Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Peanut, Pretzel and Chocolate Chex Bars

I've been a bad girl. I had vowed to give up sweets for a couple of weeks. I wanted to look a little better in my swimsuit at the beach. Hmmm. Let's just say it hasn't been going well. Last week while grocery shopping, I picked out some snacks for my daughter to take to summer camp and the town pool. I figure that anything I can pack for her is healthier than what they sell in the vending machines. My daughter loves Kellogg's® Special K® Bars. You know, the cereal bars that have chocolate or vanilla frosting drizzled on them. Well, there's a new flavor combination that just couldn't miss, in my opinion. Chocolatey Pretzel.

As fate would have it, my daughter was hungry after shopping, so I opened the box and gave her one for the ride home. I knew right away I was in trouble. These bars are NOT gluten-free. I knew that I wouldn't be able to taste them. I could tell from the smell of the chocolate pretzel breath coming from the back seat that I was going to have to come up with a gf alternative to this yummy treat! I remembered seeing gf Chex cereal bar recipes on their website. I followed the recipe with a few modifications... 4 cups Chocolate Chex® cereal 1/2 cup salted peanuts (instead I used about 1/2 cup crushed Glutino GF Pretzels) 1/2 cup light corn syrup 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (since I didn't add peanuts, I used Skippy Natural Extra Chunky PB) 1/4 cup candy-coated chocolate candies (I used one "Tear-n-Share" size bag of M&M's) 1. Butter bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan, or spray with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix cereal and pretzels. (To make cutting and clean-up easier, I lined the pan with aluminum foil and sprayed it with cooking spray.) 2. In 1-quart saucepan, heat corn syrup and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, just to boiling. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter until smooth. 3. Pour over cereal mixture in bowl, stirring until evenly coated. Stir in candies. Press firmly in pan. Cool 1 hour. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store loosely covered. (I pressed a little too firmly and some of the M&M's cracked...oops!) Oh My Gosh!!! These are so delicious! Chocolatey, Peanut-buttery with the taste of salty pretzels! Does it get any better than this??? Ok...so, mine didn't turn out as pretty as the ones on the Chex website, but who cares? I think if I were going to make them again, I might add a few more pretzels... Whether you are gluten-free or not, you have to try this recipe. I guarantee, they won't last long! I've been trying to pace myself... :)


Kim said...

Gee, thanks, Lisa! Those look & sound amazing! :) I just happen to have a big box of chocolate chex here, too!

I got all excited thinking those bars were GF! LOL!!

Lisa said...

Kim ~ Nope, unfortunately, K-bars are loaded with gluten. Hopefully some day Kellogg's will take a hint from General Mills and try making some gluten-free cereal.

I was originally going to try to make these bars somehow out of gf corn flakes, but I thought they may turn out soggy. I'm also thinking that it could work with something like Chocolate Koala Krisps or even Panda Paws cereals. The possibilities are endless.... :)