Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker
Total Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Serves 16

Loaded with good-for-you ingredients, these not-too-sweet bars still taste like a treat, and they'll withstand cold, heat, and being stuffed in a backpack or pocket. Natural peanut butters vary from brand to brand in terms of spreadability; we prefer Laura Scudder's Old Fashioned Nutty Peanut Butter, because it makes a moister, chewier bar.

How to Make It

Step 1

Line a 9- by 13-in. pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on the 9-in. sides, and coat with cooking-oil spray. In a large bowl, stir together oats, oat bran, flax seeds, flour, baking powder, salt, peanuts, cranberries, and figs until well blended.

Step 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter, milk, egg, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well blended.

Step 3

Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture and beat until completely blended. Scrape dough into pan and, with wet fingers or a rubber spatula, pat to fill pan completely and evenly (dough is sticky, so you may need to wash your hands a few times). Chill dough until firm, about 30 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300°. Invert pan onto a work surface, lift off pan, and peel off plastic. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut straight down lengthwise through middle, then crosswise to make 16 bars, each 1 1/2 in. wide. Place bars about 1 in. apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Step 5

Bake bars until lightly browned and somewhat firm to touch, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Step 6

Make ahead: Store airtight up to 2 weeks or freeze.

Step 7

Note: Nutritional analysis is per bar.

Ratings & Reviews

seaside725's Review

November 01, 2014
Very easy to make and very tasty. I used cran-raisins in place of the cranberries and figs, but other than that I followed the recipe as is. I would make this again. My 2-year old grandson loved them.

Hiker14's Review

November 09, 2013
These bars taste good but don't hold together very well. I made them to send to my daughter in college and have a feeling they'll be all crumbs when they arrive. Maybe another egg would bind the ingredients together better?

CindyW's Review

September 04, 2012
These were just really not tasty.

LaurasBox's Review

May 30, 2012
We love these bars. I mix up the dried fruit and juice, apricot nectar is our favorite. I also put them into a cold oven, turn on the oven, and leave them for only 20 minutes. Cool for 5 then place in snack size ziplocks, this gives a bar that is more moist. We keep them in the freezer for up to 2 months.

nanceee's Review

February 26, 2012
my whole wheat was a little flat,but since there was only 1 cup left, I used it up. Subsituted the lemon for lime, the peanuts for almonds, dumped in more crazins yes, I ground up the oats a bit. I thought this was a keeper recipe. I've had 4 with a glass of milk. YUM!

conandmiasmom's Review

December 11, 2010
I threw this out! YUCK. They were completely dry, despite using white whole wheat flour and an extra 1/4 cup of milk, and tasted inedibly chewy and saw-dusty, Don't waste these great ingredients in such a horrible bar.

bluelupine's Review

June 12, 2009
Terrific! I use ground flax, almonds instead of peanuts and tried almond butter, but liked pb better. I skip the lemon altogether. Added maybe a teaspoon oil & used fresh ground pb, a skosh of vanilla (and a handful of coconut on occasion). Mmmmm!! These store & freeze very well and are sturdy enough for travel in a backpack. Totally versatile and tasty! Update - I've been using an over-full measure of finely chopped prunes instead of figs and like the recipe even better - keeps them moist.

honucooks's Review

January 23, 2009
Yum- a great alternative to purchased protein bars. I used dates for figs as other reviewers. Next time I'll try with almond butter, almonds, and maybe apricots and/or sour cherries.

ZebaZeba's Review

December 14, 2008
Delicious and easy. For dried fruits I used raisins and dates. I substituted 1/4 cup milk for 1/4 cup peanut butter. It was a little too peanut buttery for me. I will make it again with all kinds of nuts and fruits.

Sedonasooz's Review

November 07, 2008
These turned out really well. A little on the dry side with good substance. Healthy tasting (which I like), not like store bought icky sweet stuff. Only changes I made were almonds for peanuts and dates for figs. Nice recipe that you can mix/match according to what you have on hand. They also kept well - great for hikes, lunch bag etc.