Saturday, January 29, 2011

No Bake Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

I noticed this recipe and thought was a perfect solution to my desire to have granola bars on hand. I hate coconut and almost all commercially available bars have coconut in them. The thing I really love about this recipe is you can switch ingredients with others and have hundreds of options available. I used cereals that were whole grain but if you could use regular cereal if you'd prefer and still have granola bars that are less sugary then the ones you buy at the store. Also you can leave the nuts out if you want or sub another type. I've made this with cashews, macadamia nuts, and almonds. Sub out the peanut butter for almond butter or hazelnut butter. Same thing for the dried fruit. I've used pretty much every type out there and it still tastes great. Plus these are easy to make for something that tastes much better than store bought bars.

No Bake Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
Women's Day Magazine Sept. 2010

2 cups slightly crushed whole grain flake cereal
2 cups whole grain puffed rice cereal
1 cup dried fruit of your choice (cranberry is what the original recipe calls for)
1/2 cup unsalted nuts of your choice (cocktail nuts is what the original recipe calls for)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or any butter of your choice, the original recipe calls for reduced fat peanut butter but I much prefer the more healthy natural kind)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Line a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with nonstick foil (let the foil extend about 2 inches above pan at both ends).
Mix cereals, fruit, and nuts in a large bowl.
Mix peanut butter, sugar, honey and butter in 2 qt. saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly; simmer for 1 minute.
Immediately stir into cereal mixture tossing to evenly coat. Coat hands with cooking spray, then use them to spread and press the mixture in prepared pan.  Chill until firm, about one hour.
Holding foil by ends, lift from pan onto a cutting board. Carefully cut lengthwise in 4 strips and then cut each strip in 6; remove foil.

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