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Monday, February 17, 2014

Cereal bars with peanuts and pretzels

I saw this recipe and was intrigued.  The original recipe was called Good Morning Sunshine Bars.  It was a no bake bar made with cereal, hence the name "good morning sunshine" bars.  But then I started reading the recipe and saw all the corn syrup and brown sugar in them, and then they were topped with chocolate, and I thought to myself that these probably aren't the healthiest breakfast to eat.  So what if the main ingredient was Chex cereal?

But just because I thought that they probably wouldn't be the best breakfast option, didn't mean that they didn't sound good to me!  So I played around with them a little bit.  I assumed the syrup would be sweet, so I decided I'd add an additional salty element, and I decreased the peanuts to a half cup (I didn't chop them -- I was lazy), but I did add a cup of crushed pretzels to the mix to up the saltiness and make them salty-sweet (I also decreased the salt to about a teaspoon).  I even debated leaving off the chocolate.....but who was I kidding?  Everything is better with a little chocolate!

Cereal Bars with Peanuts and Pretzels
Adapted from these Good Morning Sunshine Bars from Bake or Break, originally from Baked Elements


6 cups of Rice Chex (I used 3 cups of Rice Chex and 3 cups of Corn Chex)
1/2 cups salted peanuts
1 cup of pretzels, broken
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt (if you like things a little more salty, you can easily go up to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt)
6 ounces milk chocolate


Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan (I used Pam).
Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the two short sides.
Butter the parchment (I used Pam, again).

Place Chex, peanuts, and pretzels in a large bowl.
Mix together until combined.

Place brown sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan.
Stir together and cook over medium heat.
Bring to boil for one minute.
Remove from heat.
Stir in peanut butter, vanilla, and salt.

Pour sugar mixture over cereal mixture.
Stir gently until cereal is coated with sugar mixture.

Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Allow to cool to room temperature (or place in fridge for 15-20 minutes).

Once bars have cooled, melt chocolate (the microwave or a double boiler will work).
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the bars.
Allow chocolate to set.

Using the parchment overhangs, remove the bars from the pan.
Cut into bars, 3 x 1.5 inches.

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