Baked Bakery’s “Good Morning Sunshine” bars have been on my ‘to do’ list for practically forever, and who knows why because they’re so fricking easy to make that I basically feel like the laziest person ever for not making them. I finally got around to make them, but as i was reading through the recipe I just wanted there to be more.
The standard recipe is pretty solid on its own, it’s got cereal, peanut butter, sugar (duh), and a drizzle of chocolate on top, but it also had chopped peanuts which for some reason I am generally not a fan of in my snacks. I like peanuts, I eat them quite frequently, but crunchy peanut butter? No thank you. Nuts in my cookies? Get out of here. Nuts in a quick bread? Pass. I know, I’m a crazy person.
So I was thinking of what to use to fill in the empty space left behind from the nuts when I remembered Shannon had added pretzels to hers (although, she also kept the nuts, because she’s not completely irrational like I am). Pretzels seemed like a great replacement because they covered two of the main things that would be missing if I removed peanuts: salt and crunch.
So forward I went, pretzels in hand, when I saw that she had also added marshmallows to hers. I remembered that my other Baked cereal bars were a bit on the drier side and thought that I should definitely throw some of those in too, to help hold everything together. And…. why not some mini Reese’s Pieces, because I had half of bag in the pantry and what the heck… why not?
My final piece to tackle: the chocolate drizzle. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good chocolate drizzle but some days I’m just super not into all that extra work and apparently this was one of those days. As I was tossing everything together in my work bowl I just decided to go for it and threw my chocolate chips in there too. Once I added the hot, sugary liquid the chocolate melted and coated each and every piece in delicious chocolatey goodness.
The result was a real winner that covered all of the major food groups: Sweet, Salty, Peanut Buttery, and Chocolatey. Those are the major food groups, right? Finally, because I added so much candy and extra sugar to the mix, I renamed them “Good Day Sunshine” bars, because they seem like they shouldn’t necessary be eaten in the morning… although they do have cereal in them which still makes them totally acceptable to eat for breakfast.
- 6 cups crisp rice cereal, like Chex
- 2 cups mini pretzels
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup mini Reese's Pieces or M&Ms
- 2 cups mini marshmallows, divided
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter (I always use Jif)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with parchment and grease well with butter or spray.
- Place the cereal, pretzels, chocolate chips, candy, and 1 cup marshmallows into a large mixing bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 1 minute, stirring carefully if needed.
- Remove from the heat, then stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt, until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Pour peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture and, using a sturdy spatula, toss to combine. Once the mixture is almost fully covered, add the remaining marshmallows, and continue tossing the mixture to combine.
- Pour into a parchment-lined pan and press gently into the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool completely to room temperature (or place into the refrigerator).
- Cut into squares and serve. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.