Special K Bars

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A very tall, quietly IMG_8872witty, Ping Pong champion at work (who wears his smarty-pants every day) gave me his mother’s recipe for Special K Bars. Apparently, he’s been promising his cube-mate a sampling of these crunchy, chocolaty, peanutty treats for 5 1/2 years. It took a Holly intervention, and a desperate need to post a true ‘mom’ treat that finally got these two together.  My co-workers almost rolled right underneath their desks in a tandem sugar coma, but happily took seconds.

This bar has all the elements you look for in a truly satisfying treat.  You’ve got your chocolate and your peanut butter; a more classic combination you cannot find anywhere.  Then there is the crunchy goodness of the sweet cereal flakes and the lie you tell to yourself that it’s Special K: A diet conscience cereal…..right?  You’re practically losing weight while going through the effort of chewing and swallowing.  A better bar doesn’t exist!

Get ready; you are only 20 minutes away from a sugar coma….a blissfully heart pounding, eyes-rolling back in your head, mouth watering sugar coma.  Let’s begin.IMG_8856

Heat sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter in a sauce pan. Continue to mix with spoon until just simmering. Don’t let it burn.  If you let it burn, start all over or your entire batch of treats will taste like burned peanuts.  No matter how lazy you feel (and I struggle with this on most days) don’t convince yourself that it won’t taste burned… because it will.

Once heated all the way through, pour on top of the cereal that is already waiting patiently to be coated in peanutty-sugary-goodness and mix until IMG_8858cereal is completely covered.  Use the scoop under and gently fold over method of mixing.  You don’t want the cereal to get smashed into bits. Dump cereal into buttered casserole dish and press lightly to evenly fill out the bottom of the dish.

This is the point where I veered away from the instructions. WHAAAAAAAT?!!  you say?  I just don’t feel confident nuking chocolate in the microwave.  Call me crazy.  I like a nice, solid double-boiler.  I dumped the chocolate and the butterscotch chips in the top of the double-boIMG_8854iler and let them slowly melt together.  I found out once that if you get any water or moisture in the chocolate while it melts, it will seize up.  You don’t want this.  Secret solution to this problem: add more water to the chocolate.  I KNOW! Crazy. Now that you’ve seized it all up into gunked up mess, add more water to smooth it all out.

If you decide to go the microwave route, nuke it 1 minute at a time, mixing every time it stops.  Make sure it’s a microwavable bowl or else more than just your chips will bIMG_8857e melted.

Once all melted and mixed, pour sauce over cereal and smooth it out evenly.  Let cool for about 30 minutes or so to set the chocolate a bit.  Cut into squares before refrigerating.  I let it set in the fridge over night and then let it come to room temperature before removing the squares from the pan.  I had originally cut it into large squares, but once I took a nibble and my sugar-meter shot to 1000, I decided to cut them into smaller bars.  HEY! You can always go back for seconds later….and I did….several times.


Special K Bars

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Dessert


  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup
  • 3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 4 1/2 c. Special K cereal
  • 1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg. butterscotch chips
  • butter for greasing pan


  1. Heat up sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter in sauce pan until just simmering. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
  2. In bowl, place cereal. Stir in hot peanut butter mixture until cereal is coated.
  3. Press cereal mixture into bottom of buttered 9×13 inch glass casserole dish.
  4. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in double boiler or in microwave, stirring every minute until melted and blended.
  5. Pour mixture on top of cereal in pan and spread evenly.
  6. Let cool on counter for a bit before cutting into squares and placing in fridge to set up and cool.

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