No Milk Needed: 6 Recipes for Homemade Cereal Bars

It is time to turn that box of breakfast cereal in your pantry into a cereal bar with the following 6 recipes. You can combine better-for-you ingredients, like whole grain cereals and nuts for an energizing snack, or make the most of those sugary cereals by creating a sweet treat. Either way, you’ll have a homemade cereal bar that is great on the go, perfect for when you crave cereal, but can’t sit down to enjoy a bowlful with milk.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

1. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

Give regular rice krispie treats a run for their money with this recipe from Martha Stewart. A chocolate crispy cereal is used in place of your basic rice variety, and peanut butter adds another new level of flavor for your treats. For another variety, try other types of chocolate cereal, like Cocoa Puffs. It makes about 12 bars.

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 8 cups chocolate crisp puffed-rice cereal
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces miniature marshmallows (4¾ cups)
  • ¾ cup natural peanut butter
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Directions: Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment. Lightly spray parchment. Place cereal in a large bowl. In a large pot, melt butter over medium. Add marshmallows, peanut butter, and salt and cook, stirring, until mixture is melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir into cereal until combined. Let mixture cool slightly, 4 minutes (mixture should still be pliable), then stir in chocolate chips and peanuts. With a spatula (or your fingers) lightly coated with cooking spray, press into pan. Let stand at room temperature until set, about 20 minutes. Using parchment, lift from pan and cut into 12 bars.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Almond Cereal Bars

On the healthier side of things are Health‘s cereal bars which call for whole grain ingredients, and use honey as a binding agent instead of marshmallows. It yields about 10 bars, but as with any of these recipes, yield will vary depending on how you slice your cereal bars.

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup almond butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 cups whole-grain cereal flakes
  • 2 cups oat and bran O’s cereal
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, unsweetened dried cherries

Directions: Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the almond butter and honey on high for 30 seconds, then stir until blended. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the cereal flakes, O’s, and cherries. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until warmed. Gradually stir the almond butter mixture into the cereal until thoroughly and evenly coated. Press into the prepared pan. Refrigerate until set and firm. Cut into 10 bars.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

3. Chex Apple and Almond Bars

Chex is no stranger to crafting recipes around the squares of cereal bearing its name. No longer just for mixes, you can find cereal bars too, like these which are sweetened with dried fruit and sugar. It yields about 16 bars.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cinnamon or rice flavored Chex cereal
  • ⅔ cup chopped dried apples
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar

Directions: Line bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix cereal, apples, almonds and cranberries; set aside. In large microwavable bowl, microwave butter, corn syrup and brown sugar uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes stirring every 30 seconds or until mixture is boiling and slightly thickened. Pour over cereal mixture in bowl; stir until evenly coated. Using buttered back of spoon, press mixture firmly in pan. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to cut. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store covered at room temperature up to 1 week.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

4. Wake-Up Espresso Cereal Bars

There is no baking involved in Betty Crocker’s espresso flavored cereal treats, but they will test your patience since the bars need to set for about two hours. It yields 12 crunchy bars, and if you want to use a different cereal look for another flaky option combining almonds and fruit.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee granules or instant coffee granules
  • 2 teaspoons boiling water
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups Basic 4 cereal
  • 1 cup broken pretzel sticks

Directions: Butter bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan. In 3-quart saucepan, heat corn syrup and brown sugar to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. In small bowl, stir coffee granules into boiling water until dissolved; stir into corn syrup mixture along with peanut butter until smooth. Add cereal and pretzels, stirring until evenly coated. Press evenly in pan. Let stand about 2 hours or until set. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 3 rows. Store covered.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Lucky Charms Cereal Bars

Brighten up your marshmallow and cereal bars by using a cereal that contains colored marshmallows like Lucky CharmsFood.com‘s recipe yields about 16 bars, and don’t require any baking.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 25 large marshmallows or 2½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • 5 cups Lucky Charms cereal, or comparable option

Directions: Grease 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Melt margarine and marshmallows until smooth, either over medium heat in a saucepan or in the microwave. Stir in Lucky Charms until well coated. Press into pan with buttered hands. Cut into squares when cool.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

6. No-Bake Cereal Bars

For another no-bake bar, try Taste of Home‘s cereal bar recipe using two kinds of cereal. Unless you plan on feeding quite a few people with the bars, you may want to halve the recipe to make only one pan at at time. Experiment with different flavor combinations, using chocolate, honey, cinnamon, or other varieties of the cereals.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups corn syrup
  • 1 jar (40 ounces) chunky peanut butter
  • 6 cups Cheerios
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal

Directions: In a large saucepan, cook and stir sugar and corn syrup until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add peanut butter; mix well. Stir in cereals. Spread quickly into two lightly greased 15 X 10 X 1 inch pans. Cut into bars while warm.

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