One of the easiest and most loved snacks I make is nothing more than a mixture of chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and Cheerios. Yet as I pondered a semi-healthy snack to take to game night this weekend, I began thinking about the 7 little boys (ages 6 and under) who would be there. Cheerios get dropped and crushed. Chocolate chips get sat on and melt. Dried cranberries have sticking ability and could potentially end up anywhere in the house. So in an effort to stick them all together, I decided to try them in a treat my hubby has been asking for… Cheerio Bars.
My Kindergartener helped me make them. While I’m usually a control freak and uptight about messes, this was the perfect opportunity to let him work independently. Sure, there was a mysterious raining of Cheerios onto the countertop and floor at one point, but it was quickly and easily cleaned up. The only input I gave was hands-off so he could happy work hands-on with the measuring cups and utensils.
The bars were a hit! Our 2-year old was more than excited about them. Upon seeing all his favorites compacted into one delicious treat he said, “Dat look good! Me eat that?” and later stated that the pan of bars was going to be his dinner. My Kindergartner proudly
ate devoured his creation. Hubby remarked on how “really good” these are! And I was thrilled to get kitchen time with my biggest boy and discover a quick & easy to make, not-too-sugar-laden treat for us all to enjoy.
The bad part about this treat… it doesn’t last long! We need to make another batch to take to game night tonight!
- 1 cup honey
- 1 1/4 cups natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
- 6 cups Cheerios (any variety; we used Honey Nut)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (we buy ones that are made with a high percentage of cacao & real vanilla)
- In large bowl, mix cereal and cranberries. Set aside.
- Combine honey and peanut butter in a large saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until mixture just starts to simmer, about 2-3 minutes, stirring.
- Pour over cereal mixture in bowl; stir until evenly coated. Allow to cool to about room temperature.
- Mix in chocolate chips.
- Lightly spray 13x9 pan with cooking spray.
- Using buttered back of spoon or wax paper, press mixture very firmly in pan.
- Refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm enough to cut.
- Cut into 2x2 squares.
Hope you and your family love this treat as much as we do!