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I think that we can all relate to days when breakfast seems impossible and a granola or protein bar saves the day. These moments are most prevalent during a busy morning or when I’m behind schedule and my only goal is to get going.
I recently made a batch of these peanut butter Cheerios bars to give me a hand on those difficult days. I came across them on Reddit in the “old recipes” section, and commenters waxed poetic about enjoying these simple treats during their childhood. While I didn’t grow up eating them, they seemed like a handy make-ahead breakfast or on-the-go snack. This is what happened when I tried them out.
How to Make Peanut Butter Cheerios Bars
The great thing about this recipe is that it takes around 10 minutes to whip together. To start things off, grab an 8×8-inch baking dish and line the bottom and edges with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place a large saucepan onto the stove over medium heat and add the peanut butter and honey. Stir the two ingredients together — you’re not looking to reduce or caramelize the ingredients, you just simply need to loosen the peanut butter. Once you achieve a smooth consistency, remove the pan from the heat.
Grab your Cheerios (I most certainly used Honey Nut Cheerios, a childhood favorite), add them to the saucepan, and stir together until the cereal is completely coated with the peanut butter mixture. Transfer the mixture into the lined baking dish and, using the back of a spoon or rubber spatula, spread into an even layer. This would be a good time to add any fun toppings that you may have in mind, such as nuts, seeds, drizzles, or chocolate. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight so they can properly set up.
Once chilled and firm, slice into bars. Store the bars in an airtight container or wrap them individually for portability. Either of the storing methods works perfectly — just be sure to keep them refrigerated if you added in any perishable ingredients, like fresh fruit (I added chopped apple to one batch).
A nostalgic treat for some, peanut butter Cheerios bars are like a healthy, breakfast-friendly version of Rice Krispies treats. As a big bonus, they only call for peanut butter, honey, and Cheerios — just three shelf-stable ingredients to bring this breakfast or snack together.
These Cheerios bars met all of my make-ahead breakfast expectations and they make a fun sweet snack, too. The simplicity (along with the room to expand on various flavor profiles) makes this one a winner in my book. They only took around 10 minutes to prep, which made me even more excited! They simply couldn’t be easier and I could see kids loving these nutty, crunchy, chewy bars.
My #1 Tip for Making Peanut Butter Cheerios Bars
One of my favorite things about this recipe is the versatility that it offers. There are various opportunities to swap things out or add in some of your favorite mix-ins. Try swapping peanut butter with almond or sunflower seed butter or honey for maple syrup. Add in dried fruit, chopped nuts, a drizzle of melted chocolate, or salted caramel. Take advantage of the vast line of products that Cheerios offers and try their multi-grain, apple cinnamon, chocolate, and other flavors for a new twist on the classic.