Chunky Monkey Cereal Bars are loaded with chocolate chips, bananas, and cashews that have been blended with homemade condensed milk, then baked onto a peanut butter cereal base. It’s a recipe that I created off of the top of my head yesterday. They’re rich and delicious and they’re a great way to treat yourself.
I was in the mood to make something peanut buttery, but beyond the basic peanut butter cookie. I thought about making some buckeye cookies, but I was too lazy to be bothered with rolling a bunch of cutsie peanut butter dough balls and then dunking them into melted chocolate.
Then I realized that I had some peanut butter cereal, so I thought I’d use that for a crust. I also had a couple of bananas that were aching to be used, and I’m a big fan of combining those two flavors Peanut butter and banana sandwiches were one of favorites as a kid.
Who am I kidding. They still are one of my favorites. Heck, that love helped to inspire my Elvis on a Rocky Road Bundt Cake!
Anyhoo, the fact remained that I still wanted to incorporate chocolate into my cereal bars too. After all, if I was going to gorge myself and gain weight, chocolate needed to be involved. It’s one of my Yummi food commandments.
Thou shalt consume chocolate and bacon as often as humanly possible.
For those of you who aren’t yet versed in the Yummi commandments, the next one is quite similar:
Thou shalt encourage chocolate consumption among thy brothers and sisters.
I think they’re pretty simple commandments to follow, don’t you?
So now that you understand my dedication to sharing these cereal bars, please do me the honor of making a pan full for someone you love this week. Even (and especially!) if the person you love is yourself. 🙂
Chunky Monkey Cereal Bars
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter melted
- 11.5 ounces (1 box) Whole Grain Peanut Butter Cereal
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large bananas sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 2 cups (12-ounce package) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk ( Use my homemade recipe !)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup cashew pieces finely chopped (I pulsed mine in a food processor)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. (325 if using a convection oven)
- Place the cereal into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it turns to crumbs. Pour melted butter over the crumbs and pulse to combine.
- Reserve approximately 1/2 cup of crumbs and press the remaining crumbs into the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake the crust for 8 minutes and remove from oven. Let cool slightly (about 5 minutes).
- Meanwhile, melt all but 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk together in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Arrange the sliced bananas across the bottom of the crust. Pour the chocolate mixture over the top of the bananas and spread to cover as much surface area as possible. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup of crumbs, 1/2 cup of chips, and the chopped nuts together and sprinkle over the chocolate filling.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the center is set. Cool in pan before slicing and serving.