Who’s got the snack snackities? That’s great, me too! Don’t worry, I’ve got ya covered today.
I don’t even remember the last time I ate a pb&j but the flavors have been on my brain for some reason so I mixed that craving with my rice flour inspiration and turned it into a copycat version of the nutri-grain breakfast bars that my the gang and I used to love. They’re kinda like double sized fig newtons too…..only……. with pb!
These are pretty simple to make and I went through multiple test batches before finding my favorite version. The first rice flour dough I tried was the best tasting but it was just too crumbly to work with so I had to change a few things. Then the second time was better but I had added too much liquid which made them get tough and dry when baked. In this case I’m hoping the third time’s a charm. I found a happy medium between the first two doughs that is great to work with but also bakes into a soft, minimally crumbly, crust.
The filling can be switched to whatever flavor you want, I even tried apple, which wasn’t everyone’s thing but some of my family really liked it. The sweetness is up to you because you can almost get away with not adding any sweetener to the filling, but it’ll depend on your taste.
I know you can probably go out and buy cereal bars similar to these from the huge selections at your grocery but the satisfaction of homemade ones is so worth it. These don’t have any of the added junk from packaged foods and you have complete control over how sweet to make them and what you add.
Rice Flour Pb&J Breakfast Cereal Bars (Vegan + GF)
Ever dreamed of creating your own snack bars? You're in luck because these super soft cereal bars are so much fun to make!
Cereal Bar Dough:
- 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal+
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup agave or maple syrup
- 3/4 cup rice flour
- 1/4 + 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch plus more for work surface
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- dash of cinnamon optional
- 1 cup of your favorite brand of all fruit jam or jelly mixed
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 cups fresh berries *see note
- 2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup optional
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Filling (Skip if using store-bought jelly):
Heat oil in a medium to large saucepan over medium high heat and add berries. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Add the lemon juice and sweetener and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, still stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until it has begun to thicken. Whisk cornstarch and water in a small dish until smooth, then pour into pan and stir well as the filling begins to thicken. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Cereal Bar Dough:
Combine the flaxmeal and water in a medium mixing bowl and allow it to set for about 10 minutes to thicken. Add the peanut butter, syrup, salt, vanilla, and baking powder to the flax mixture, then stir until combined. Mix in the cinnamon, cornstarch, and rice flour until the mixture forms a thick dough. (It may seem a bit dry at first but as you continue stirring it should come together.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and line a baking tray with parchment or silicone pads. On a clean surface spread a small amount of cornstarch and scrape your dough out with a large rubber spatula. Roll out half of dough into a rectangle roughly 1/8 inch thick. cut into strips about 3 1/2 inches wide and use a pastry bag fitted with large tip (or just a spoon) to spread filling in a straight, 1-inch wide, line down center of strips. Fold one side over filling and brush with water, then fold other side to overlap and press down gently to seal. Cut strips into bars and place (fold side down) on baking tray. (P.S.If you need more visual guide you can check out my fig newton recipe which has some step-by-step photos. Just double the length you cut them if you want these full-size bars.)
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove from oven and cool before serving.
*Use your favorite berry or a mixture; raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc. You can use other fruits for the filling such as apples or stone fruit as well, just puree them in a food processor or blender with 1 cup of water before cooking and you will only need about 1 1/2 cups (about 3 medium apples).