These Chocolate Victory Bars triumph over mass-market nut-and-chocolate energy bars. I started toying with this recipe when news of salmonella-tainted peanut butter broke in October 2009 and my favorite energy bars, Luna Nutz Over Chocolate, were pulled from grocery store shelves. Think of these fairly nutritious peanut-chocolate bars as less of a diet food and more like a healthy candy bar.
What to buy: Crispy brown rice cereal, flax seed meal, wheat germ, and brown rice syrup are available at many health food and grocery stores.
Nutritional information: Serving Size 1 Bar (1.8oz/52g), Calories 218, Total Fat 8.5g, Saturated Fat 2.4g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0.8mg, Sodium 122mg, Total Carb 37.7g, Fiber 3.9g, Sugars 13.7g, Protein 4.8g. (Nutritional information was calculated via SparkRecipes’ Recipe Calculator.)
This recipe was featured as part of our Superpower Energy Bars for School Days and Work Days project.
- Yields: 10 bars
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: About 35 mins, plus cooling time
- Oil, for coating the pan
- 1 1/2 cups crispy brown rice cereal
- 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
- 1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup raw wheat germ
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened, untoasted, dried coconut flakes
- 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 3 tablespoons natural smooth unsalted peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/3 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
- Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with butter; set aside.
- Place rice cereal, oats, almonds, wheat germ, coconut, and flax seed meal on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with your hands to combine, and spread in an even layer. Bake, stirring halfway through, until almonds are light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.
- Place rice syrup, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until mixture is combined and brown sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, immediately add cereal mixture, and stir until combined. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan and, using a spoon, spread it evenly, pushing it into the corners.
- When the mixture is cool enough to handle but is still warm, evenly and firmly press it into the pan with your hands. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and place in the oven. Bake until the chips start to melt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using a table knife or offset spatula, spread the chocolate into an even layer. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then place it in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the nutty oat slab from the pan (you may need to run a knife around the perimeter to loosen it). Cut it in half to form two rectangles, then cut each rectangle widthwise into 5 bars to form 10 bars total. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 weeks; let frozen bars come to room temperature before eating.