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I could rename this health nut bar for my sister, Leslie, who gave me this recipe and whose cholesterol and waist measure 24 and 23 respectively, but I feel way too sassy when I saysah-wag. Named swag not for confident strides taken from having made the perfect treat, but for The Swag, the inn behind the famous swag bar, and the cups each of caro syrup and sugar. Leslie (sl)improved a recipe beyond that of aCooking Light reader and I tweaked it for our taste – so they are at least twice as healthy as the original bar. But, the health boost is not the reason to make these gentle wonders.

They are rich, delicious, and kids devour them – still not the reason to make them.

You can whip them up fast and no baking required. Nope, not the motivating factor. It’s that they somehow, despite their fresh ingredients, last forever without refrigeration or preservatives. My son found one in his pocket from last season’s ski trip and, of course, we took a bite. It was goooood and fresh?

Make ’em tonight. They’re as easy as pie without all the pie. We’ve provided options for ingredients.


swag bars, crunch ’em if you got ’em

preptime 15 minutes shelflife an entire ski season makes 36 bars

1 3/4 c creamy peanut butter – (I like Smart Balance or try Soy Nut Butter)

1/4 c sugar plus 1/4 c. Splenda (or 3/4 c. sugar)

1/4 c agave nectar plus 1/2 c. light corn syrup (or 3/4 c. corn syrup)

1 1/2 c dry roasted peanuts

3 1/2-4 c (5 ounces) whole-grain flaked cereal ( I use Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes)

1/2 c dark chocolate chips

1. Combine first three ingredients in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Stir constantly.

2. Chop peanuts in small food processor. Add to mixture.

3. Grind cereal in food processor and add to mixture.

4. Press mixture into a 13×9 pan that’s been coated with cooking spray.

5. Melt chips in glass measuring cup in microwave oven. One minute on high power, but stir every 15 seconds.

6. With a spoon, drizzle melted chocolate on top of the bars.

7. Cut into 36 pieces after the chocolate hardens.


Cook’s Options instead of processor, seal ingredients in a ziploc bag and crush peanuts and cereal separately with rolling pin or bottle.

recipe adapted from crunchtime sister who adapted from Cooking Light and is provided by your friends at crunchtime.


  1. Marnie says Jan 29th 2012 4:00 am

    Can’t say I’d consider these healthy enough to give to my kids unfortunately. The amount of sugar in the agave (sometimes up to 90% fructose), sugar and dark chocolate is a bit of a turn off. 🙁

    • Sherri says Feb 3rd 2012 7:04 pm

      Hey Marie, I appreciate your comments and certainly understand your choices. We try here at crunchtime to provide an alternative to crazy processed or fast foods and true they aren’t always super clean, but hopefully an improvement. You are my hero for managing your kids’ diet so beautifully and hope that all the readers are inspired to think twice about the food they serve. Thanks for the information; it’s helpful for everyone to read and consider.

  2. Andrea says May 14th 2012 2:09 pm

    How do you recommend packaging/storing them? Was the bar that lasted a ski season in a ziplock bag? Or Saran wrap?
    Thanks! I am hoping these are the perfect use for the awful high protein, high fiber cereal that I bought too much of before I realized no one in my family likes.

    • Sherri says May 23rd 2012 3:06 pm

      Yes in a ziploc bag.

  3. Jennifer says Aug 31st 2012 6:34 am

    I replaced the sugar and splenda with date sugar and the corn syrup with honey since I am allergic to corn (corn and cane sugar share the same molecule that provides the allergic reaction). Also used a whole wheat flake that has flax seed. Very yummy and protein rich!

    • Sherri says Aug 31st 2012 10:25 am

      Jennifer, love your ideas for lowering the sugar factor. I’m inspired and will try for the next batch, perhaps one I send in the first care package to my daughter at school.

  4. kendall says Apr 29th 2020 9:42 pm

    this recipe is not clear that the peanut butter mixture should be brought to a boil! my bars were left too crumbly and gimpy.

    • Sherri says Aug 2nd 2020 11:06 am

      I’m sorry that the bars didn’t turn out for you. I don’t believe you need to bring peanut butter to a boil. Perhaps it was the brand of peanut butter. Perhaps it was my parenting. I will never not love a gimpy bar.

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