When I was in high school, one of the coolest things to do was to visit Downtown Sacramento.
Now mind you, I am a kid from the suburbs, about 20 minutes away from Downtown. But seeing as the most exciting thing in my town was the halfway abandoned Yogurt Delite, Downtown seemed so cool and exotic and hip and different to a 15-year old.
For one, Downtown had a mall which was just as crappy as our mall, but better because it was Downtown. And it had a gargantuan Forever 21 in it which was sofreakinawesome because ours only had a Wet Seal and everyone knows Forever 21 > Wet Seal, amirite?
Second, Downtown was connected to Old Town, which is exactly what you think of when you think of a once-small mining town. Cute, quaint old buildings and cobblestone streets with wooden sidewalks and horse-drawn carriages clopping around. Old Town had some quirky shops that my friends and I loved to explore in, but mostly, we enjoyed hitting up the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory down there.
My mom would send me on my day-long jaunt to Downtown with $20 to spend on lunch, but little did she know that most of that money went to things at Forever 21 and of course, chocolates from Rocky Mountain. If you’ve never been to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory before, it’s pretty much the most heavenly place on earth, with floor-to-ceiling displays of chocolate truffles, candies, confections and more, and more often than not, they’re stirring up a fresh batch of caramel and dipping everything under the sun right in front of your wee beady eyes.
In other words, a hungry teenager’s dream come true.
One of my favorite things to get were the caramel apples (hello, best treat evah) and their Avalanche Bars. The Avalanche Bars are probably what Rocky Mountain’s most known for, and for good reason. If ya don’t know, Avalanche Bars are basically white chocolate and peanut butter mixed together with rice krispy cereal and marshmallows, then studded with chocolate chips. Prettttttty genius, with the whole sweet-salty-crunchy-gooey factors happening at once. And did I mention it was a hungry teenager’s dream come true?
But since my days of dwelling Downtown are long over (and since I’ve grown up and realized Downtown isn’t that cool after all, parking sucks, and is that homeless person flashing everyone?), it’s been quite some time since I’ve had an Avalanche Bar. But since I saw Shelly post her version of Avalanche Cookies, I knew I had to recreate this childhood treat at home… with my rebellious spin, duh.
Enter pie crust. Yeah, pie crust. Homie play. Homie play like that. Pie crust offers a delightful, unexpected crunch to these clusters and a bit of a doughy, cookie feel. It’s hard to explain but easy to eat 10 of these incredible cookie clusters, also inspired by the mil-dollar Pillsbury Bake-Off winner’s recipe which includes bits of baked pie crust in her cookies, too.
Genius? Hell yes it is. And ohmigawd, did I mention a DREAM COME TRUE?!
Seriously. Can’t stop, won’t stop — and you shouldn’t either. Make these NOW! Live the dream!!
Avalanche Cookie Clusters
- 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 1 & 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 pkg Vanilla CandiQuik
- 1 refrigerated pie crust
- First, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or with parchment paper. Mist parchment (if using) with cooking spray. Place the pie crust on the baking sheet and, using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, cut the pie crust into thin strips, then cut crosswise to make small, bite-sized squares. Separate the squares so that they don't touch as much, and bake for approx. 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
- In a large bowl, melt the CandiQuik according to package directions or until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter until blended. Working quickly, add in the cereal, marshmallows and pie crust pieces and toss gently to coat completely.
- Working fast, drop heaping 1/4 cup-sized clusters of the mixture onto foil-or silicone-lined baking sheets. Because of the CandiQuik, the mixture could harden so it's key to work as fast as possible! Allow the clusters to set before serving. Store leftovers airtight, at room temperature, for up to a week.
Buttery, creamy, crunchy, gooey, crispy, salty and oh-so-decadent, these are THE BOMB. Easily my new favorite cookie-candy hybrid and I guarantee they’ll be yours, too!
*Tip: for chocolate-lovers, feel free to sprinkle each cluster with some miniature chocolate chips before they set for a little chocolate kick!*
Have a fabulous day!!
Hi! I love your recipes! I can’t eat peanut butter tho- bummer, I know. Late in life sensitivity to peanuts – grrr. Do you think that Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter would work in these? It’s a little different consistency- any ideas for replacements? Have a good Sunday!
Hi Lisa! You can absolutely use cookie butter in place of PB. Since the consistency is similar, there will be no problems. Simply stir the cookie butter or Biscoff spread into the white chocolate as if it were the PB. Enjoy!!!
June Burns says
What an interesting treat! I’m sure little kid me would’ve loved these, so sticky and sweet 🙂
They sure are, Jane! Thanks so much! xo 🙂
I had no idea what avalanche cookies were and I am so glad I decided to find out. Love love that pie crust is in these. How genius!!!
Zainab, they are SO GOOD! My favorite!
Aimee @ ShugarySweets says
My favorite place in the world is Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. And their avalanche bars are TO DIE FOR. These look perfect 🙂
Hi, love the recipe and can’t wait to try, but what is vanilla candiquick and where do you find it?
Hi Alix! Vanilla CandiQuik is a chocolate candy coating that’s meant for higher temperature-melting. You can find it in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Since it melts at a higher temp, it’s less prone to seizing and coats things very easily and evenly. Plus, it tastes better than candy melting wafers. However, you could always use white chocolate chips (melted) in a pinch.
Priscilla Tyler says
These are wonderful, but a bit too rich to qualify as a “cookie”. As a homemade candy bar treat they are fabulous!
Might also be good with some coconut.
Priscilla, you’re right – they are a little on the richer side 🙂 but they would be excellent with coconut! I must try that suggestion next time!
Hi! I’m going to substitute the CandiQuik for white chocolate wafers and need to know what size the package is that you use, thanks!
Hi Ivy! I used one-16 oz package of CandiQuik. Just substitute equal amounts of candy melting wafers for best results. Enjoy! 🙂
How come I’ve never had an avalanche anything???? Your cookies sound amazing!
You MUST remedy that, Liz! These are AMAZING!
Debra Parker says
Do you cook the pie crust first?
Debra Parker says
never mind, i didn’t read the recipe all the way through. I see that the crust is cooked first. Thanks