Looking for the perfect, easy-to-throw-together snack bar recipe? I’ve got you! With a layer of salty pretzel crust, topped with sweetened condensed milk, crisped rice cereal, melty chocolate and finished off with some more salty pretzels, these Sweet and Salty Cereal Snack Bars are sure to become a staple in your house. The layers all complement each other so well for the perfect, easy sweet and salty snack.
Please note: Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk has sponsored this content. All opinions are my own.
Sweet and Salty makes for the Perfect Snack Bar
When you’re reaching for a snack, does it tend to be salty or sweet? What about your family members? Ah, this is always the tricky part because some prefer salty while others prefer sweet. These cereal bars were conceived out that desire to please all and make everyone happy with their snack of choice. Plus I’m such a sucker for sweet and salty so selfishly these are ideal.
And these are seriously so easy to make! No mixer needed, no waiting for butter to come to room temperature, no cracking eggs. Grab a cake pan, throw together the 2-ingredient pretzel crust, then pour and sprinkle on the remaining layers. Pop in the oven for about 20 or so minutes and we’re in business.
Building those Sweet and Salty Cereal Bar Layers
These cereal bars start with a super simple crust of crushed pretzels mixed with melted butter. I like to use the mini pretzel twists because I usually have a bag of them in the pantry and why not use what you already have, am I right? Plus, mini pretzel twists have what I find to be the proper proportion of salt for this crust. The pretzels are also used to top off the cereal bars. Two for one!
If you have a food processor, place the pretzels in and pulse several times to form fine crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, see my tips section for how to make pretzel crumbs without one. Hint: you can take out all your frustrations with this one.
Once the pretzels have been ground into crumbs, mix them with melted butter and press firmly into the bottom of the greased pan. Now let’s build those cereal bar layers.
Pour the entire bottle or can of sweetened condensed milk over top of the crust.
Sprinkle the layer of sweetened condensed milk with chocolate chunks or chocolate chips. Either will do, as will chopped semi-sweet or dark chocolate. Whatever chocolate you have on hand works best and it’s one less ingredient you have to run out to the store to buy. Win!
Next, sprinkle on the crisped rice cereal over top of the chocolate. I just grabbed a cup full (8 ounces) of my kids’ breakfast cereal outta the box! They didn’t even notice it was gone.
Remember those pretzel twists from earlier? Grab a bunch more of those, break them up into pieces, and sprinkle on top as the final layer of these snack bars. See how easy peasy that was to put together?
Now let’s pop it in the oven for about 20ish minutes and they’re done.
Tips for Making Sweet & Salty Cereal Snack Bars
- If you do not own a food processor or you just don’t feel like taking yours out having to clean it when you’re done (been there many a time!), place the pretzels in a tightly sealed ziplock bag with the air pressed out of it and beat them with a rolling pin or the flat side of a (clean) meat hammer until you achieve a fine powder. Don’t hammer on them too hard otherwise the plastic bag will break. Gentle beating is what’s called for here
- These bars can be easily customized, aka the ingredients can be switched up to whatever cereal and salty snacks you have on hand. Try it with different types of rice and oat cereals, whatever kind of chocolate you have in your pantry, throw some granola on top for a healthyish cereal bar. The world is your oyster and these cereal bars are now yours to play around with!
- I really don’t have any more tips for this recipe because it’s so darn easy!
Useful Kitchen Tools To Make Cereal Snack Bars
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For more sweet and salty treats, give these a try:
- Sweet and Salty Brown Butter Blondies
- Salted Caramel Brownies
- Brown Butter Blondies with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Sweet and Salty Cereal Snack Bars
The layers of these Sweet and Salty Cereal Snack Bars complement each other so well for the perfect, easy baked sweet and salty snack bar treat.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 24 snack bars 1x
- Category: Snack Bars
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Spray a 9×13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray or coat with butter. Set aside
- Prepare Snack Bars: Add pretzels to food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. You should get about 2 cups of crushed pretzels. Add melted butter to pretzel crumbs and mix thoroughly to coat pretzel crumbs. Press into the bottom of greased pan in an even layer. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top of the crust. Sprinkle on top of sweetened condensed milk the chocolate chunks followed by the rice cereal then topping with the pretzel pieces. Press toppings down firmly using your hands so pieces are held in place.
- Bake: Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until top of cereal bars are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely then cut into squares and serve
Wrap snack bars tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to a week. Store in the refrigerator to keep longer. These should keep for a few weeks in the fridge
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Thank you to Eagle Brand for sponsoring this post!