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No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

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These bars might be your new favorite snack.

peanut butter pretzel bars

Peanut butter snack bars!

Salty and sweet, these no-bake bars taste even better than peanut butter pretzel Luna Bars. But they confuse me: How can a recipe with absolutely no chocolate taste so good?

It just doesn’t make sense.

pb lunas

You know what else confuses me?

Moles. And protons and neutrons and electrons. But mostly, moles. I sat through an entire year of AP Chemistry and still don’t understand moles. Not in the slightest.

Until I learned to cook, I thought I disliked science. Only recently did I realize the reason for my animosity towards the subject: I just couldn’t figure out how our school science experiments applied to real life. (Even the more exciting experiments, such as growing plants in 7-up or red food dye… how on earth was I ever going to use the information gleaned from that study?)

But it turns out I do like some branches of natural science, such as the science of nutrition, and the science of cooking. (Edible experiments are the best!) My advice to science teachers: Ditch the moles.

Focus on pretzels and peanut butter!

peanut butter pretzel bars

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

(No-bake!)

Category: Healthy Peanut Butter Recipes.

  • 1 cup rice crispies (30g) (either brown or white)
  • packed 1/2 cup oat flour (70g) (see instructions for substitution)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (my pb also has salt)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons agave (Pure maple syrup will probably work)
  • 3 tablespoons pb (or other nut butter) (Or you can switch the proportions of peanut butter to agave.)
  • optional: handful of broken-up pretzels (I didn’t measure)
  • optional: double batch PB Magic Shell

Combine all dry ingredients. In a separate (large) bowl, combine wet and stir to form a thin paste. (If you store your pb in the fridge, you should warm it a little for easier mixing.) Pour dry into wet (not the other way around), and stir until evenly coated. Line a baking dish or tupperware container with a large piece of wax paper and pour the mixture into the dish. Fold the extra paper over the mixture and squish down as hard as you possibly can! Use a heavy object to really press it down. (The mixture will fill a 7×5, or about 2/3 an 8×8.) Stick the mixture in the fridge or freezer to harden before cutting into bars. Makes 6 bars. (If you can’t find oat flour, you can make your own by blending oats in the food processor. Just be sure to measure after blending.)

View Nutritional Info

peanut butter luna bars

For authentic Luna Bars, top with: Peanut Butter Magic Shell.

As stated earlier, you should make a double batch to coat the bars. Spread it on evenly. When the bars cool in the fridge/freezer, the tops will magically harden.

Question of the Day:

Did you have a least favorite subject in school?

Growing up, I dreaded science class, whether it was chemistry or biology or physics. People always told me how lucky I was to get good grades on Spanish and English tests without studying… Little did they know I once studied for an AP Chem test and still got a 25 (my worst-ever test grade). But you know what? I’m more proud of the C I earned in Chem than the As in subjects that came more easily. I worked hard for that C; it could have so easily been an F! Link of the Day:

oat-bars_thumb_3

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie Bars

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Oh. my. gosh. These look AWESOME! I love salty/sweet combos! Note to self: purchase pretzels, stat.

  2. I hated chemistry! Ironically I was a chem minor in college…. my adviser thought it would be helpful if I applied to grad school… I didn’t.

  3. the honey peanut butter pretzel luna bars are my new favorite luna bar! definitely making your version. :)

  4. These look awesome. We’re going away this weekend and have a long car ride ahead of us and I was trying to come up with a good snack/bar idea. These may be it :)

  5. Ohhh Lordy. Need to make these PRONTO. PB&Pretzel may very well be my favorite taste combo ever.

    Think I scrolled up to look at those pictures 8 times while writing this comment. I could totally do those for breakfast.

    Hated science. Hated hated hated. Loved……lunch?

    -Gabrielle

  6. Paula says:

    This looks incredible! Question… What are the substitutions for oat flour? I didn’t see them in the instructions. Thanks!! I can’t wait to give this recipe a try :-)

    1. Ellen says:

      I didn’t see the substitutions either I would assume (from the oatmeal raisin breakfast cookies) that you could make it using old fashioned oats in a food processor (which is what I did for the cookies).

      1. Sorry! I fixed it!
        Thanks for letting me know it was missing :).

      2. Paula says:

        Thanks Ellen, you were right!

      3. Ellen says:

        np! I usually blend the entire container and then put the flour back in so I don’t have to go and blend each time I make something that requires oat flour :)

  7. Samantha says:

    I actually really enjoyed chemistry but was terrible at it. I got it at a concept level but just struggled with the detailed work. It was a very strange experience.

    I haven’t thought about moles in years – but you are right, that idea was just a little unreachable.

    I thought I hated spanish too until I got to college and finally got some great instructors. I always wanted to really be good at it and finally was!

  8. Stephanie Murphy says:

    Salty-sweet combo. Mmm delicious!

  9. Sweet + salt is the best combo! These looks awesome.

    I hated math, but not until the 11th grade. I always had done “okay” in that class … and then, BOOM, it got really hard for me. I barely made it out of it alive by the time high school was over!

  10. Suzie says:

    Yum, these look delicious and such a great snack for on the go! I appreciate you sharing another route to not using peanut butter, as I am allergic. And yes least favorite subject was either math or science, I was just like you fighting for survival in those courses, thanks for being so open :)

  11. I hated math. I was in AP Calc and couldn’t manage Cs on tests even with a tutor. I guess the fact that I was in AP Calc at all means I wasn’t really AWFUL at math, but it sure felt like it.

  12. Courtney says:

    Oh, chemistry, it IS so confusing! I have to take organic chemistry next year… which unfortunately not about the benefits of organic produce. Boo. Anyway, these bars look incredible! 😀

  13. Alaina says:

    I didn’t like chemistry either! I took an honors course and got a C. But everyone told me that it was just like getting an A in the regular course. I liked all other sciences though (biology and anatomy) and loved history.

    Oh and these bars look amazing. Peanut butter and pretzels are such a great combination.

  14. Peanut butter & pretzels are such a good combo! My least favorite subject was definitely history…so boring for me! But now I wish I paid attention more because now I am realizing in my adult years history IS important to know…but I don’t know if I could go back to study it without falling asleep 😉

  15. Melissa says:

    I am making these TODAY!! They look perfect, but I might add some raisins or dried cranberries. What I really want to add are chocolate chips! But after all the Easter candy the kiddos need a break from all the chocolate…don’t they? School was tough for me, I hated gym!!! And anything that was abstract. I’m dyslexic so a lot of stuff was hard. But I was also pretty lazy, I didn’t want to push myself! Now I wish that I could go back and try harder. Aint that always the way!?!

  16. What a great recipe!! I’m going to make these today!!!

  17. Loving the peanut butter recipes! Keep em coming!

  18. katie says:

    math and physics. i wanted to go into epidemiology when i was in college, but the math in basic bench chem was enough to make me change my major. i just can’t stand numbers, and physics just bores me to tears.

  19. Ohhhh these look so firm and decadent – it’s all about texture for me! I can’t believe you made PB bars for just 140 cals, so impressive! Yummy!

  20. Kaycee says:

    Hi Katie, do you think you can make these bars using PB2 instead of peanut butter? Thanks! [P.s these look super yummy!]

    1. Jackie says:

      I am pretty sure you could use PB2. Since it is just like peanut butter when mixed with water, it would be virtually the same. Just make sure you measure the CREAMY Peanut butter, not when it is a powder.

  21. Nicole says:

    The Khan Academy is AWESOME for just about anything but especially hard to grasp chemistry concepts! I highly recommend it…and it’s FREE! http://www.khanacademy.org/#chemistry

    On a lighter note–these bars look amazing and I can’t wait to try them!

  22. Erin says:

    Sound great. And love that they are no-bake, great for when you want a treat but don’t want to turn the oven on when it gets hotter this summer.

  23. caterina says:

    I’m totally addicted to PB! I need to make this! What could I use instead of rice krispies, which I don’t have?

    1. Ellen says:

      I’m thinking of using Cheerios as I don’t have any rice krispies either.

      1. I can’t vouch for any substitutions because I’ve not tried them… But I’d love to hear results if anyone experiments :).

      2. Ellen says:

        Note: mash cheerios! or you will have a very lumpy mixture that won’t mix well :( (tested and learned lol)

    2. Julie says:

      I used Rice Chex to make the Luna Bar recipe. They came out well. I “popped” the Chex, like it was bubble wrap. I supposed you could mash it a little with a rolling pin, but it would not be as much fun.

  24. These look awesome! I love the Luna peanut honey pretzel bars.
    Once you get into upper level sciences, it’s haaaard. I’m working my butt off in Advanced Bio, and I’m still only getting an A minus! And the kicker is I really enjoy the class. Oh well!
    I have no clue what a mole is though…

  25. I love peanut butter treats! It’s delicious with pretzels. I hated math!! I was the same way, languages and English class came a lot easier. :) And a lot more fun!

  26. Katie, I’m going camping with some friends this weekend and I’m definitely bringing these along. i cannot WAIT to taste them. i love love love peanut butter and pretzels together. Love your mock Luna bar recipes! – Sally

  27. Attars says:

    Wow! I absolutely have to try this recipe!!!
    I love PB and these bars are perfect for a break!
    When I was at school I definitely hated geography!! I coudn’t remember all the different thing about all the different countries!!!!
    kisses from Italy!!!

  28. Suzy Heller says:

    Just wondering if you have tried them with out oat flour? What other flour can I use, my son is allergic to oats, but has gotten back peanuts and would love these….sorghum? rice? coconut? Wht is the texture/feel of oat flour, I never really used it before. Thanks!

    1. I have done a version without any oat flour… I just up the crispies to 3 cups and completely omit the flour.

      I’d love to know the results if you sub the oat flour for a different flour, though. Please please do try coconut flour and let me know if it works! Or, maybe I will have to try it… :)

      1. Eva says:

        I don’t have oat flour, so I’m curious as to how the 3-cup-krispies version turned out. Is it still like the original bars in terms of texture/consistency, or is it more like Rice Crispy Treats with peanut butter? I was just surprised that you jumped from 1 cup to 3. Also, since I don’t have any gluten concerns, would you recommend the 3-cup-krispies option or just swapping all-purpose flour for the oat? As you can tell, I really want to try this!

  29. Punifa says:

    I might have to make these! But I’ll cover them with chocolate instead of the pb shell ;p

  30. Jennifer says:

    Psst! I love PB more than Chocolate. Don’t shoot me. :)

    What BRANT of Peanut Butter do you use? Do you find one that works better than others? Do you use a regular brand like Jif, Peter Pan, or Kraft, Better N’ Peanut Butter? Or do you do a more NATURAL nut butter (peanuts, salt, etc?)

    I always wonder in your PB recipes.
    Thanks,
    Jennifer

    1. I usually use Whole Foods brand (either organic or non, but always unsweetened and ALWAYS salted ;)). I find that with natural pbs you just have to “melt” in the microwave or let sit at room temp awhile for them to mix better. I think if you use a sweetened pb (such as Jif or Skippy), the result will be just a tad sweeter, but it shouldn’t make a big difference. I’d definitely recommend not using Better n PB interchangeably with pb (unless you’re up for an experiment), since the taste is so different.
      :)

  31. Angela says:

    Totally agree on the studying for AP Chemistry thing! I got a C in that class too, first semester.

  32. Sarah the official CCK drooler says:

    science, science, SCIENCE. ick, ick, ICK. My worst subject ever. Doing chem now, please save me! Jules, balanced equations- oh, heck. I wont be a chemist so can i ditch it? Can i take home ec.? that comes in handy. Can i take cooking classes from you? I get credit for that, right? what college doesn’t want a CCK grad?

    1. Haha you could… there’d be a scary amount of chocolate consumed in any class I’d offer ;).

  33. Bjork says:

    Mmmm

    I had some pretzel chocolate filled for Easter and they were soo good! :)

    Need to try this..

    I can’t stand history classes, or I like learning about history, but somehow I never remember anything for exams, my us history class last semester was awful, I really could not remember all those Indian tribes lol

  34. Guest says:

    Oh wow, those looks amazing! I was just wondering, would these bars hold up without the agave? I prefer not to consume any added sugars. Thanks!

    1. I don’t know what would hold your bars together :-?.

  35. loving the smooth topping,and it makes for beautiful photos! p.s my worst subject was maths…had to work really hard for a decent grade, its like another language that i just didn’t ‘speak’.

  36. Kim says:

    I need to make these very soon! I absolutely love the combination of salty and sweet! :)

  37. Moni Meals says:

    You are speaking my language with these Katie! I just love… salty and peanut-buttery anything. I can’t wait to try these. YUM!

    Math…not good at Math…as a Trainer, I use it more than one would think too. :/

  38. Amy Sun says:

    absolutely amazing recipe!! One I had to make immediately and boy am I glad I did! In fact, I made one batch, test-tasted it and had to make a 2nd while the ingredients were still out. I used maple syrup and Erewhol chocolate rice krispies. Left out the pretzels so it will be gluten free for my nephew. Thank you!!

    1. I love your idea to use chocolate crispies!

  39. Jennifer says:

    Hi CCK!! Do you ever re-vamp (or at least sample) your peanut butter recipes with anything other than peanut butter (ie, almond butter, sunflower butter, etc)? We don’t have peanut butter in our house because my son is allergic to peanuts. And I am curious if your peanut butter recipes taste as good with another type of nut butter? Or which nut butter tastes closest to peanut butter? We love almond butter but the taste is very different from peanut butter. Thanks :)

    1. I have tried this one with roasted cashew butter, which is awesome! It’s good with homemade nutella as well :).

      I guess it depends on the recipe as to which one I’d suggest as the best sub.

  40. ashley says:

    I am actually a Chemistry major, currently taking a break from studying for my Inorganic exam, so this post made me laugh. I have to agree, Chemistry is one CONFUSING subject!

    Maybe making these peanut butter pretzel bars is a better, less stressful idea. 😛

  41. Chrisy says:

    Forgive me if this has been asked, but could I use honey instead of agave? Agave is just something I don’t use, but I always have honey around the kitchen.
    Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try these!!

    1. Yes, I’m sure you can :).

  42. omg. I saw the first picture and seriously started to salivate. I have all the ingredients!! (minus the pretzels.) I’m totally making these 😀

  43. I hated chemistry with a passion. I didn’t like it, I didn’t understand it, and I wanted no part in it! 😉

  44. sam says:

    hey katie! i LOVE your blog i dont think i can say it enough i go on it EVERY DAY! i was recently diagnosed with celiac disease so i have to eat gluten free and i eat very healthy for the most part but the gluten free rice krispies have absolutley no nutritional benefit so i dont want to buy a whole box just to make one recipe any other substitutions that have similar caloric stats?

    1. Hi Sam, I can’t vouch for any substitutions because I’ve not tried them… But I’d love to hear results if anyone experiments. Also, a few commenters have left substitution suggestions above.

  45. Amy says:

    90% of the time I have the ing for your stuff, TODAY I DO AGAIN! I am sooooo making these… tomorrow. No time today :( YUMMY! I am always looking for no sugar stuff, but low sugar here works!

  46. I hated chemistry and physics with a passion! My teachers never ever understood this how could I hate it so much and be so bad at it (I didn’t even really try to get it) considering that my mom is a chemical engineer. Well, I am very different from my mom. But I do understand how you take more pride in your AP Chem C than your easy As in languages. I like the challenge and work for something!
    btw, another great recipe Katie, you never stop to amaze me!

  47. These sound freaking fantastic! Love it!

  48. Chrissy says:

    Least favorite, gym for sure. If my fat lazy unhealthy 15 year old self could see me now, she’d choke on the Oreos she was stuffing down :)

    I also hated math… but it got a little better in college. Luckily didn’t have to sit through TOO much of it to get my degree… in… biology :)

  49. Lea says:

    These look amazing! I’ll have to make some soon, they look like a great snack for studying. I am definitely not a chemistry minded person either, which is ironic because both my parents went to college for chemistry and my dad even has a PhD in organic chemistry. I like art better!

  50. Kaydee says:

    Woww! These look delicious! Quick question, does the calorie count include the optional ingredients? Thanks!

    1. Unless specifically stated, optional ingredients are always left out.