Once in a while we find a favorite that we’re both absolutely crazy about! It started with some store bought Peanut Butter Cookie bars for our backpacks.
I always like to keep healthy packaged food along for emergency rations when we’re in the mountains. Anyways… it wasn’t really an emergency but I was super hungry so I cracked into one, and it really does takes like a peanut butter cookie (and sweet/salty flavors are really addicting when you’re hiking).
Even though they’re super good, at $1.25 per bar (only 180 calories) that adds up pretty quick. I ran some quick calculations, and someone my size could easily need 3,000 calories for a long day in the mountains – making a bar or two literally a drop in the bucket. So, this week I decided to make them from scratch. They’re really easy to make and taste better than the packaged bars, (that’s kind of a no brainer, everything’s better fresher)! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still buying the packaged bars because they are really convenient and easy to pack, but the homemade version is really cost effective.
Start by chopping the dates into quarters (and pit them if necessary). Pulse the peanuts and dates together until small crumbs with some ‘pea-sized’ bites remain (top right hand photo). Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract to the food processor and process until it begins to look clumpy (bottom left hand photo). Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture begins to freeze up in the processor and is soft (bottom right hand photo).
From here, you can shape the cookie dough however you’d like:
1. pressed into a plastic wrap lined pan to make bars
2. rolled into cookie balls
3. criss-cross hatch across the cookie balls for a traditional peanut butter cookie look
If you can’t have peanuts, try one of my other energy bars instead!
Chocolate Chip Brownie Energy Bars
Lemon Meringue Pie Energy BarsPrint
Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Bars
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: about 20 cookie balls or bars 1x
- 1 pound dry roasted unsalted peanuts
- 4 ounces pitted Deglet Noor dates, quartered
- 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3–4 Tablespoons water
- Place the peanuts and quartered dates into a food processor, and process until small bits with some ‘pea sized’ pieces remain.
- Add the sea salt, vanilla extract, and maple syrup to the container. Continue to process until it starts to clump but is still a bit crumbly.
- Add the water and process to make a soft dough with small bits of peanut remaining. I ended up using the full 4 Tablespoons to make a soft dough.
- Shape as desired. It’s quickest to roll the dough into cookie balls, but you can also pat them out in a plastic wrap lined pan to make bars.
- I made 10 small cookie balls, and 1 – 8″x8″ pan of bars with 1 recipe of these energy bars.
You can also use medjool dates, but the color of your bars will be a little darker.
I used part dates and part maple syrup in this recipe because I like how the maple adds to the cookie flavor. You could use more dates if you would prefer, just add them to taste if you choose to omit the maple syrup.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
16 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Bars”
Really love the taste, but how do I get them to stick together? Mine are fairly sticky. I don’t see that I have to bake them, but do I freeze them or anything like that?
You can store these in either the refrigerator or freezer. The cookie dough is always a bit sticky, but if it’s too sticky to roll into balls, or pat out into bars it could be because the dates you had were extra fresh or sometimes it becomes a bit sticky if it’s processed too long. I’m a little confused by your question asking how to get them to stick together, but then you said they were sticky. If the dough is too sticky, I would refrigerate it for a couple hours before trying to make bars or energy balls/bites from the dough. I hope this answers your question, but please let me know if not!
Thanks so much for this recipe! I loved them so much, I just made them again! This time I mixed in chocolate chips 🙂
Chocolate chips sound like an awesome addition, I’ll be trying that on my next batch! 🙂
i am a sucker for anything with peanut butter.. thanks for sharing this recipe, looks delicious!
I would like to order 100 of those amazing bars? Do you think we can work out a deal? 😉
I’ve been getting quite a few orders lately! 🙂 Too bad I can barely keep up with food for the 2 of us! 🙂
nice!! i’m excited to try these. car snacks, here we come!
I think you’ll like them (let me know if you make a batch), we always take energy bars now when we’re driving! They’re much healthier, quicker, and cheaper than stopping for snacks! 🙂
Thanks for this recipe! It definitely looks like something both my husband and I would love to snack on while we are hiking.
We especially like them for hiking when you need a small snack but don’t want to stop for a full meal!
Well, I have to admit I have never considered making my own energy bars. And energy bars are so expensive, even super on sale, they’re a buck a piece, and that’s on a good day! We do lots of hiking to (as much as we can with little kids in backpacks) and I bring apples but somehow, they don’t satisfy enough. You need a heartier snack, kids included. So we’d be eating 4 bucks just in one small snack. I’ll have to try these. Maybe I can add a few peanut butter chips for that extra spark =)
I totally agree with you, it’s a lot of money for such a small snack (that’s why I started making my own)! However, sometimes convenience still wins out! 🙂
You have great recipes!! 🙂 thanks for sharing Kari !!
Thanks Meagan, I hope you enjoy them! 🙂