One sunny Saturday morning at our cabin, my grandsons Blake (5 years old) and Finn (2 years old) agreed to help make a pan of cereal bars we could eat after lunch for our dessert. To keep it simple, we used only four ingredients: Whole Grain Total® cereal, sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter.
Here is Blake, learning to measure 6 cups of the cereal until his grandmother decided to pour in the whole box, because that's what you get to do when you are making up recipes.
Blake lined the glass baking dish with foil for easier pan removal.
He also sprayed cooking spray over the foil. Then, because the next step is to bring the sugar and corn syrup to a boil (a step for adults only) , Blake left to play with some trucks.
I stirred the peanut butter into the hot mixture, and before I knew it, Finn wandered into the kitchen to see what was going on. I asked him to mix the peanut butter mixture with the cereal—a good job for him with just a little help from me.
For the next step, Finn spread the cereal mixture in the baking dish. It looks like I should have found a higher stool for him to stand on, doesn't it?
Finally, I melted some semisweet chocolate chips with peanut butter for the frosting. The first time we made the bars, Blake told me there was too much peanut butter flavor in the frosting and not enough chocolate flavor. In the recipe below, there is lots of chocolatey flavor in the frosting and lots of frosting too—the best part of the bars, for some of us! After frosting the bars, I couldn't resist adding some chopped peanuts as a garnish.
Totally Delicious Peanut Butter Cereal Bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 3 hours 10 minutes
1 box (10.6 oz) Whole Grain Total® cereal
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1 package (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
Line 13x9- inch glass baking dish or pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. Pour cereal into large glass mixing bowl. In 2-quart saucepan over high heat, bring sugar and corn syrup just to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter. Pour peanut butter mixture into cereal; stir until evenly coated. Lightly press mixture into pan with rubber scraper or back of wooden spoon.
In 1-quart saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips with peanut butter, stirring frequently, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Spread over top of cereal mixture in pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top, pressing nuts in slightly. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chocolate is firm. Remove from pan, using foil to lift; peel off foil. Cut into 6 rows x 4 rows.
It is not necessary to store bars in refrigerator. If they are stored in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature before cutting or they will be difficult to cut and eat.