Chocolate-Cherry Snack Bars

5 Reviews
From the EatingWell Kitchen

These cereal bars are chewy, crunchy and delicious with good-for-you seeds, nuts, fruit and little explosions of chocolate. We like the flavor of dried cherries or cranberries, but any coarsely chopped dried fruit will work.

Ingredients 16 servings

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Original recipe yields 16 servings
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  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened puffed wheat cereal
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped medium-fine
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted pepitas (see Notes)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds (see Notes)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips or finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

Preparation

  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 300 °F. Line an 8-inch-square pan with parchment paper, letting it overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. Toss cereal, pecans, pepitas, cherries (or cranberries), sesame seeds and ground flaxseeds in a large bowl.
  3. Combine honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the honey is more fluid and the salt is dissolved. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until everything is moistened and sticky. Let cool for 5 minutes. Fold in chips (or chopped chocolate) until evenly distributed. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a fork. Using the back of the fork, press the mixture very firmly all over. (Alternatively, cover with parchment paper and press firmly all over.)
  4. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 35 minutes. (If in doubt, take it out so the honey does not burn.) Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the bars. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Use the ends of the parchment to lift the bars from the pan. Gently peel off the parchment. Use a heavy sharp knife to cut into 16 bars or squares.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Store airtight for up to 1 week.
  • Equipment: parchment paper
  • Notes: Hulled pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are medium-dark green and have a delicate nutty flavor. They are sold salted, roasted and raw, and can be found in the natural-foods section of many supermarkets.
  • Look for ground flaxseeds (or flaxmeal) in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or in natural-foods stores. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 bar
  • Per serving: 109 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 1 g fiber; 17 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 4 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 13 g sugars; 12 g added sugars; 74 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 18 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 54 mg sodium; 66 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

Reviews 5

March 11, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
I've made 3 batches of these bars now. I used gluten free rice cereal each time which had malt added, so were too sweet until I swapped the honey for brown rice syrup and they were much nicer. I didn't use any nuts, or chocolate bits, but added sunflower seeds and chia seeds and they were great! Will definitely continue to make these for the family and keep experimenting. They held together very well. Oh, also I drizzled dark chocolate over the top of the last batch and they were perfect! Pros: Quick, easy, no fuss recipe Cons: Too sweet with honey, but brown rice syrup was much nicer.
February 15, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty but crumbly mess I too wonder if the magic missing ingredient was the flax seed? I did a little research on the web and that may be the case, or perhaps it was the damp weather. Either way, a note might have been nice. Luckily, it makes great breakfast cereal with milk or a good trail mix. I used some dried apricots and toasted the sesame seeds. Pros: Tasty Cons: fell apart completely
September 20, 2011
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By: mrspompey
Healthy easy bars! My husband is very picky when it comes to healthy snack bars. He loved these! I used unsalted nuts and pepitas and added extra honey the second time, they did crumble a little more the first time because I only used 1/2 cup honey. Came out perfect the second time! I also used flaxseed meal it seemed to hold it together better. Pros: You can use almost any cereal, nuts and fruit! Cons: I would say a 1 cup of honey instead of 1/2
August 25, 2011
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By: juliamann13
Eh, didn't work I was missing the ground flax, so perhaps that's why they instantly crumbled apart in my hands? It was a very messy end result - I followed the directions and waited 1:10 to cut. There are better bars out there. Pros: Quick prep time Cons: Completely fell apart, the parchment paper stuck to the pan and the bars, flavor was a bit too "earthy" for me.
February 21, 2011
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By: sarahsingsandcooks
Delicious! The flavor of this recipe is delicious! The cooling time may need to be extended beyond an hour, or perhaps cooling them in the fridge would help. I waited an hour and 15 minutes before I cut them, and the chocolate was still gooey. This made it a little hard to cut them. I can't wait to make these again and experiment with different nuts and fruits. Pros: easy, cheap Cons: a little too sweet, some crumbled apart