These bars, y’all. I wanted to call them Catalina Crack Bars because you might not be able to stop eating them once you start. So proceed with caution!
A while back the folks over at Catalina Crunch sent me some samples of their Keto cereals and as a result, I became a die-hard fan and affiliate. So, just know that while I’m over here working my tush off to bring you quality recommendations for products that I know you will love, I am also earning a little commission when someone purchases Catalina Crunch through my links. But hey, you can also use my coupon code TOM10 to get a 10% discount!
Now, before I give you the recipe, I want to say that you can use any flavor of Catalina Crunch cereal in these bars. They are all delicious. I have even used a mixture of two cereals, and I think that was my best batch. Another tip, be generous with chocolate. Cause, chocolate.
Roasted peanuts, the great big fat ones with sea salt, are the best. I used Simple Truth brand in all of mine. I plan to try this out with Marcona almonds in the future. When I do, I’ll update you here. I shared photos below the recipe that will give you an idea of the different types of chocolate I’ve used. If, like me, you can’t find Caramel extract in the store, it is available on Amazon, or you can just use vanilla.
Salted Caramel Peanut Crunch Chocolate Bars with Catalina Crunch
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup confectioner erythritol and stevia blend
- 1 tsp caramel extract
- 1/2 cup nut butter (almond, peanut, etc)
- Maldon Salt Flakes
- 1/2 cup salted peanuts
- 1 1/2 cups Catalina Crunch (all flavors work well: Graham, Cinnamon Toast, Chocolate, and Maple Waffle)
- 1 Bag Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips (12 ounces)
- Melt butter and sweetener in a pan over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- When mixture starts to simmer, reduce heat to half, continue stirring for a minute longer, add nut butter.
- Turn off heat completely; add caramel extract.
- Remove from heat but continue to stir for another minute or so until it stops simmering.
- Add nuts and cereal, stirring well. Sprinkle in a pinch of Maldon Salt Flakes and stir again, press into an 8x8 pan and set aside while you prepare chocolate.
- In a double boiler melt chocolate chips, pour the melted chocolate over the crunchy mixture and wait for the chocolate to harden.
- Cut and enjoy!
If you use a silicone pan, like the beeswax mold above, you will want to put the chocolate down first. However, if you are using a regular brownie pan, you’ll put the cereal down first then top it with the melted chocolate. Also, if you use a silicone mold, tap it on the counter to remove air bubbles before letting it chill.
- If using a silicone mold, start with the chocolate layer. In a double boiler melt chocolate chips, pour into a silicone pan - allow it to cool in fridge or freezer while you make the filling.
- Follow steps 1-5 outlined above
- Remove chilled chocolate in silicone pan from the freezer, at this point the chocolate should not be completely set; pour cereal mixture on top, gently pressing into chocolate.
- Place a cutting board on over the pan and invert to remove the bars. The chocolate should now be on the top.
- Return to fridge to cool completely before removing from silicone pan.
If you are making this recipe to fit the Ketogenic Diet, you’ll want to use sugar-free chocolate. You can do this with chocolate chips, or make chocolate using bakers chocolate or cocoa powder, coconut oil and confectioners erythritol. There are many ways to get the chocolate layer done.
If you are not worried about the sweeteners, you could go with Enjoy Life chocolate chips or regular chocolate. Even if you aren’t following a low-carb lifestyle, cutting down on sugar can have health benefits.
If you use a silicone pan, like the honeycomb mold above, you will want to put the chocolate down first. However, if you are using a regular brownie pan, you’ll put the cereal down first then top it with the melted chocolate. Also, if you use a silicone mold, tap it on the counter to remove air bubbles before letting it chill – as you can see, I forgot to do that in the ones pictured. So the little holes in the chocolate are from air bubbles.
The mixture will be a bit crumbly if you are heavy-handed with measuring the cereal and nuts. It still tastes delicious even if it becomes crumbly. Grab a spoon and dive in.
However, if you want it to be defined bars, use less cereal and nuts and use the pan method rather than the silicone mold.
I’ve made this recipe many, many times and no matter whether the chocolate is on top or bottom, which cereal flavor I use, or what type of nut butter – it’s all delicious.
Maybe Catalina Crunch isn’t something you have in your pantry right now, but I can tell you if you make this recipe one time it will become a staple on your dessert menu.