch chips next time for a more carmel-ly taste. They're interesting enough that I will try these again."

HeatherHH User ID: 1550099 65596
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2011

"I liked the texture of this cookie, but my husband and I thought the taste was okay but not great. I've had other imitation Payday bars that had much more caramel flavor. These were just a bit bland."

kleingarn User ID: 4373582 132285
Reviewed Jul. 29, 2010

"This recipe could be great, but my first batch didn't turn out well. Don't bake the cake bottom too long. Mine ended up burning and I only had it in the oven for 20 min. Also don't use too many marshmallows, bars end up too gooey. Maybe add a little chocolate butter drizzle on top. Will make again, but more carefully next time"

Pinky50 User ID: 529648 54085
Reviewed May. 24, 2010

"I too have been making this bar for years. I only make it when I can take it with me to share because it is too dangerous for me to have in the house. :-) And...each and every time, I am asked for there cipe."

lsanders31 User ID: 4454276 112560
Reviewed May. 24, 2010

"Different but really good. Very interesting texture: crunchy and soft at the same time."

MY REVIEW User ID: 1356481 59942
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2010

"My family absolutely loved these bars. They were easy and different. Highly recommend."

berta@tasteofhome User ID: 2727011 82332
Reviewed May. 20, 2009

"I've also made these bars many times and they are not only easy to make, but such a hit whereever you take them. I always make sure this bar is on my cookie trays I give at Christmas!"

Aneeley User ID: 3143610 54084
Reviewed Dec. 28, 2008

"Someone at work brought a similar dessert to work, I searched my books and found this recipe. I made it for family and friends at Christmas and it was a HUGE hit. I made sooooo many batches of this stuff in the last few weeks. I could do the recipe in my head now.

It is even popular with people that don't like marshmallows! Yummy, thank you!"

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