aka Study Break Bars. I made these bars over and over when I was studying for my board exam. Super easy and quick, these ideal for dorm-room cooking because they’re made in a microwave.
I’m so glad to be done with school and college. As some of you may know, I recently finished up a degree in a completely different field from what I studied in college. It feels good to not have homework hanging over my head, the constant worry of I-really-should-be-studying right now. I had a massive box of note cards and I made a little ceremony of disposing of them. It felt good.
I very much want to learn sign language next, which means more school, or night classes at the very least. I’m not quite ready to jump back into that world, so right now I’m just sort of teaching myself with some apps. Some of my co-workers know sign, which means I can practice with them.
Aaaaannnnyway, I know that some of y’all are still stuck in school. Being able to go is a privilege, but it usually doesn’t feel that way. Luckily, there’s always chocolate. These bars are super easy to make and ridiculously addictive. Sweet and salty and chocolatey and nutty and crispy. Jason gobbles them up whenever I make them, so I have to hide a few for myself.
The cleanup for these is also quite quick. You don’t have to bother with a messy bowl full of melted chocolate. Just add the chocolate to a zip lock bag and immerse the bag in hot water. The chocolate will melt, and then all you need to do is snip the tip off the bag and let it pour all over the bars. And then you’re done, which means you can get back to the books in no time. Um….is that a good thing, or a bad thing?
One of the key ingredients in this recipe is quick-cook oats. When patting the mixture into the pan, it is essential to make sure the oats are evenly distributed. This helps the bars stick together. You also want to make sure that you pat the mix down hard. The bottom of a mug is a great tool for this.
- 2 cups of rice Chex
- 2 cups of peanut butter Captain Crunch
- 1 cup of quick-cook oats
- 1/3 cup of crushed up salted peanuts
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 super heaping cup of dark chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- Line an 8x8 glass pan with parchment paper
- Stir up the the Chex, the Captain Crunch, the oats, and the peanuts
- Place the coconut oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt in a small bowl. Microwave until coconut oil is melted, about 1 minute. Stir.
- Pour the coconut oil mix over the cereal mix and stir well to coat.
- Press the now-coated cereal mix into the pan, ensuring even distribution of the quick-cook oats.
- Microwave for 2.5-3 minutes (2.5 if you have a high-power microwave, 3 if it's little whimpy)
- Place in fridge for 15 minutes to harden.
- Fill a glass bowl with very hot water. Place chocolate chips and peanut butter in big zip-lock bag. Immerse bag in hot water until chocolate is very melted.
- Cut a tip off the bag and pour the chocolate over the cereal mix. Spread to cover entire pan.
- Allow chocolate to cool and harden. Sprinkle with additional nuts if desired.
I've made these tons of times and the edges would always crumble and the bars would break into uneven shards. I finally discovered how to prevent this from happening. Flip the bars upside down to cut them. So instead of cutting into the chocolate, cut into the cereal. Use a large knife and a gentle rocking motion. Once you've cut 4-5 long logs, turn the logs on their side (so you can see both cereal and chocolate) and proceed to cut the logs into individual bars