Special K Bars

[18 Sep 2008 | By | 7 Comments]

The truth is, you shouldn’t make these.

They aren’t good for you. In fact, not only are they not good for you, they are bad for you.

But if you are at a coffee shop and order the cherry studded scone or the nanaimo bar or that big slice of white chocolate and strawberry cream cake—then you know what you are getting yourself into. It is an indulgence: something you might enjoy once in awhile but would never include in your daily routine.

The coffee shop where I often spend my office hours has been carrying heavy, sugar and butter laden pastries for some time. But recently, I have noticed a trend in their pastry case. It is the presence of the oldies—the classic cookies and bars my mom used to make when I was a kid—the bars we piled high at our school bake sales. Really, I think the coffee shop means to impress us with what we have come to expect: sinfully delicious treats that sit by our coffee and beg to pamper our taste buds. Perhaps they are grabbing recipes from the way-back archives, hoping we will be impressed with these new hip treats. Like all great fads, it is the old that is new again; but beware, healthy eating has nothing to do with it (I think that about covers the disclaimer, don’t you?).

… and this bar is no exception. I shudder to think it has corn syrup in it. I need to figure out how to make these old fashioned bars (ones I would scarf down in high school, before heading off to practice) without the corn syrup. Suffice it to say, if you were raised back when I was raised and you ate Special K Bars (named after its ONLY redeeming ingredient), then this recipe is authentic. I shall make a variation at some point, and upgrade it for today’s health considerations.

These bars are one of very few foods I cannot say no to. If I make them, I will—as I did in the good ole days—stand by my counter and keep cutting out ‘just one more small square.’ That is why I don’t make them; I leave it to the coffee shops to provide me with too-expensive, small squares of [limited] indulgences. Much easier to pace yourself that way.

Special K Bars
1 cup white sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
6 cups Special K cereal
1 pkg butterscotch chips
1 pkg semi sweet chocolate chips

Bring sugar and syrup to boil, remove from heat and cool slightly. Add peanute butter and stir to blend. Place cereal in bowl; pour peanut butter mix over cereal and stir to blend. Press into 9×13 pan. Melt chips together and spread over bars (I sometimes put it in the fridge to help the chocolate harden, but it isn’t necessary). Remember: I warned you. Tread lightly.

This entry was posted in food., recipes, snacks and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said (18 September 2008 at 1:32 pm):

    My husband is a daily Special K eater. I think these bars would make it Extra-Special K!

  • kristina said (18 September 2008 at 3:27 pm):

    Hey, there’s a new website about to launch called Behind the Burner: it features exclusive tips on products and cooking techniques, as well as video demonstrations with New York City’s best chefs! Be sure to check out the website, http://www.behindtheburner.com, where you can sign up for email updates and more info.

  • katie said (19 September 2008 at 4:31 am):

    In my youth they were Rice Krispie Bars… sometimes made with marshmallow cream (very healthy…) sometimes with peanut butter (my preferred)

    You are dead on about the problem, though. I don’t ever remember them lasting a day…
    Can’t wait to my next trip to the US!

  • Scott at Realepicurean said (19 September 2008 at 12:21 pm):

    Oh….I need them….no really, the fact I’m not allowed them only makes me want them more!

  • Barb said (19 September 2008 at 4:11 pm):

    First it was Nanaimo Bars and now these…what are you trying to do to my powers of resistance?


  • Kate said (21 September 2008 at 7:50 pm):

    Oh man, i SO want a Special K bar, like NOW!


  • Patsyk said (22 September 2008 at 6:58 pm):

    Those bars look like they are worth the indulgence! I’d love to have one now!