These homemade crackly chocolate bars are simple to make and an improvement on the store-bought variety. Studded with caramelized puffed rice cereal and high-quality milk chocolate, they're less sweet than the manufactured bars, as well as creamier and much more flavorful. Plus, they're made with only two ingredients, so it's completely feasible to do at home. Try and use the best quality milk chocolate you can find—it will make all the difference.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silicone baking mat like a Silpat.
In a medium-sized pot, combine the sugar, water, and sea salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
Cook the sugar mixture until water has evaporated and syrup has thickened slightly (right before it begins to caramelize and turn color).
Remove from heat and add the puffed rice cereal. Gently stir mixture, thoroughly coating all the puffed rice in the sugar syrup. The sugar will crystallize and give the puffed rice a thin white coating.
Place the pot back over medium-high heat and continuously stir the mixture. The sugar coating will begin to dissolve and caramelize. Caramelization will begin at the bottom of the pot first, so be sure to keep stirring and rotating the puffed rice to ensure even coloring. The mixture will also begin to smoke lightly as it deepens in color.
When the entire puffed rice mixture has reached a deep golden-amber color, remove the pot from heat and stir in the butter until thoroughly combined.
Pour out the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Quickly, spread out the caramelized puff rice into an even single layer with the back of a spatula or spoon.
Let cool completely, then break apart any clumps with your fingers until you have individual grains of puffed rice remaining.
For the candy bars:
Set out a clean chocolate bar mold or any candy-making mold of your choice and desired shape (or use an 8- by 8-inch baking pan that has been lined on the bottom and sides with parchment paper).
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the milk chocolate and caramelized puffed rice. Immediately, ladle or spoon the mixture evenly onto the chocolate bar mold cavities (or pour directly into the baking pan). Use the back of the spoon to spread the chocolate evenly over the mold.
Using a straight-edged object, such a bench scraper, scrape the excess chocolate off the top of the mold. Firmly tap the mold on the countertop several times to remove air bubbles. Place the chocolate mold into the refrigerator until the chocolate has set and easily pops out of the mold.
Once out of the mold, allow the chocolate bars to come to room temperature. If using a baking pan as a mold, pop them out of the pan and cut into strips with a hot knife blade. Store bars, at room temperature, in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to one week.