Pumpkin Butter Energy Bars
Forget store bought energy bars that cost $5 a box and often taste like crap. These crave worthy pumpkin butter energy bars come together in a flash with no baking required and taste incredible!
These little bars are a family favorite for fall around here. Todd takes them for his car rides to work, I snack on them while I’m getting everyone out of the door in the mornings, and the kids enjoy them straight from their lunch boxes. While I have used homemade pumpkin butter to make these before more often than not I reach for a jar of Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter for the convenience factor. Any way you dish them up these little bites are sure to be a hit!
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- ⅓ cup pepitas
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup pumpkin butter
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the pecans, oats, pepitas, and almonds on the sheet and bake about 8 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- In a saucepan, bring the sugar, honey, pumpkin butter, butter, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Make a light caramel sauce by simmering until the sugar dissolves completely, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the caramel over the nut and oat mixture. Stir in the brown rice cereal and the cranberries until evenly coated.
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, extend the paper over the sides of the pan to use as a handle later. Pour the cereal mixture into the baking dish and spread out into an even layer. Cover the pan with a second piece of parchment and press down very firmly to compress the bars so that they don't fall apart when you remove them from the pan. Let the mixture stand for about 2 hours until firm.
- Discard the top piece of parchment and use the "handles" from the second piece of parchment to gently remove the cereal square from the pan then cut the squares into 12 equal size bars and serve.