Peanut Butter Crispy Treats

peanut butter crispy treats (vegan, gluten free) / @loveandlemons peanut butter crispy treats (vegan, gluten free) / @loveandlemons

I can’t even follow my own recipes. I set out to remake this pistachio goji granola in bar form (thanks to a reader suggestion). I thought it was a great idea, especially because I’ve been looking for healthy grab-and-go breakfast options for Jack to take to work. I realize this looks more like dessert than breakfast, but I had to come up with something more enticing than the pre-packaged Costco office bagels (he just informed me) he’s been consuming every morning. For the sake of our marriage, I’m not going to get started on why he eats these (how can they even taste good?!)… but I get it, they’re “there”… so in man world that must count for something.

But I digress… this week, after trying out multiple variations of baked oaty things, I ended up here… which is in fact not a pistachio goji granola bar, but a peanut buttery oaty nutty rice crispy treat with – yes – chocolate. This might not be a green smoothie but I’m just hoping these will last him til lunch… I (personally) find them to be a nice little late-afternoon snack.

Some inspiration taken from Oh She Glows and Sprouted Kitchen.

peanut butter crispy treats
Serves: 8 squares
  • ¾ cup brown rice cereal
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup crushed walnuts
  • ⅓ cup coconut flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Line a 5x7 rectangle dish with parchment paper and a tiny bit of cooking spray.
  2. Place the brown rice cereal into a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over low heat, toast the oats, gently stirring so they toast somewhat evenly. Once they're starting to brown around the edges, add the walnuts coconut flakes, salt and cinnamon. Continue to toast until the coconut flakes are slightly toasted. (total toasting time should be about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the toasted mixture into the bowl with the brown rice cereal. Mix and let cool completely.
  4. In a small glass bowl mix the coconut oil, brown rice syrup and peanut butter. If your ingredients are too thick to whisk, pop it into the microwave for a few seconds to slightly melt everything. Whisk until creamy. Let cool completely.
  5. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the rice cereal/oat mixture and gently fold everything together until it's fully incorporated.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips and press into a 5x7 pan, or equivalent. (Note: it's important not to stir in the chocolate until everything is cooled or the chocolate will melt all over the place. Which tastes just fine, but they won't look the same).
  7. Pour the gooey mixture into the prepared pan and let chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes for them to set. After they're set, slice & eat, then store the remainder in the fridge.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. A slightly decadent granola that’s for sure 😉

  2. Kate

    These look amazing! Do you think maple syrup or coconut nectar would work instead of the brown rice syrup??? Thanks!

    • jeanine from

      I’m not sure they would hold together the same way – the brown rice syrup is very sticky (more like honey).

        • jeanine from

          I didn’t try it, so I can’t say for sure… if you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

          • it worked with honey! I was worried it wouldn’t so I added a little more coconut oil and kept it in the freezer so the oil hardens and holds it together. Either way, it hasn’t fallen apart 🙂

      • jeanine from

        so glad, thanks for letting me know!

  3. This looks great! The chocolate chips won’t be optional for me 🙂 I would want a bar of this for breakfast and afternoon snack!

    • jeanine from

      Ha, me either, gotta have chocolate with peanut butter 🙂

    • jeanine from

      it’s also dairy free if you get dairy-free chocolate chips 🙂

    • jeanine from

      Me too – although sort of dangerous to have around, they’re addictive!

  4. Kathryn from

    Well this looks ridiculously tasty!

  5. I am setting out to make these right now. Breakfast or dessert I will take them.

  6. I like the coconut in this — really good. Bet your hubby is glad you landed with this recipe after your many attempts at “baked oaty things.” Gotta beat that bagel. Thanks for sharing!

    • jeanine from

      Argh, don’t get me started on that bagel! Yes, happily ate all of the other oaty experiments, but this one was a favorite for sure 🙂

  7. georgette

    thanks I made them for my grandson .I dropped the nuts he loved them thanks good way to eat healthy

  8. Emma from

    There can’t be any contest between one of these and a pre-packaged bagel! They look wonderful. 1/4C sweetener in the whole recipe sounds pretty modest too 🙂

    • jeanine from

      Thanks Emma! I did try to keep the sugar to a minimum, aside from the chocolate chips, they’re not overly sweet…

  9. Linda

    Looks fantastic – do you think it would work with Almond Butter?

    • jeanine from

      Yep, it absolutely would…

  10. Marie from

    How is it that every single post I’ve read since I discovered your blog is a jewel?! This looks exactly like the kinda thing I would love 🙂 Oh and I made your sweet potato hummus the other night it was one of the best I’ve ever had, so thank you so much !

  11. Yum, this looks delicious – I have been looking for alternatives to toast with Vegemite this week, this is going on the list!

  12. christie

    This may be a silly question….what kind of cereal is brown rice cereal? I don’t normally purchase cereals due to gluten. Thanks!

    • jeanine from

      like rice crispies, only made with brown rice (and not all of the other awful cereal additives)… I usually get the 365 Whole Foods brand, but there are a few other brands that make the same thing… just read the label to make sure it’s one that was made in a gluten free facility.

  13. I’m glad you digressed for what you had originally planned. I would much rather have one of these bars than a green smoothie!

  14. Tiffany

    I made these are they are amazing! Now I want to make the pistachio goji berry granola in bar form like you mentioned. I will just switch walnuts for pistachios and chocolate chips for goji berries, but if I don’t substitute anything for the peanut butter will the bars stick together? Any suggestions for peanut butter replacements if I am making the goji berry pistachio bars?

    • jeanine from

      Hi Tiffany – here’s what I did first that (sort of) worked: To that recipe, I skipped the maple syrup, toasted everything, then (off the heat), stirred in a few tablespoons each of brown rice syrup and peanut butter. I flattened it into a parchment lined dish and baked it until golden brown on top. It held together pretty well but was a little dense… (so many oats!)… which is how I came to add the cereal.

      I realize this is only a half answer to your question – you’ll have to experiment a little (maybe more brown rice syrup & skip peanut butter… honey might work if you’re not vegan). I’ll report back if I figure out a more exact recipe!

  15. My boyfriend is obsessed with bagels too! Must be a guy thing…This looks much tastier- and I’ve just gone gluten free so on the look out for tasty treats I’m allowed! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Jennifer from

    Just made these and subbed in corn chex for the rice cereal since that’s what we had in the cupboard, and they are delicious!

  17. Jen

    Thanks for a great recipe. These are really delicious. These have quickly become a favorite in our house and we make them all the time. I have found the recipe to be very forgiving as well. I have made it at different times with coconut nectar and raw honey as well as with sunbutter and almond butter (basically with whatever I have on hand) and as long as I store them in the fridge, they hold together well. Although, they are always gobbled up pretty quickly, so storing them is rarely a problem 🙂

    • jeanine from

      Thanks Jen! I’m so glad you’ve found them to be so versatile with on-hand ingredients!

  18. Lindsay

    Would an 8×8 pan work?

  19. Corie from

    These are gorgeous and delicious! What do you think about mixing it up with some almond butter and sprouted roasted almonds inside? Love this post!

    • jeanine from

      I think both of those alterations would be delicious!!

  20. Rose

    Hi there, these look great and I’d like to make them, but I need to know what kind of oats you used. Quick cooking? Or regular large flake? Thanks.

    • jeanine from

      Whole rolled oats (not quick or instant)

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.