Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Sports Bars with Dried Fruit and Peanut Butter

Sports Bars with Dried Fruit and Peanut Butter

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  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 cups puffed whole grain cereal (such as Kashi)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried tart cherries
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch square metal baking pan with nonstick spray. Mix cereal, walnuts, dates, cherries, and raisins in medium bowl. Combine peanut butter, honey, and corn syrup in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil, whisking constantly until mixture bubbles vigorously and thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal mixture in bowl; stir to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; press to compact. Bake until just golden around edges, about 10 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into 2 1/2x1 1/2-inch bars. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Store in single layer between sheets of foil in airtight container at room temperature.

,Photos by Dasha Wright Ewing

Nutritional Content

One bar contains the following: Calories (kcal) 127 Fat (g) 4 Saturated Fat (g) 1 Cholesterol (mg) 0Reviews Section

Energy Bars

Use your favorite dried fruit and nuts or seeds in these chewy, hearty peanut butter-based bars. You can swap other nut or seed butters for the peanut butter. If you’re using unsalted nuts and unsalted peanut butter, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt to the mixture.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with foil. Lightly coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the bars using a food processor, pulse the dried fruit if pieces are larger than raisins or dried cranberries. Add old-fashioned oats, the nuts and chocolate chips and pulse until the oats are broken into small pieces with some powdery bits and the nuts are coarsely chopped. Add the peanut butter, brown sugar, butter and egg and pulse until the mixture is well-mixed and comes together in a sticky mass around the blade.

To make the bars by hand, chop the dried fruit into ¼-inch pieces. Coarsely chop the nuts and chocolate chips. Combine the chopped ingredients with quick-cooking oats in a large bowl. Add the peanut butter, brown sugar, butter and egg and mix well to form a sticky mass.

Drop the batter in large clumps to cover the bottom of the prepared pan. Wet your hands and firmly press the mixture to form an even layer.

Bake until golden brown and set, 30 to 35 minutes. The top should look dry and bounce back slightly when pressed. Cool completely in a pan on a wire rack. Using the foil, slide out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into eight 2-by-4-inch bars.

Haroset bars

Haroset, a blend of fruit, nuts and wine, is probably the most popular food of the eight-day holiday of Passover. To me, haroset is more than a holiday item. I use it as a basic flavoring for desserts the way French cooks use almond praline, Italians use chocolate-hazelnut gianduja and Americans use peanut butter. For this twist on blond brownies, I add haroset, dried apricots and chocolate chunks to a Passover brownie batter made with matzo cake meal and potato starch. They’re certainly easier to make than Passover sponge cakes.

You can substitute ½ cup chocolate chips for the chocolate chunks.

In a small jar, combine the diced dried apricots and figs with the wine. Close the jar and shake a few times to moisten the fruit, then set the mixture aside for 30 minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the pan with foil and butter the foil.

In a medium bowl, mix the matzo cake meal, potato starch and salt.

In a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, or in a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is smooth. Add the oil and the granulated and brown sugars beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the haroset and beat on low speed until blended. Add the eggs, one by one, beating thoroughly on high speed after each one. Add 4 tablespoons of the matzo meal mixture and beat over low speed. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining matzo meal mixture. Stir in the dried fruit mixture and any wine in the jar. Stir in the chocolate pieces.

Transfer the batter to the pan and spread it in an even layer. Sprinkle over the chopped walnuts and pat them lightly so they adhere to the batter. Bake until the top browns lightly and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out nearly clean, 18 to 22 minutes if the wooden pick comes out chocolaty, test again. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack.

Turn the cake out gently onto a plate, then onto another plate or a cutting board so that the walnuts are on top. Using a sharp knife, cut it carefully into 16 bars. Serve at room temperature.

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Recipes for peanut butter cookies and bars

Serious peanut butter cookies. Photograph by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

If ever there was a day to bake peanut butter cookies, it would be Saturday: January 24 is national peanut butter day. Along with the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich (or my favorite, PB and banana), cookies are arguably peanut butter’s highest and best use. It’s hard not to appreciate the all-American swagger of a hefty peanut butter cookie, slightly crumbly around the edges, softer toward the middle, boldly sweet and salty, and imprinted with the hallmark crosshatch design on top. For those who want their jelly, too, try the triple-layer peanut butter and jelly bars or the cookies with dried fruit, which suggest the flavor of jam without its overt sweetness.


Makes about 2 dozen 3-inch cookies

The cookies’ texture seems slightly more supple if the dough rests for about 2 hours before baking, but they’re still great if you don’t have the patience for that and bake them right away. Because they’re a bit crumbly and fragile until they cool to room temperature, use a small spatula (rather than your fingers) to transfer them from the baking sheet to the cooling rack.

1¾ cups all-purpose flour ½teaspoon baking soda

1¼ cups roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped in the food processor

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 10 pieces

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, at room temperature

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chunky peanut butter, preferably natural-style, well blended and at room temperature

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 1¼ teaspoons salt. Add the chopped peanuts and stir to combine. With a hand-held or standing mixer at medium-high speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 1½ minutes. Stop the mixer, add the sugars, and beat at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula. Add the egg, the yolk, and the vanilla, and continue beating to incorporate scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the peanut butter and continue beating to incorporate scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add half the flour mixture and beat at low speed just to incorporate. Add the remaining flour mixture and continue beating at low speed to make a uniform dough (do not overmix) scrape the bottom of the bowl to loosen any flour stuck there and knead once or twice in the bowl to incorporate it. Cover and refrigerate, if desired, for 2 to 24 hours.

If dough has been refrigerated, rest at room temperature about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, with the rack in the center position, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Scoop 2½-tablespoon portions of dough, roll into balls, and place 8 on a baking sheet. Press with back of fork to imprint with a crosshatch design. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are just set and centers still very soft and puffy, about 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for about 8 minutes and, using a spatula, transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature. Repeat with remaining dough.

TIP: When it’s time to measure sticky ingredients like peanut butter, honey, or molasses, an adjustable measuring cup is your new best friend. The device’s plunger fits into a cylinder with measurement markings you simply adjust to the measurement you need, fill ’er up, and plunge to release the sticky business neatly and completely. Photograph by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

> Cranberry and Apricot Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen 3-inch cookies

Follow the recipe for Serious Peanut Butter Cookies, decreasing the quantity of peanuts to 2/3 cup, and, along with the chopped peanuts, adding 2/3 cup each sweetened dried cranberries and roughly chopped dried apricots to the flour mixture.

> Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Makes about 3 dozen 1½-inch-square bars

Use any flavor of jam or preserves you like in these unapologetically sweet bars. After about 24 hours, the bottoms soften from the moisture in the jam (though some tasters quite liked the soft texture the next day).

Follow the recipe for Serious Peanut Butter Cookies, making the following changes:

1) Decrease the quantity of chopped peanuts to ½ cup and reserve them for use later. Prepare the cookie dough without the chopped peanuts.

2) Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut a piece of foil or parchment as wide as the pan and about 22 inches long and fit it into the sprayed pan, pushing it into the corners and up the sides at either end (there should be overhang at both ends). Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Measure 2½ cups dough into pan and with moistened hands press it into an even layer.

3) Add the reserved chopped peanuts and ½ cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats to the dough remaining in the bowl and beat to combine. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined plate and freeze for 15 minutes to firm it up.

4) Meanwhile, spread 1¼ cups jam or preserves, any flavor, evenly over the dough in the baking pan. Break the chilled dough into pieces the size of small grapes and scatter them evenly over the jam. Bake at 375 degrees until the top is lightly browned and the jam around the edges is bubbly, about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

5) Place the pan on a rack and cool completely. Use the ends of the foil or parchment as handles to lift the entire thing out of the pan and place it on a cutting board. Shimmy the foil or parchment out from under. With a serrated knife, trim the edges, cut into 1½-inch-square bars, and serve.

Homemade No-Bake Granola Bars

Now, don’t get me wrong, fruits and veggies are great snacks and wonderful sources of nutrition, but sometimes you just need something sweet and chewy that makes you say “Mmmmm“. Problem is I’ve found most snacks from my local grocery store that are sweet and chewy and make you say “Mmmmm” are not nutrient-dense foods that fill you up and tide you over for meal time.

I was doing my best by choosing what I thought were safe and healthy options. I mean really, how bad can store- bought “natural” granola bars be, right?

When I took a look at my so called “healthy options,” I found ingredients like: corn syrup, sugar, caramel coloring, preservatives, and synthetic oils. Those are the ones I could read.

My kids and husband love those little oat bars with chocolate and sometimes peanut butter. If I was going to rid our pantry of those chewy, sweet bars, I needed a darn good replacement. One that would be equally if not more satisfying and unlike the store-bought bars, nourishing. Guess what?

Not only are these bars delicious and nutritious, they are so easy to make even a caveman could do it. These chewy, store-bought knock-offs are a healthy snack and one I can feel good about feeding my family.

5. Homemade Energy Bars

One of our all-time favorite Beachbody bars recipes, these customizable Homemade Energy Bars are another no-bake snack worth bookmarking.

Sweet dates and your choice of dried fruit and nuts give these energy bars a natural sweetness you’ll love.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup whole pitted dates (or prunes)
  • 1 cup dried fruit (like apricots, prunes, figs, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, or cherries)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (or seeds) (like almonds, walnuts, cashews, sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds)
  • 2 scoops Shakeology, any flavor

Find out how to make Homemade Energy Bars.

32 Healthy Energy Bars You Can Make at Home

Everyone loves a great bar. In this case, we’re talking about the kind you can pack as a perfectly portable meal or snack (though we love bars with alcoholic drinks, too).

Whether you need a breakfast you can eat while commuting, a post-workout snack to hold you until dinner, or a scrumptious yet healthy(ish) dessert, bars are fantastic, any time and for any mood you’re in.

And they’re beyond easy to make. Can you stir and use a food processor? Then you can make your own bars.

Many of the ones below are more like formulas than set-in-stone recipes, so don’t be afraid to swap in different nuts, seeds, and fruit to create your own twists. You’ll come up with tasty flavors that you’ll never find in a wrapper.

1. Dark chocolate pistachio Nutella granola bars

Natural beauty of this bar aside, the chocolate and pistachios come together for an awesome salty/sweet combo.

We usually think of Nutella as a dessert food, but these guys are packed with nuts, oats, and coconut oil which makes them a great snack for any time of day.

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2. Homemade granola bars

These bars are loaded with all kinds of good stuff, yet it all comes together in a delicious mix of flavors and textures.

Almonds add protein and crunch, cranberries and raisins bring the sweet and chewy, and chocolate chips make it a party. Toasting the oats may seem unnecessary, but it pumps up their flavor and makes them a little crispy.

3. Quinoa chia seed granola bars

Seeds aren’t just for the birds, and these not-too-sweet bars prove it.

Raw almonds along with chia and flaxseed, make them crunchy and provide some omega-3s. Nut butter and quinoa add staying power, so you’ll feel full until your next meal.

4. Blueberry vanilla Greek yogurt granola bars

Breakfast just got so much better. Take everything you love about your favorite Greek yogurt and pack it into this bar for a perfect portable meal.

Unlike packaged bars with Greek yogurt, which actually use a sugary powder and contain no yogurt, these are topped with the real thing. Mix up the fruit each time you make them to keep your taste buds entertained.

5. Chewy raspberry apple granola bars

For anyone with nut allergies, this recipe is a total win. The oats pack in tons of fiber, raspberries boast a serious zing, and coconut oil adds a subtle tropical note.

Ready in only three steps, the only labor you have to put in is stirring. Doesn’t get easier than that. Now if only the bowl cleaned itself.

6. Homemade Chewy granola bars

Remember your favorite Chewy bars as a kid? Think of these as your even better grown-up version — and one you can customize.

Use whatever nuts, fruit, and nut butter suit your fancy, and have fun. After all, when it comes to those foods, you really can’t go wrong.

7. Vegan PB&J energy bars

Get all the goodness of your fave sandwich in this plant based bar that’s almost as easy to make.

Peanut butter and almonds will pack a protein punch to give you energy that’ll last through a workout, while cranberries and dates naturally take the place of cane sugar-filled jelly. Delicious!

8. Superfood energy bars with cacao

With a combo of chia seeds, flaxseed, hempseed, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, dates, cacao nibs, and walnuts, this recipe has tons of nutritional benefits.

You can shape the mixture into bars or into little cupcakes topped with raw chocolate (yum!), as this blogger suggests.

9. Raw superfood energy bars

This no-bake recipe combines eight easy ingredients in a food processor. Some of our favorite additions (goji berries and cacao nibs) are featured here, and the end result is a colorful, nutritious treat.

10. Savory energy bars

There’s nothing seedy about these energy bars — except maybe the ingredient list. Quinoa plus flaxseed, sunflower, chia, pumpkin seeds provide protein for lasting energy.

Some finely shredded hard cheese of your choice will give this the salty boost your taste buds are looking for, and a bit of garlic powder makes them taste like a healthy version of your favorite breadsticks.

11. Apricot chia seed energy bars

No chopping or baking required here!

Apricots, dates, white chocolate chips, chia seeds, and a few other ingredients are blended in the food processor, transferred to a pan, and put in the freezer to set. The apricots lend so much natural sweetness, you may not even want to add agave.

12. Slow cooker quinoa energy bars

Whoever said the slow cooker was just for chili was wrong. This recipe takes just 10 minutes to prepare and combines almond butter, eggs, quinoa, chia seeds, dried apples, and maple syrup.

Just throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker at night and wake up to the best morning ever — not to mention a house that smells like dessert.

13. Vegan pumpkin pie energy bars

Vegans and omnivores alike will love this recipe. Pumpkin pie can be an everyday thing thanks to these. Cashews have a subtle flavor, so the pumpkin really shines.

These bars are great for those days when you’re in a not-totally-chewy yet not-totally-crunchy mood, since the seeds on top add just enough texture.

14. Chocolate berry superfood bars

Trust us, these taste as amazing as they look. The bright pink layer is filled with raspberries (hello, vitamin C) and coconut, which is praised for its good fats. Babu AS, et al. (2014). Virgin coconut oil and its potential cardioprotective effects. DOI: 10.3810/pgm.2014.11.2835

The chocolate base also features coconut, as well as almonds, cashews, and peanut butter — that’s enough of an energy boost that you don’t even need the maca powder.

All it takes is a food processor and half an hour in the freezer, and you’ve got a scrumptious treat.

Peanut Snack Bars

These are trail mix in a bar: little more than nuts, seeds and dried fruit bound together with a little flour.

Make Ahead: The bars can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.


Discard the tough stem at the top of each dried fig. Place the fruit in a food processor along with the peanut butter, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flour, salt, sunflower oil and water pulse long enough to create a mixture that has the texture of fine crumbs, which should hold together when firmly pressed.

Press or roll the mixture on a counter, between layers of parchment paper, to a thickness of about 1/2 inch: A rectangle about 7-by-6-inches is perfect. If there are cracks, press the dough more firmly. Cut into 12 equal slices.

Recipe Source

Adapted from "Sensationally Sugar Free," by Susanna Booth (Hamlyn, 2016).

Peanut butter and banana bars


Dry ingredients

1/2 cup spelt flour (or other whole grain flour)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup chopped dates (4 medium-sized dates)

3 squares dark chocolate, chopped into pieces or 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips or dried raisins

Wet ingredients

1/3 cup all natural peanut butter


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8X8inch baking pan with coconut oil or unsalted butter. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Making sure to properly incorporate the dates and chocolate throughout the mixture using your fingers.

3. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the honey, banana, peanut butter and cinnamon. Process until smooth.

4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir to combine.

5. Press the mixture into the pan using your hands, you may wet them to prevent sticking. Then, using a piece of parchment paper, press down with your fist to even-out the surface.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing into squares. Store in an airtight container or keep in the freezer.

Prepare a small rimmed baking sheet (about 13-inch-by-9-inch) or a one quarter sheet pan by brushing with a neutral oil (canola, grapeseed, or coconut) or spaying with a nonstick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, leaving a little overhang to help remove the bars, and spray the paper again.

Combine the nut butter and brown rice syrup in a food processor fitted with a dough blade or in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the remaining ingredients, except the sea salt, in a second large bowl and using clean hands, thoroughly mix and separate dried fruit pieces until thoroughly mixed. Pulse or mix the nut butter mixture on low-speed until it is just evenly combined, about 15 seconds or 10 (1 second) pulses. Add the bowl of dry ingredients and pulse or mix until the mixture is well combined, about 30 seconds or 30 (1 second) pulses (the mixture should come together as one ball and the nut butter mixture should be evenly distributed).

Bars can also be mixed by hand but they will be difficult to mix so you'll need some elbow grease!

Transfer the granola bar mixture to the prepared pan (it should be holding together as one ball at this point, if not, add a spoon of syrup or water and mix it a few more times to help it come together). Spray your fingers with nonstick spray or coat in neutral oil and pressing the mixture down firmly so that it fits in an even layer into the pan. Coat the bottom of a measuring cup with oil then press the mixture down so it is compact (it should resemble a peanut butter Clif Bar at this point). Sprinkle with a large pinch of sea salt, top with another sheet of parchment paper, and using a small rolling pin or a can roll out the bars to an even layer.

Let granola bar set in the pan for at least one hour before unmolding and cutting into bars. Wrap in parchment paper and seal with a sticker or twine. Store at room temperature (or in the refrigerator or freezer if it's particularly hot) until ready to use — they'll last up to one week.

If it is a particularly hot day, you're going to want to let the granola bars set up in the refrigerator or freezer.

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