No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars


Growing up, Honey Nut Cheerios were a pantry and breakfast table staple.

I recently bought an economy-sized box that was on sale and needed to make something with them or else we were going to be eating them until Christmas.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

These fast, easy, bars cost just a fraction of storebought bars to make, they’re healthier, and they’ve got fun, bright colors.

In the past I’ve used Golden Grahams, Special K, Chex, Rice Krispies and  many others in recipes, but never the classic O’s until these.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

I have many other microwave and no-bake granola bar recipes. See the Related Recipes below. These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF) are my favorites for something that has the texture of a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar and are a cinch to make, while still staying in the healthy realm.

I wanted these to be a snack bar or breakfast bar, on the healthier side, while branching out from recipes I’ve already made or tried.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

Normally I use corn syrup in my microwave bars because it’s cheap, and it makes an excellent glue to bind ingredients. Very little can escape it’s tacky grip.

However, for these I used honey to play up the honey flavor from the cereal. I will be honest, honey does not make as good of a glue as corn syrup. If I were to remake them, I’d use corn syrup.

At room temperature, the bars do get soft and loose, and you’ll need to store them in the fridge.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

I stirred in raisins for extra texture, flavor, fiber, chewiness, and oomph. I know some people don’t like raisins, so feel free to omit them or use dried cranberries, apricots, or another dried fruit.

The recipe is very flexible and you could also stir in honey-roasted peanuts, sliced almonds, or a handful of your favorite trail mix.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

I topped them with chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, don’t buy them unless you have really good self-control. They’re crunchy, chocolaty, and one step away from eating chocolate candy-coated sprinkles. So good.

They give a fun, bright pop of color to otherwise boring brown bars, and since I knew I was putting these in my 6 year old’s lunch box, I wanted them to be cheery. If you can’t find them in your area, no biggie. Just use another small seed, nut, or omit.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

Between the honey, cereal, raisins, and chocolate-covered seeds, the are were on the sweet side. A sprinkling of Kosher salt cuts that and plays up the salty-and-sweet aspect.

I wish the Cheerios I ate as a kid were this fun to look at.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

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No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars

These fast, easy, bars cost just a fraction of storebought bars to make, they're healthier, and they've got fun, bright colors. They're a texture lover's dream between the cereal, dried fruit, and chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Use what you have on hand and enjoy. Almsot any dried fruit, nut, or seed can be substituted. The bars are perfect for quickie breakfast or snacks on the go.

Yield: one 8-by-8-inch pan, 12 snack bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes, microwave

Total Time: 2+ hours, for chilling

Ingredients:

1/4 cup creamy unsalted butter (half of one stick)
1/4 cup honey (light-colored corn syrup may be substituted and will keep the bars firmer at room temp than using honey)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups Honey Nut Cheerios (or similar storebrand cereal; plain Cheerios may be substituted for a less sweet bar)
1 cup raisins, optional (1 cup  honey-roasted peanuts, 1 cup chopped almonds, or 1 cup trail mix may be substituted)
about 1/2 cup chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, optional (I used Trader Joe's)
pinch sea salt or Kosher salt for sprinkling, optional

Directions:

  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, honey, brown sugar, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt.
  3. Stop to stir. Mixture will be on the granular side, this is okay.
  4. Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power. Stop to stir
  5. Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power. Stop to stir. On this third and final burst, mixture will become quite bubbly and foamy; use caution when removing from micro because this is boiling hot caramel and can cause burns.
  6. Stir in the vanilla using caution because mixture could bubble up.
  7. Stir in the cereal.
  8. Stir in the optional raisins (or nuts).
  9. Turn mixture out into prepared pan, packing it down firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top.
  10. Optionally, sprinkle evenly with sunflower seeds and salt (the salt cuts some of the sweetness and I recommend it).
  11. Cover pan with a sheet of foil (to prevent fridge smells), and place pan in fridge to set up for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, or until bars are completely set before lifting out with foil overhang, slicing, and serving.
  12. Bars will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I recommend storing them in the fridge rather than room temp because they soften and get loose.

Related Recipes

No-Bake Samoas Cookie Granola Bars (vegan, GF)

No-Bake Samoas Cookie Granola Bars (vegan, GF) - Healthy granola bars that taste like Samoas Cookies. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

Snickerdoodle Cookie Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free) @averiecooks.com

Sunflower Seed Butter Granola Bars with Chocolate Drizzle (no-bake, vegan, GF)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cereal Bars (GF)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cereal Bars - Easy 5-Minute Recipe at averiecooks.com

Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bars with Chocolate Chunks (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free) – (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Taste like cinnamon oatmeal

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Recipe from early 2010

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola (vegan, GF)

Browned Butter Rice Krispies Treats (GF) – The best RKTs I have ever had. Double the butter and it’s browned, for great flavor and soft, buttery, chewy bars

Browned Butter Rice Krispies Treats (GF)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF)

Are you a Cheerios or cereal fun?

   

72 Responses to “No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars”

  1. #
    1
    movita beaucoup — October 10, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Those sunflower seeds are brightening up my feedly! Seriously cheery snack bars! Lately, in the evenings before bed, I like to eat a mug full of Honey Nut Cheerios – no milk. (They make for great munching – I’m basically a toddler.) I suppose these snack bars would be a a more elegant evening treat. And I probably wouldn’t find Cheerios all over the place in the morning…

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 2:31 am

      I am glad your feedly has been brightened! :)

      And you’re up and you’re a bedtime eater/snacker. Oh that’s why we get along so well. ME TOO! Cereal is great, just behind popcorn sprayed down with coconut oil which is what I am about to make now :)

      Reply

      • movita beaucoup replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 3:07 am

        We get up VERY early in these here parts! Baker + Construction Worker = No Sleep {and lots of snacking}!

        • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

          Oh wow, see I am usually just going to bed for a few hours about 4am-ish. Then I get up with my daughter at 730a for school for her and the day starts all over!

      • Cynthia T replied: — April 18th, 2014 at 6:15 am

        I used margarine instead of butter and they are too runny and won’t hold their shape, how can i fix this, please.

        • Averie Sunshine replied: — April 18th, 2014 at 6:27 am

          Margarine is made with water so yes, it’s not a substitute for butter in many recipes, and this is one of them. I don’t know how to fix it. Add more cereal?

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    Ellen — October 10, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I’m a cereal nut. I love it partly because there are sooooo many types. And I don’t have a crunchy over soggy preference-the ideal bowl has a little of each:)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 2:29 am

      My ideal bowl has a little of each too! Must have a bit of sog, actually. It’s so good that way! Unless I am eating it dry by the handful.

      Reply

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    Paula — October 10, 2013 at 3:19 am

    I used to buy the variety packs of cereal for my stepdaughter when she was your daughter’s age–Cheerios were usually in there. These bars are so bright and colorful with the candy coated sunflower seeds. I have seen tubes of them at a couple of different dept. stores and at a specialty cake/candy making supply store. I have resisted buying them because I know they would probably go down easier than M&M’s!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:59 am

      They do go down way easier than M&Ms. Paula they are SO GOOD. Knowing you, you would love them. They’re a blessing and a curse. Buy at your own risk :) 2 tbsp is on par with the stats of 2 tbsp of nut butter and they go down 10x faster than nut butter…

      Reply

  4. #
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    Lauren @ The Highlands Life — October 10, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Love me some honey nut cheerios. Takes me right back to childhood!

    Reply

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    Madison — October 10, 2013 at 4:12 am

    These would be the perfect mid-morning mid-afternoon snack! I cannot wait to try these!

    Reply

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    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — October 10, 2013 at 4:55 am

    These are making me so nostalgic! Honey Nut Cheerios were one of my favorites (those and the frosted O’s of course), and I love the bright sunflower seeds. I want a pan for my “grown up” snack time :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:53 am

      I made them for my daughter but ended up eating more than I thought I would for grown up snacktime :)

      Reply

  7. #
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    Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! — October 10, 2013 at 5:01 am

    LOVE how colorful these are with the chocolate covered sunflower seeds! And I mean, come on, how can you go wrong with honey nut cheerios… You just can’t :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:52 am

      the seeds just rock – you have to try them if you haven’t already!

      Reply

  8. #
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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — October 10, 2013 at 5:28 am

    Oh love the idea of the honey to compliment the honey in the cereal. Jason has this thing for cheerios (honey nut or plain). I bet I’d score cereal bar points with these :-) I’m thinking my niece and nephew would love them too.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:49 am

      If he’s a Cheerios fan already, he will love them! Honey is a great flavor complement despite it being not a great glue/binder, but it tastes great. And your niece and nephew would definitely call you auntie of the year :)

      Reply

  9. #
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    Tieghan — October 10, 2013 at 5:35 am

    The colors on these are so fun! I love those sunflower seeds! I actually bought a huge box of cheerios a month ago with granola bars in mind, but they have yet to be made. This makes me really want to revisit my idea! These are perfect for healthy snacking, but they are still sweet enough to fill the sweets craving too! Love that! Awesome recipe, Averie! Pinned!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:48 am

      They turned out to be really sweet actually. The sugar, honey, honey nut cheerios (plain would be just fine!), raisins, plenty of sweetness :) And the seeds, love them. Not surprised you do as well!

      And I bought that big box with these in mind and for years I’ve wanted to make crispy treats with marshmallows and cheerios but went with these instead. Thanks for pinning!

      Reply

  10. #
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    Laura Dembowski — October 10, 2013 at 5:40 am

    All the colors in these are so pretty! Even though the honey isn’t the best glue, I bet it tastes great!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:45 am

      It does taste great. You cannot beat the flavor despite it not glueing as well as corn syrup does but I guess it’s all a trade off :)

      Reply

  11. #
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    Belinda @themoonblushbaker — October 10, 2013 at 5:53 am

    AHHH!!! Those seeds are so cute! These like healthy LCMs (cereal bar we have in Aus) Those seeds must taste delicious!

    I always wondered why people did not think of cheerios in a snack bars sooner, SO much more flavourful than rice bubbles and who can resist those little os?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:44 am

      SO much more flavourful than rice bubbles <—never heard them called bubbles. Love that! And yes, so true. Way more flavorful. They’re a little ‘bulkier’ than the rice bubbles so the binder/glue is more of a consideration and I’d probably use corn syrup next time but the honey was adequate.

      And yes the seeds are SO GOOD. Dangerously good. One step away from eating sprinkles and I love them.

      Reply

  12. #
    12
    Monica — October 10, 2013 at 6:00 am

    They look so colorful and delicious and they remind me of my childhood!

    M.

    Reply

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    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen — October 10, 2013 at 6:10 am

    How cute!!! These would be great for Easter because of the colors!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:42 am

      You’re right! Or like Mother’s Day or something in the spring. Didn’t think about that but you’re right!

      Reply

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    Maggie — October 10, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Look great! Do you know the calorie count?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:41 am

      No but plug in the data yourself into an online calculator and come back and share the results with others here in the comments if you’d like!

      Reply

  15. #
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    Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life — October 10, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Oh.my.gosh. I LOVE honey nut cheerios and have been wanting to put them in some sort of cereal bar for forever! I love your addition of sunflower seeds (they make it so fun!) and how easy this is. This is my dream cereal bar (and I’ve made some of your peanut butter chocolate rice krispy ones and they were incredible) Thanks Averie! Cannot wait to try!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Ok if you make these, I would strongly recommend corn syrup if you’re used to my other bars b/c otherwise these will seem super soft to you. Glad you’re loving the others and thanks for trying them!

      Reply

  16. #
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    McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN | Nutrition Stripped — October 10, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Ooooh these take me back to childhood snacks in such a good way. Thanks for the nostalgia Averie!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:38 am

      I’m glad. They did the same for me too!

      Reply

  17. #
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    Gloria // Simply Gloria — October 10, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Averie, these are so gorgeous! I’m trying to read but the images are bomb barding my eyeballs with all of this awesomeness!
    I love your tip on how you use the corn syrup when you go the microwave route. Already pinned!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Thanks for pinning and yes about the corn syrup. When I use it, I get the occasional ‘ it’s so unhealthy’ or ‘can I use honey instead’ to which I’d reply, “don’t care” and ” use at your own risk” LOL

      Reply

  18. #
    18
    Angie | Big Bear's Wife — October 10, 2013 at 8:44 am

    The colors from those sunflower seeds are just amazing on these bars!!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:36 am

      I thought there were fun, too. Thanks Angie!

      Reply

  19. #
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    Marcie — October 10, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I love your no bake bars, Averie, and these look so fun and delicious! Pinning.

    Reply

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    Rochelle Hutchinson — October 10, 2013 at 9:16 am

    These are so colourful. I love it

    Reply

  21. #
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    cquek — October 10, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I’m dying over these. love the colours is so beautiful to eat.

    Reply

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    Valerie — October 10, 2013 at 9:54 am

    These happy bars just brightened up my Thursday! The coloured sunflower seeds are like healthy funfetti. :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 11:31 am

      healthy funfetti = LOVE THAT! Yes!!:)

      Reply

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    Katie — October 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I loved HOney Nut CHeerios growing up! They were my favorite of the “healthy” cereals, anyway. When I got to college, I alternated between those and Frosted Mini Wheats for morning cereal, and the sugary PB Cap’n Crunch/Lucky Charms for my lunch and dinner cereal. There were many days I’d eat cereal for every meal. Many.

    These look delicious and the colors!?! PERFECT.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      We are twins, right down to our college eating habits. I used to do tons and tons of cold cereal. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, and post-bar. Along with Triscuits with PB on top. I lived on that for like…10 years? H.S., college, early 20s :)

      There were many days I’d eat cereal for every meal. Many. <— I also think that’s growing up where we did with Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, and Gen Mills HQ’s being right there. Cereal is just so…rampant! Maybe that’s why I make so many cereal bars. lol

      Reply

  24. #
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    Happy Valley Chow — October 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    What a fun treat! Great recipe Averie, they look fantastic :)

    Reply

  25. #
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    Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent — October 10, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    These look so fun and colorful :)

    Reply

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    Amy — October 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I eye those chocolate-covered sunflower seeds every time I walk into TJ’s (aka at least 3 times a week), but I never buy them because I have zero self-control with any of their chocolate treats. Dark chocolate bars, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered raisins, chocolate chip brownie & oat bars (my personal favorite!)… But they add the prettiest, perfect pop of color to your bars!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Their entire store of snacky stuff that you just mentioned…I have to go there not hungry and with a mission. Or all of it ends up coming home or I have these mental power struggles where I put into and out of my cart, like 4 times. Lol

      Reply

      • Amy replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I try to plan ahead and stick to my list, but on bad baking days where the cookies fail to spread or the brownie edges burn… Well, it’s harder to stay strong and keep those things out of my cart!

        • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 8:10 pm

          Amen girl. I was just in there today. Twice. Forgot something and had to go back. It was like torture, twice, b/c I was having a want-to-snack-all-day kind of day!

      • Amy replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 9:00 pm

        Ahhh that’s the worst!! What do you normally snack on when days like today hit? And I hate forgetting stuff at the grocery store. I’ve had to go back 3 times in a day, and I want that to stay my max!

      • Amy replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 9:24 pm

        You’re so smart! I never think to DRINK when I’m feeling snacky or hungry. I’m definitely keeping that in mind for future snack-attack days! And no way would you balloon up wider than a doorway. Even with all of your decadent cookies, you have way more self-control with sweets than me!

  27. #
    27
    Nora @ Buttercream Fanatic — October 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I would have happily eaten these bars anyway, but the chocolate covered pumpkin seeds are like catnip to me. These are irresistible!

    Reply

  28. #
    28
    Katy @ Katy's Kitchen — October 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    I used to love honey nut cheerios, too. To me they were the “real” kind. Who would want the dry stuff? Now I prefer “adult” cheerios, but honey nut are awesome for snacks like these. I love how colourful these bars are, so cute!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 10th, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      I like the ‘adult’ kind now too and honestly in these bars, there is enough other sweet stuff going on, you could probably get away with just the plain Cheerios!

      Reply

  29. #
    29
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — October 11, 2013 at 3:27 am

    These are so darn cute, cheery, and bright! I love those chocolate covered sunflower seeds. I haven’t bought them in awhile because I usually end up eating the entire container within an hour. Yeah – zero self control. Honey nut cheerios are the perfect match for them. And raisins! I love raisins. What a fun little snacky treat. I know exactly why Skylar loved these! The taste, the colors, and the fact that her mommy cut them so perfectly of course. Seriously, they look awesome.

    Reply

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    Beth @ bethcakes — October 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I love how colorful these are! Wish there was a Trader Joe’s here. These are so perfect for snacks and lunch boxes! :)

    Reply

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    31
    Jocelyn — October 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    You are seriously the master of homemade cereal bars!!! I love these, and am dying over how bright and cheery these are!! Great way to start any day!

    Reply

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    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — October 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    These are so fun, so cute, so colorful! I could just gobble them up all day long!

    Reply

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    Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes — October 12, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I’ve been totally digging no-bake stuff lately – it’s just so much simpler! And when it’s done like this, the results are just as, if not more, rewarding. Love those chocolate-covered sunflower seeds!!

    Reply

  34. #
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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — October 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    My brother loves honey nut cherries, he’d flip for these!

    Reply

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    Bree (Skinny Mommy) — October 14, 2013 at 11:48 am

    My boys would love these-We will have to make them! Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply

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    Rachel — October 16, 2013 at 6:37 am

    I made these last night with corn syrup so that they would hold together, but even this morning after they sat in the fridge they are still falling apart so bad, it’s not even a bar really. Now I just have a bunch of goopy cheerios :/ Any suggestions on next time making the bars more solid – and even better yet, what can I make out of these goopy cheerios because I hate wasting food?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 16th, 2013 at 8:21 am

      You could pop the pan in the oven and bake them for 10 mins or so to help them set up – maybe that would work. Sorry that they didn’t set up for you!

      Reply

      • Rachel replied: — November 5th, 2013 at 11:34 am

        Thanks Averie! Baking them once more didn’t help. I added lots of chocolate chips and baked again and they finally held! Don’t know what I did wrong :-/

        • Averie Sunshine replied: — November 5th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

          Not sure without being there or seeing photos where things took a wrong turn for you – sorry!

  37. #
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    Monica M — October 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Averie! I tried these and they came out wonderful! They are a lot better than the store bought ones…and so easy and quick to make! Love it! :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 16th, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Thanks for trying this recipe, Monica, and glad you loved them and they came out wonderfully for you. That’s great to hear and as you said, homemade always trumps storebought :)

      Reply

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