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:


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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love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just want to say this I don't even know if is the right page all I ever wanted to say to Paula Deen welcome back I have missed you. You are my favorite home down girls keep your head up and hang on and feel the love. P.S. from a woman of color.
in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
Patricia in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 am