Gluten-Free Cereal Bars

After I pour over my various monthly food magazines, C likes to flip through them and dog ear recipes he wants to eat. The vast majority of the time the recipes he selects are either fish or vegetable related, but this month I was surprised to see that he flagged Everyday Food’s “Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cereal Bars” with one catch: Change up the ingredients. “Well,” I thought, “this could be fun…”
Gluten-Free Ceral Bars

First, I changed up the cereal in order to make the bars Gluten-Free. We always have at least three different varieties of Rice Chex on hand, so that was an easy decision. Whenever I want to change up a recipe to make it my own, I always turn to my pantry for inspiration.  I decided to whip up two renditions of Everyday Food’s cereal bars with the ingredients that jumped out at me from the pantry’s shelves. I found a jar of Pumpkin Butter hidden on the top shelf, as well as dark chocolate chunks, milk chocolate chips, walnuts, and cashews. All I needed were two bags of marshmallows (does anyone have that on hand in the pantry…ever?) Now, let the fun commence!

Dark Chocolate Chunks
Even though Fall is nowhere in sight, the Pumpkin Butter and Cinnamon Chex seemed like a perfect combination…and potentially reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Chocolate and peanut butter are one of my favorite culinary combinations, so I chopped up the dark chocolate pieces into mini chunks and measured out a separate serving of milk chocolate chips. I don’t care for peanuts or almonds, so I crushed the cashews and walnuts instead. I decided to experiment with two different pans for this kitchen adventure: A 9×9 glass dish for thicker, Rice Krispie treat size bars, and the other a 13×9 rimmed baking sheet for more thin, granola bar sized bars. How did my quasi-epic cereal bar experience turn out? Tasty, yet interesting.
Pumpkin Dark Chocolate
My favorite of the two is the Chocolate Peanut Butter and Walnut, which had just the right balance of peanut butter, chocolate, and crunch. The 13×9 pan size bars were more snack size friendly, too. This is not to say the Pumpkin Pie version was a total dud as C loved the flavor and thicker size. They had a completely different texture and consistency due to the pumpkin butter. Overall, the Pumpkin Pie bars were much denser than the Chocolate Peanut Butter bars, which were more airy and did not require refrigeration to set. Different strokes for different folks, although I’m curious which ones go faster at C’s office tomorrow. Hmm….

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Cereal Bars
*Adapted from Everyday Food

Ingredients
8 cups Cinnamon Chex
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup Pumpkin Butter
10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/2 cup crushed cashews

1. Line a 9×9″ glass dish with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.
2. Measure out cereal into a large bowl.
3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add marshmallows and pumpkin butter and stir constantly until  melted.
4. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal and toss to coat. Let mixture cool slightly for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add dark chocolate chips and cashews. Stir to combine. (I sprayed my hands with cooking spray and mixed with my hands).
6. Pour mixture onto parchment paper and press into the dish.
7. Let set in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
8. Lift parchment paper out of pan and cut bars on cutting board.

Cereal Bars

Cereal Bars

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter and Walnut Cereal Bars
*Adapted from Everyday Food

Ingredients
8 cups Rice Chex
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1/3 cup  milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Line a 13×9″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.
2. Measure out cereal into a large bowl.
3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add marshmallows and peanut butter and stir constantly until  melted.
4. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal and toss to coat. Let mixture cool slightly for about 3-4 minutes.
5. Add dark and milk chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir to combine. (I sprayed my hands with cooking spray and mixed with my hands).
6. Pour mixture onto parchment paper and press into the pan. Let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes until set.
7. Lift parchment paper out of pan and cut bars on cutting board.

Cereal Bars

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This entry was posted in Breads and Baked Goods, Picnic Perfect, Sweet Treats and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gluten-Free Cereal Bars

  1. Rikki says:

    The pumpkin butter sounds really good with the Cinnamon Chex and I’m a chocolate & peanut butter lover for sure. They’re both such great ideas and I love how you made the recipe yours!

  2. stephsapron says:

    Thanks! It was a lot of fun to play around with the ingredients. I’ve been eating the chocolate and peanut butter bars all week…a tasty and not so guilty afternoon snack!

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