Homemade “Clif Bars”

My husband runs out the door with a Clif Bar in hand most weekday mornings.  As a result, the kids think they are the greatest things ever and we had gotten into the habit of snacking on these bars when out and about or traveling.

The bars seem healthy enough, but quite high in sugar and really, when there are that many ingredients, I start to wonder.  I couldn’t help but think that a homemade alternative would be much-appreciated in my household.  Furthermore, the activity itself sounded like something I could easily do with my kids…a bonus for any multi-tasking parent…and the $1-$1.99 price tag on these babies would not be missed in the slightest.

Google lead me to numerous recipes where I found one I liked  (http://enlightenedcooking.blogspot.com/2008/06/homemade-cliff-bars-no-bake.html).  I made a few minor adjustments and went to town. I’ve made these fabulous homemade “clif” bars numerous times and there is plenty of room for variation depending on tastes, allergies and whatever you may have in the pantry.  The key is to keep dry and wet ingredient amounts consistent with the original recipe.  I double this recipe which for me yielded 16 bars.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups puffed rice or puffed wheat cereal
  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal or almond meal)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried fruit (e.g., raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (preferably roasted or toasted)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (optional but they seem to stick a bit better with sugar)
  • 1/3 cup nut butter (e.g., peanut, almond, cashew, soynut)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Combine the cereal, oats, flaxseed meal, dried fruit, and nuts in a large bowl.

2.  Bring the honey and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat (I have used agave nectar for part of the honey/syrup but never used entirely agave), stirring constantly; remove from heat.

3. Stir in nut butter and vanilla until blended.  (I leave on heat but lower the temp while adding the nut butter and stir until all smooth)

4.  Pour nut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until all dry ingredients are coated (mixture will be stiff).  The nut butter mix can be hot at first so check temp and then feel free to let the kids mix and squeeze with their hands in order to incorporate the two mixtures together.

5.  Press mixture firmly into an 8-inch square pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) using a large square of wax paper. Use a larger 9 x 12 pan or 1/4 sheet pan if doubling).
The kids love to partake in this step as well.

6. Cool in pan. Cut into whatever size bars are needed in your house.

Wrap bars in wax paper if being eaten soon (they will keep like this for a week or so) or wrap bars tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.  If storing in the refrigerator, take out and bring to room temp before eating.

10 Comments

  • Reply February 6, 2010

    Rhonda Cayea

    Hey Dana!!!
    Can’t wait to make these!! I hope I do as well as Olive and Lillie at making these. Thank you for the dance recital girls…so cute! Love Auntie Rhonda

  • Reply February 17, 2010

    Keri (Sellerberg) Weber

    Dana,
    These were great! A new hit in our house. Thanks for the recipe!
    Keri

  • Reply April 10, 2011

    Lora

    Everyone loved these and they are a perfect snack! I did learn the hard way that if you are using chocolate chips, you need to let the heated mixture cool before combining it with the dry ingredients.

  • [...] Adapted from Hammertown [...]

  • [...] Adapted from Hammertown [...]

  • Reply April 28, 2012

    Penny Wheeler

    Did you find these to be cost effective? My family goes through the kid cliff bars FAST!

  • Reply August 8, 2012

    Christy Parker

    I made the error of using chocolate chips and yogurt chips also and they melted….of course! Duh! haha! Oh well, they still turned out good, a yummy chocolate and almond butter taste. I sprinkled more yogurt chips on top and pushed in with the wax paper just a little, so they are in there but will retain their shape. This is a great recipe, thank you!!!

  • Reply January 22, 2013

    Kelly

    Just made these. I used organic honey, flax and a nut and fruit trail mix. They are fantastic!

  • Reply February 4, 2013

    smoaksmom

    The texture was perfect!
    I didn’t do the recipe exactly. I used the measurements of “stuff” to “sugar and nut butter” and made it my own. Thanks for this!

  • Reply September 14, 2013

    Michelle

    My kids and I just made these for the first time, and we LOVE THEM!! For the fruit & nuts, I used dried cranberries and honey roasted peanuts. The only problem is that they’ll be gone too soon! :) I guess next time I’ll double it and use a 9×13 pan!

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