Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars Recipe

by Chef Adel
Published: Last Updated on 0 comment
Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars Recipe

What makes this recipe truly special, beyond its taste and ease, is its adaptability. Whether you’re catering to a crowd of kids, looking for a quick breakfast option, or needing an energy boost during a busy day, these Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars have got you covered. Plus, they’re always a hit at gatherings, quickly disappearing off the plate faster than you can say, “More, please!”

So, if you’re ready to step into your kitchen and create a snack that will bring smiles and a bit of nostalgia, stay tuned.

How to make Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars

PB Cheerio Bars

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars are delicious treats made with Cheerios cereal, peanut butter, and usually some sweetener like honey or maple syrup. They’re typically no-bake, making them quick and easy to prepare. The Cheerios provide a crunchy texture, while the peanut butter gives them a rich, nutty flavor. They’re often popular as a snack or dessert, especially for those who enjoy the combination of peanut butter and cereal.

Ingredients

To prepare your kitchen for the creation of these delightful Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars, you’ll need a handful of essential ingredients that might already be in your pantry:

  • 4 cups of plain Cheerios: The star of our bars, Cheerios, not only provides a great texture but also gives us that nostalgic cereal-infused taste.
  • 1 cup of natural peanut butter: Choose creamy peanut butter for a smooth, decadent texture. If you’re a chunky peanut butter enthusiast, feel free to use chunky peanut butter for added crunch.
  • 1/2 cup of honey: This acts as a natural sweetener and helps bind the ingredients together.
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract: A touch of vanilla enhances the flavor profile.
  • Optional mix-ins: 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips or dried fruit to add some variety or a pinch of sea salt for a sweet and salty twist.

Instructions

Creating these bars is simple, but don’t let the ease fool you—the result is pure deliciousness!

Prepare the Pan:

  1. Line an 8×8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Allow some overhang for easy removal of the bars once they are set.

Heat the Mixture:

  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the natural peanut butter and honey. Stir continuously until the mixture is thoroughly combined and warm, becoming more fluid. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Combine with Cheerios:

  1. Place your Cheerios in a large bowl—big enough to mix everything comfortably. Pour the warm peanut butter and honey mixture over the Cheerios. Gently fold until all the Cheerios are evenly coated. If you’d like to add chocolate chips, let the mixture cool slightly before mixing them in to prevent melting.

Press into Pan:

  1. Transfer the coated Cheerios to your prepared baking dish. Press the mixture down firmly into an even layer. For a more compact layer, use the back of a spatula or the bottom of a cup, which will help the bars stick together.

Set the Bars:

  1. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature until they are firm, about 1 hour. If you’re in a hurry, you can refrigerate the bars for about 30 minutes.

Cut and Serve:

  1. Once set, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut them into squares or bars with a sharp knife.

Tips for the Perfect Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars:

  • Quality of Ingredients: Since this recipe has few ingredients, the quality really matters. Choose a good natural peanut butter without added sugar or vegetable oil.
  • Press Firmly: The more compactly you press the mixture into the pan, the less crumbly the bars will be.
  • Resting Time: Be patient and let them rest! The bars need time to set and firm up.
  • Cutting: If your bars crumble when you cut them, try putting them in the fridge for a while longer or even in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Storage: Store leftover bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week (if they last that long!).
  • Nut Allergies: If you have nut allergies, you can substitute sunflower seed butter or another nut-free alternative for peanut butter.

What to Serve With

The beauty of Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars is that they’re incredibly versatile and can make a wonderful accompaniment to a variety of other foods or beverages. Here are a few serving suggestions to consider:

Breakfast Pairings

  • Fruit Salad: A fresh fruit salad would balance the sweet and rich flavor of the bars. Wonderful with seasonal fruits like strawberries, melon, or blueberries, providing a boost of freshness and added vitamins.
  • Yoghurt: Pair your bar with a bowl of Greek or plain yoghurt drizzled with honey or mixed with fresh fruit. This would supplement your breakfast with some protein while keeping it light.
  • Smoothie: Combine the bars with a healthy smoothie. A spinach, banana, and almond milk smoothie, for example, would give you a great kickstart in the morning.

Snack Pairings

  • Milk: Traditional but never old-fashioned; enjoy your bar with a glass of milk. The creaminess of the milk complements the crunchy texture of the Cheerios and the smoothness of the peanut butter.
  • Coffee or Tea: For an afternoon treat, serve these bars with a cup of coffee or tea. Whether it’s English Breakfast tea, chai, or a robust coffee, the bars hold up impressively.

Dessert Pairings

  • Ice Cream: For an indulgently sweet dessert, serve the bars alongside a scoop of ice cream. Go classic with vanilla or gourmet with salted caramel; the contrast of the cold, creamy ice cream and crunchy, chewy bar is delightful.
  • Whipped Cream and Berries: For a fancier dessert, top a bar with a dollop of whipped cream and a handful of fresh berries.

Ingredients Substitutes

Creating Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars can be a fun adventure, especially when you consider ingredient substitutions. Either due to dietary restrictions, allergies, or simply a creative culinary twist, substituting ingredients can yield delicious results. Here are detailed substitute options for each primary ingredient:

Cheerios Substitutes:

  • Puffed Rice Cereal: This can be used if you’re aiming for a lighter texture or need a gluten-free option (ensure the brand you pick is certified gluten-free).
  • Rice Krispies: Similar to puffed rice but with a crispier texture, Rice Krispies are a great way to add a different kind of crunch.
  • Oats: For a chewier bar, quick oats or rolled oats can be used. Remember, this will significantly change the texture, making it more similar to a granola bar.

Peanut Butter Substitutes:

  • Almond Butter: A good alternative for those with peanut allergies or simply looking to change the flavor profile. Almond butter is rich and works perfectly in this recipe.
  • Cashew Butter: For a creamier, subtly sweet option, cashew butter can be a fantastic replacement.
  • Sunflower Seed Butter: This is the best nut-free alternative. It has a similar consistency and flavor profile to peanut butter but is completely nut-free.

Honey Substitutes:

  • Maple Syrup: If you prefer vegan options or love the flavor of maple, this can be a great substitute. It’s slightly less thick than honey but works well in binding the ingredients.
  • Agave Syrup: Another vegan-friendly option, agave syrup, is sweeter than honey, so you should use a bit less.
  • Brown Rice Syrup: Providing a different kind of sweetness and a stickier texture, brown rice syrup is excellent for keeping those bars together.

Vanilla Extract Substitutes:

  • Almond Extract: If you’re itching for a change, almond extract can give your bars a nuttier flavor. Be cautious as its flavor is stronger, so use less.
  • Maple Extract: To complement the substitution of maple syrup for honey, you might also try using maple extract instead of vanilla for a consistent taste profile.

Final Thoughts

Indulge in the simplicity and savor the chewy, peanut buttery goodness of homemade Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars. Whether they’re for an on-the-go snack or a sweet treat after dinner, your taste buds (and maybe a roomful of eager kids or friends) will thank you!

More Treat Recipes:

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars Recipe

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 192 calories 2.5 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of plain Cheerios: The star of our bars, Cheerios, not only provides a great texture but also gives us that nostalgic cereal-infused taste.
  • 1 cup of natural peanut butter: Choose creamy peanut butter for a smooth, decadent texture. If you're a chunky peanut butter enthusiast, feel free to use chunky peanut butter for added crunch.
  • 1/2 cup of honey: This acts as a natural sweetener and helps bind the ingredients together.
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract: A touch of vanilla enhances the flavor profile.
  • Optional mix-ins: 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips or dried fruit to add some variety or a pinch of sea salt for a sweet and salty twist.

Instructions

Prepare the Pan:

  1. Line an 8x8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Allow some overhang for easy removal of the bars once they are set.

Heat the Mixture:

  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the natural peanut butter and honey. Stir continuously until the mixture is thoroughly combined and warm, becoming more fluid. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Combine with Cheerios:

  1. Place your Cheerios in a large bowl—big enough to mix everything comfortably. Pour the warm peanut butter and honey mixture over the Cheerios. Gently fold until all the Cheerios are evenly coated. If you'd like to add chocolate chips, let the mixture cool slightly before mixing them in to prevent melting.

Press into Pan:

  1. Transfer the coated Cheerios to your prepared baking dish. Press the mixture down firmly into an even layer. For a more compact layer, use the back of a spatula or the bottom of a cup, which will help the bars stick together.

Set the Bars:

  1. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature until they are firm, about 1 hour. If you're in a hurry, you can refrigerate the bars for about 30 minutes.

Cut and Serve:

  1. Once set, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut them into squares or bars with a sharp knife.

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