Homemade Energy Bars

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Energy bars are all the rage these days. We count on them on the days when we’re lagging and hungry and dinner is still hours away. We started to think about what an expensive little habit this was becoming- almost as bad as that afternoon latte at the local coffee shop! So try these pick up and go bars, developed just for you, by Paula’s Test Kitchen. They are sweet, delicious, and crunchy. And will hopefully tide you over until dinnertime!

Pick up and Go Bars

2 cups puffed rice cereal
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
½ cup dried low sugar cranberries
½ cup non-fat dry milk powder
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup real maple syrup
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oven to 300 degrees and adjust racks to center of oven. Line an 8 x8 baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 3-inch overhang over the sides to use as handles later. Spray the parchment with non-stick cooking spray.

Add the puffed rice cereal, almonds, cranberries, milk powder, and apricots to a large bowl and toss all together with you r hands.

Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, peanut butter, and salt to a small saucepan and bring to a light simmer, stirring until the peanut butter is dissolved.

Pour the syrup over the cereal mixture and stir all together with a rubber spatula, working quickly. Add the sticky mixture to the prepared baking pan and pat down with the rubber spatula. Place a piece of parchment over the top and press down firmly. This will make slicing easier later on. Remove the parchment from the top after pressing and bake in the middle rack for 25 minutes, until just lightly golden. Cool the bars completely in the pan then slice into 8 bars.

Makes: 8 bars
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes

Don’t use a serrated knife to slice these! We tried and the bars crumbled. So be sure to let cool completely in the pan, then use a sharp knife to firmly slice. Wrap tightly in foil if taking on the go. (We don’t want them falling apart in your purse!)

Have fun with this recipe! You can mix and match ingredients- we’ve found success using different combinations of dried fruits and nuts. If you want it to taste more peanut buttery- just add an extra tablespoon or two.

Nutritional Facts:
Per Serving:
Serving Size: 53g
Calories: 178
Total fat: 5.2g
Total carbohydrates: 31.2g

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Reader Comments:


Will try this Pick up and go bar as I believe it just might be something a celiac sensitive person could eat. Thanks, Ida

By Ida Dohoney on July 18, 2014


These sound yummy, however he sugar content is really high and the protein content really low :-(

By Katy on March 18, 2013


These breakfast bars sound great til you get to the peanut butter. We are not able to eat it. Do you have another suggestion to bind the other ingredients together? Or would it be like a granola without a binding agent? Thanks for the help.

By Karen Hamilton on March 02, 2013


Sounds delicions~

By lsf on March 01, 2013


I was wondering how much protein does these bars have? that's what I am having to watch now plus the amount of sugars in food.

By Barbara Hedrick on February 27, 2013


how much protein does this recipe have?

By Anonymous on February 27, 2013


I have a lot of respect for your accomplishment ;and enjoy your programs.

By Leslie Prantl on February 27, 2013


I would have to substitute puffed wheat cereal, as I have one in my household that has allergies to rice. We also use corn flakes to make marshmallow treats and add a 1/4 c. of peanut butter.

By Lori Reynolds on February 26, 2013


I love your recipes. Many of the older ones are recipes I've always used.

By Linda Stuart on February 26, 2013

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm