You know in the middle of the day, when you get the mid afternoon blahs and you crave something sweet, like a candy bar? Well instead of grabbing for a candy bar, I decided to make cereal bars that are tasty, sweet and pretty healthy! I actually made these bars for my Husband for his mid morning snack. He sits with his Guy friends and normally nibbles on some homemade cookies or a loaf of quick bread that I may make, but today I thought I would change-up his snack time and make these cereal bars.
These bars are a cross between a granola bar and a Rice Krispie treat. They actually taste like cocoa pebbles cereal with a touch of almond. I love cocoa pebbles! The bars are light, filling, chocolaty and have the perfect amount of sweetness without going overboard. The main ingredient of the bars is Trader Joe’s Sweetened Puffed Wheat Cereal. I love that cereal! I grab a little handful and put it in my yogurt. However, any puffed wheat cereal will work great in this recipe.
I also added brown rice syrup to hold it all together, a little bit of brown sugar, vanilla extract, slivered almonds and unsweetened coconut. You can buy the brown rice syrup in the health food section of your grocery store. Brown rice syrup is great for making granola too. It’s so sticky sweet and makes for a perfect substitute for marshmallows that you would normally use in Rice Krispie Treats.
Oh and I can’t forget the unsweetened cocoa powder. This my Friends is what gives it the cocoa pebbles cereal taste! One thing I must suggest is splurge a little bit on the unsweetened cocoa powder. A good brand of chocolate will go a long way in a recipe. I like Ghirardelli. I bought the unsweetened cocoa powder at Target, but Trader Joe’s unsweetened cocoa powder is great too and even Hershey’s Dark Chocolate is good too! Did you know that unsweetened cocoa powder contains fiber? You have to love that!
The recipe is super easy to make too! Just warm the wet ingredients in a pot, mix it with the dry ingredients and press into an 9 x 9 pan. Bake for 15 minutes and let it cool! Out comes the perfect little bars. Once they cooled I decided to drizzle a little bit of dark chocolate over the top. Here are the bars before I put them in the oven.
I cut these bars into 8 slices, but you can easily get 12 or 16 bars out of this recipe. I decided to cut the bars a little bigger so they would be more filling and be more like a candy bar. I have to tell you I love the drizzle of chocolate on top! He he
I store my bars in a sealed tupperware container and they lasted about 3 days. If you go to long like 4 or 5 days, they tend to get a little stale, but still taste good. But I really they won’t last that long. They are the perfect snack that I think kids and big kids (Husbands) will love!
- Serves: 8 Bars
- Serving size: 1 Bar
- 5 cups Puffed Wheat Cereal (I used Trader Joe's Sweetened Puff Wheat Cereal)
- ½ cup almonds, slivered (I used raw, unsalted)
- ½ cup coconut, shredded, unsweetened
- 3 tbsp. brown rice syrup
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- ¼ cup dark chocolate melting wafers
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Line a 9 x 9" square pan with parchment paper (so ends extend over edges of pan).
- In a large bowl add puffed wheat cereal, almonds and coconuts; mix until combined.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the brown rice syrup, maple syrup, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt and sugar; just until sugar is melted.
- Pour the liquid mixture on top of the dry ingredients, mixing well. Make sure everything is coated. Scoop the mixture into prepared baking pan and press down firmly with a back of a spoon (mixture will be sticky). I found using a piece of parchment paper and pressing on it with my hands works great in pressing the bars.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
- Remove pan from oven, press mixture down again with spoon until the bars are flat. Set aside until completely cooled.
- Once cooled, take the bars out of the pan by grabbing the parchment paper. Remove the parchment paper and place bars onto a cutting board; with a sharp knife, cut into 8 or 12 slices.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate for 8 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Pour chocolate in a sandwich baggie and cut the corner off. Drizzle chocolate over cooled bars. Let the chocolate harden.
- I store mine in a sealed container at room temperature.
Well it’s getting late for me, and I need to make my lunch and head to bed!
Have a super day!