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Thursday, May 19, 2016

chocolate, peanut butter, and date cereal bars

let's talk about a few ingredients that i love . . . my love of peanut butter has been well documented on this blog.  it's also no secret that i love dark chocolate too, but did you know that i'm a huge fan of cheerios as well?  i love all types of cheerios, especially multi-grain cheerios.  i also just love medjool dates.  they are so versatile, and i love how they are naturally sweet.

the combination of these things i love (chocolate, peanut butter, dates, and cheerios) leads to some seriously delicious dessert bars.

we start off with the dates, which are just the right amount of sticky so they can act as a natural glue in recipes.  the dates are combined with peanut butter and a little vanilla for an added flavor.

that incredible mixture gets combined with multi-grain cheerios, and then the whole thing is covered in dark chocolate.  wow!

these bars make a great treat to satisfy your sweet tooth, but you don't have to feel too bad about them since they are relatively "healthy."  cheerios, peanut butter, and dates are all good for you.  the dark chocolate makes them just a little bit naughty.  (although there is a decent amount of research that argues that dark chocolate is good for you.  i'm with those scientists!)

you could use just about any cereal in these bars.  you could also use milk or white chocolate too.  this recipe is a great base recipe for you to personalize these bars and make them your own!

chocolate, peanut butter, and date cereal bars
prep time: 10 minutes
chill time: 2 hours
yields: 16 bars
adapted from half baked harvest

6 oz. medjool dates, pits removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chunky all-natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups cereal
1 cup dark chocolate chips

grease the sides of a glass 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.  set aside.  add the dates and salt to a food processor and pulse until the dates form a thick paste.  add the peanut butter and milk.  process until smooth.  transfer the mixture to a microwave-save bowl.  microwave for 30 seconds, then stir.  repeat twice, or until the mixture is warm.  stir in the vanilla.  add the cereal to a large bowl.  slowly and gently mix the warm peanut butter mixture into the cereal until thoroughly combined.  gently press the cereal into the prepared baking dish in an even layer.

in a separate bowl, microwave the chocolate 30 seconds, then stir.  repeat until completely melted.  drizzle the melted chocolate over the cereal and use an offset spatula to evenly spread the chocolate over the top of the cereal.  cover the pan and refrigerate for about 2 hours until firm.  cut into 16 bars and serve.  refrigerate the remaining bars.

love, laurie


ma pa camlet said...

Looks good. Are they fresh dates or dried dates? This reminds me of a peanut butter bar recipe that I have not made it a long time that has chocolate on the top. I really like it and it is healthy, too. I remember it has peanut butter, oats, honey and I can't remember what else. I will have to dig out the recipe.

Mom H. said...

These look really delicious. The Ma Pa C recipe above sounds really good also. You can't go wrong with something that includes peanut butter and chocolate.