Melted Mars Bars, which consist of caramel, chocolate, and nougat are combined with butter, and rice krispies cereal in these Mars Bar Holiday Squares. Topped with melted milk chocolate and sprinkles, these squares are a no-bake confection that everyone just cannot get enough of!
When I was a boy, allowance day was usually on Friday evenings. That was when dad would come home after working away for the entire week. This was back in the early 80s and an allowance of one dollar was the equivalent of about three dollars today. At 35 cents each, that bought a lot of Mars Bars! They were one of my favourite candy bars, so naturally, I had to include these Mars Bar Holiday Squares in my 12 Bars and Squares of Christmas series!
These squares come together in less than fifteen minutes. Honestly, if you’re looking for a quick and easy, budget-friendly, no-bake confection, you have found it! They are chocolatey with a crispy, crunchy texture from the rice krispies cereal. And, the flavour of the melted nougat and caramel is to die for! These are the types of squares that are difficult to share. Yes, Dear Reader, they are really that good! You’ll want to keep them all to yourself, so maybe make a double batch!
Make your own online recipe box!
Click the in the lower right corner of your screen
& follow the quick and easy instructions!
Just like the Peanut Crunch Bars, I shared with you on the third day of this series, these are extremely delicious and extremely easy to prepare. They are no bake, which makes them perfect for the holiday season when it seems that time moves even more quickly. And, since the kids are out of school for two weeks, they’re a great option for kitchen time spent with the little ones in your family.
Before we get into the recipe and the ingredients, I want to get this one thing out, because I’m sure I’ll forget if I wait until the end. When you are ready to cut these into bars, let them sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. This will give you a cleaner cut. Presentation is just as important as taste, so take your time and let the chocolate mixture come almost back to room temperature before slicing. We eat with our eyes first, after all!
LORD BYRON’S 12 BARS AND SQUARES OF CHRISTMAS
Mars Bars Holiday Squares are the fifth confection in my new series! Yes, that’s right, Dear Reader! I’m kicking off another holiday baking series, just like I have for the past few Christmases! Welcome to Lord Byron’s 12 Bars and Squares of Christmas!!!
If you have been reading my blog for while – well, at least anytime around Christmas for the past few years – you must have run into at least one of my Christmas baking countdowns. This particular countdown is all about bars and squares. For 12 consecutive days, I will share a holiday-based bar or square recipe with you. That means on Saturday and Sunday too! I usually publish new recipes three times a week, so I hope you’re up for this!
You really don’t want to miss one of these recipes, so if you have not yet subscribed to Lord Byron’s Kitchen, I encourage you to do so. That way, a new recipe will be emailed to you every day. You won’t have to bother to come looking for it! Like in previous holiday baking countdowns, I like to mix up the recipes in the series so that there is something for everyone. There will be bars and squares with chocolate, some with candy, and some with nuts too. Are you ready for day 5!!??
Looking For More Christmas Confections?
Lord Byron’s Kitchen has more than enough to satisfy your sweet tooth! Click on the links below to see a countdown series of holiday recipes from that category!
I used to think that the term no-bake meant that a recipe was more of an assembly-type recipe. Something like a salad, for example. It sounds simple enough, right? Toss the lettuce and any other veggies you want into a bowl. Top it with cheese, croutons, avocado, hard-boiled egg, etc. Add some dressing and you’re all done! But, no-bake actually just means no baking. There still might be some stove-top cooking needed – or even a microwave, for that matter.
To prepare these Mars Bars Holiday Squares, you will need to use your microwave. So, even though they’re no-bake and kid-friendly, you will still need some way to melt the chocolate.
Some other no-bake-type holiday recipes you might enjoy are these Rudolph’s Red Nose Cookies. Hairy Moose Droppings are delicious and always quite the conversation starter! Just like these Caramel Peanut Slices were a favourite of my mom’s so were these Marshmallow Coconut Balls and so were these Christmas Crunch Cookies. You can find many more no-bake cookie recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen by using the search field at the top of this page.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Mars Bars – These candy bars are known as Mars Bars in Canada, but they are known as the Milky Way Bar in the United States.
- Salted Butter – Make sure your butter is softened and at room temperature! I always use salted butter, unless stated otherwise. If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt when you add the flour and baking powder.
- Rice Krispies Cereal – Just about everyone is familiar with this. Who could ever forget the craze of the snap, crackle, and pop figures from our childhood?
- Chocolate Chips – I use chocolate chips a lot in my recipes, and I change up the type depending on how I feel. Unless the recipe states otherwise, you can use milk, semi-sweet, or dark chips. In this particular case, milk chocolate just seems to work better.
- Sprinkles – These are optional, but I like to use sprinkles often, especially when I’m preparing Christmas recipes!
MARS BARS VS MILKY WAY
This is one of those things that make me shake my head. Why does a company like Mars Incorporated create a candy bar that is exactly the same and market it under two separate names? It is just like Smarties! Here in Canada, Smarties are candy-coated chocolate, much like M&Ms – only better! But, in the US, Smarties are those compressed powder candies that are packaged in cellophane rolls. You see them quite often at Halloween. In Canada, those are called Rockets.
This next paragraph might give your head a spin. I know I had to read it twice, but it might have something to do with the fact that I’m typing this up while watching television at the same time. I found this online. Here’s how the Mars Bar and Milky Way Bar are the same, but named differently.
Milky Way is a brand of chocolate-covered confectionery bar manufactured and marketed by Mars, Incorporated. There are two varieties: the US Milky Way bar, which is sold as the Mars Bar worldwide, including Canada; and the global Milky Way bar, which is sold as the 3 Musketeers in the US and Canada. (In Canada neither bar is sold as Milky Way.) What should you take from this? You can use either Mars Bar or Milky Way Bar in this recipe!
SPRINKLES, SPRINKLES, AND MORE SPRINKLES!
Okay, let’s talk sprinkles. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I’m addicted to sprinkles. Don’t believe me? Search the term “sprinkles” in the search field at the top right of this page. Or, take a look at my credit card bill that time I ordered sprinkles to the tune of $200!
Who’s my go-to sprinkle source? I buy most of my sprinkles from Sweetapolita. They’re the best and you should check them out. They’re located in Canada, and I’m not sure if they deliver to the United States. But, state-side, Fancy Sprinkles stocks very similar mixes and themes. Listen, I know that shopping for sprinkles online might seem a little over the top, but I’ve never once pretended to shy away from pretty things.
And, of course, if you’re not about to shop online for sprinkles, you can get Christmas-themed sprinkles at any Walmart, any baking supply store, or Target, and there are always discount sprinkles at Marshall’s, HomeSense, and Winners. (PS: This is not a sponsored post for Sweetapolita. I just really like their sprinkles!) I used chocolate sprinkles that were a combination of dark, milk, and white chocolate. Of course, festive red, green, and white sprinkles would be a delight too!
Lord Byron’s Annual Christmas Cookie Series
Did you know that Lord Byron’s Kitchen has been sharing a 24 Cookies of Christmas Series for the past several years? Click on the links below to see all of the recipes from each series on one page!
HOW TO MAKE MARS BARS HOLIDAY SQUARES
This no-bake recipe comes together quickly and easily. The first thing you should do is to prepare a 9 x 9 inch baking pan by lining it well with parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper so that it fits snugly in the pan. I use two sheets – one folded to fit the length of the pan and another folded to fit across the pan. Allow the excess parchment paper to hang out over the side of the pan. Once the confection is firm, use the excess parchment to lift the whole block out of the pan to make it easy to cut into bars.
Next, unwrap the Mars Bars and cut them into one-inch pieces. Add them to a saucepan with a half cup of butter and over low heat melt the butter and candy together. Continue to stir until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat and add in the cereal. Use a sturdy spatula to stir until all of the cereal is well combined with the melted candy. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Press down with the spatula to flatten slightly. Set aside while you melt the chocolate for the topping.
PREPARING THE CHOCOLATE TOPPING
Place the chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl with the remaining quarter cup of butter. Whenever you microwave chocolate, you should cook it on medium power for 30 seconds. Then, if it’s still not silky smooth, reheat in increments of 5 or 10 seconds, depending on your microwave, stirring with a rubber spatula after each increment.
Once the chocolate is smooth, pour it over the layer of candy and rice krispies in the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth the chocolate. Top with sprinkles and set the pan aside. It’s best to let it sit at room temperature for at least one hour to help temper the chocolate. Slowly cooling will prevent the milk solids from separating. After the hour has passed, transfer it to the fridge for another 60 minutes to chill. Before attempting to cut into bars, remove from the fridge and let set at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
To cut, use the overhanging parchment paper to lift the entire pan of squares out of the baking dish. Remove and discard the parchment paper. Set the large square onto a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into your desired size. Once cut, store the bars in an airtight, food-safe container and keep them refrigerated. Squares will last 7-10 days in the fridge. Squares can be frozen for 2-3 months.
Do you have a question or comment?
Would you like to leave a review?
Scroll down to the comment section and write me a message.
I will personally respond as soon as possible!
- Do I have to use milk chocolate chips? No, you most certainly don’t! Personally, I prefer milk chocolate over semi-sweet or dark, so it’s probably why I think they taste better with milk chocolate. If you don’t have milk chocolate, go ahead and use semi-sweet. I can’t recommend using dark chocolate though, because I’ve never used it in this recipe before. I used chocolate chips to keep the bars more budget-friendly. If you prefer, you can use milk chocolate bars for baking.
- I can’t find Rice Krispies Cereal. No worries! You can use other cereals like Special K or Chex. In fact, you could skip the cereal completely and use crushed pretzels or coconut!
- Can I use other chocolate bar flavours? I’m sure you can, but please note, I have not tested his recipe with anything but Mars Bar. A single Mars Bar in Canada is 52 grams. In contrast, a Milky Way Bar is 52.2 grams; so there isn’t much of a difference. If you want to use another candy bar that mimics the chocolate, caramel, and nougat trio, you certainly can. Be sure to aim for candy bars that have a very similar weight to keep the mixture consistent.
STORING, PACKAGING, & FREEZING
Most no-bake confections are made without the need to freeze them for long periods of time, but they can be frozen. For this recipe, I have tested whether or not they can be frozen, and they certainly can! Once they are completely firm, pile them into a clean, food-safe container. The container must be freezer friendly! You’ll want to ensure a very tight-fitting lid too. I use these quite often when freezing baked goods. I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that freshness locked in! You can freeze these for up to three months.
Do You Like This Recipe?
You should consider trying these other delicious recipes too!
Mars Bar Holiday Squares
For the Base:
- 4 Mars Bars 52 grams each
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 3 cups rice krispies cereal
For the Chocolate Topping:
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- Prepare a 9 x 9 inch baking pan by lining it well with parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper so that it fits snugly in the pan. I use two sheets – one folded to fit the length of the pan and another folded to fit across the pan. Allow the excess parchment paper to hang out over the side of the pan. Once the confection is firm, use the excess parchment to lift the whole block out of the pan to make it easy to cut into squares.
- Next, unwrap the Mars Bars and cut them into one-inch pieces. Add them to a saucepan with a half cup of butter and over low heat melt the butter and candy together. Continue to stir until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and add in the cereal. Use a sturdy spatula to stir until all of the cereal is well combined with the melted candy.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Press down with the spatula to flatten slightly. Set aside.
- Place the chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl with the remaining quarter cup of butter. Microwave the chocolate on high power for 30 seconds. Then, if it’s still not silky smooth, reheat in increments of 5 or 10 seconds, depending on your microwave, stirring with a rubber spatula after each increment.
- Once the chocolate is smooth, pour it over the layer of candy and rice krispies in the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth the chocolate.
- Top with sprinkles and set the pan aside.
- It’s best to let it sit at room temperature for at least one hour to help temper the chocolate. Slowly cooling will prevent the milk solids from separating. After the hour has passed, transfer it to the fridge for another 60 minutes to chill. Before attempting to cut into bars, remove from the fridge and let set at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- To cut, use the overhanging parchment paper to lift the entire pan of squares out of the baking dish. Remove and discard the parchment paper. Set the large square onto a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into your desired size.
- Once cut, store the bars in an airtight, food-safe container and keep them refrigerated. Squares will last 7-10 days in the fridge. Squares can be frozen for 2-3 months.
Did you make this recipe?
Upload a photo and tag me so that I can see it!