That Ubiquitous No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bar Recipe

The other day at breakfast, I went all out and dove into a bowl of the most boring cereal in the world. Bet you are sitting on the edge of your seat by now.
I mean, does a bowl of corn flakes really excite you and fill you up? I’m lucky if it lasts me for more than 1 hour. Give me protein to keep me going! Give me fiber to, er, keep me going? And while you’re at it, give me $10’000 in small bills!

You might be wondering why I had corn flakes handy in the first place if we’re such archnemesises. Archnemeses. if we don’t like each other that much. Or you might just not give a hoot, in which case I applaud you.
The real reason is that Joni’s recipe for sweet potato po’ boys calls for them. Let me tell you I took great pleasure in crushing the living corn out of those flakes.
While I know I will make the boys again because this is one great way to put the corn flakes to use, I didn’t want the cereal to go stale before then.

Which is why I turned the bowl of gloom & doom up there into this:

A super simple, been-done-so-many-times-before, no-bake bar usually made of puffed rice. You know the one. Do I even have to tell you how to do it? Here are the guidelines I used. Find my tweaks below. I happen to have amaretto-flavored agave nectar and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to anything else. It was love at first rotten tooth.

The over-the-top dessert lover in me considered adding a layer of chocolate ganache or a simple melted chocolate drizzle, but the memory of being so sick on sweets earlier that day (to the point where my head started spinning and I spoke in tongues) put me back in my place.

I know this is a cop-out recipe and feel just an eensy bit embarrassed for posting it, but I figure there might be other corn flakes nihilists out there who might want to form a club. We could even come up with a Scorn for Corn logo and knit our own sweaters with vegan-friendly yarn and stuff.

Look, it’s that Ubiquitous No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bar Recipe!:

8 cups corn flakes
1 cup agave nectar*
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
1 cup crunchy natural peanut butter, use unsweetened and salted or add a pinch of sea salt

Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with wax paper. Place corn flakes in a large bowl.
Cook nectar, sugar and peanut butter until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Pour mixture over corn flakes and stir gently until cereal is completely coated.
Press down firmly with an extra piece of wax paper. Cool in the fridge before cutting into bars.

Yield: A lot. Or not, if you have no self-control. Okay, how about 24?

*Someone used 3/4 cup agave nectar with great success. I haven’t tried yet, but will soon.

  • Frank Ocean says:

    I love this recipe and really want to make but I’m curious.
    Is it flexible enough to accommodate fruit like blackberries, cranberries and the like?
    And can the Agave Nectar be substituted with something like honey, and the granulated with raw/brown sugar.
    All with the aim to make it a healthier snack.


    • Celine says:

      I’d be a little worried to use fresh fruit, for fear it’d make things soggy/less bindy. how about dried fruit?
      you can sub another thick liquid sweetener. I don’t use honey so I cannot tell you if it’d work.
      raw sugar, if you dissolve it appropriately, should work. I’d lean more toward brown sugar.

      • Frank Ocean says:

        You’re right on the dried fruit recommendation! I’m hapless at cooking a complete culinary catastrophe but I managed to put something together that works AND is tasty, using your recipe as a basis! – I used:

        3 cups: Granola
        – this type had almonds and raisins with in it
        3/4 cup: Raisins
        – because the granola didn’t have that much raisin in it
        1/4 cup: Dried fruit mix
        – came sweetened, included cherries, cranberries and sultanas
        3/4 cup: extra fine granulated sugar
        – raw brown sugar was too expensive
        1/2 cup: crunchy peanut butter
        – I used Kraft’s because it’s horrible on bread and needed to be used up
        1/2 cup: honey
        – cheapest I could find, was shaped like a bear, I smiled.

        Following the instructions and putting in some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease to mix everything together, thrown in the fridge for a few hours.

        It has come out perfect (for me) – chewy, with a satisfying bite, it’s not outrageously sweet, the sweetness I can taste mainly comes from the dried fruit so it feels healthy and a subtle flavour of peanut butter.

        Thank you so much for the recipe/inspiration – you’re awesome!

        I’m off to carve off a few extra squares as a reward for writing this post!

        • Celine says:

          and I smiled at the fact you smiled at the bear shape. they need to make more stuff shaped into bears. thanks for letting me know Frank!