Cooking Classics: Peanut Butter Alley-Oop Bars

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The Technique

 Holding Court

Community recreational activities. I signed up for them all. Jazz. Tap. Ballet. Step. Jazz-Tap. Tap-Ballet. Jazz-Tap-Ballet. Jazz-Step. Interpretive Dance. Ice Skating. Cheerleading… A host of additional dance related classes were just a few of the things my mother carted me to & fro until it was time to try something new. Fourth grade was the year of gymnastics. Sporting a short wedge, a hold over from a second grade Dorothy Hamill moment, I desperately wanted to wear a snazzy leotard & be a gymnist flying through the parallel bars with undeniable grace. You know, like Mary Lou. After weeks on the mat, the first step was to clear the horsey-thing before you could advance to the next level. I sprinted down the long runway & as the vault got closer, my eyes got wider. I began to lose steam. I hit the springboard & stopped short of getting over. It cut me in half. The spotter grabbed my arms out of the socket to pull me to the other side for a successful attempt but I had certainly not earned the right to clear the obstacle. Nonetheless, I returned to the line to try again but the overall experience left me more of a tumbling expert than anything else. The very next year, organized sports came into play. I was a tomboy for sure but I wouldn’t say I was that sporty girl. Now a dedicated runner, probably due to the fact there are no choreographed dance moves required, basketball was my group sport & I definitely had game. I learned the value of being on a team & focusing on a very specific task to achieve honest success & real results. My assignment, at all costs, was to get the rebound. It sounds small but it’s actually a very smart move from a coaching perspective. My friend’s dad presented us with the challenge, the benefits & a reward. Maybe the reward spurred me on but that became my focus & I took it very seriously. I may have been a double dribbler & a bricklayer but I could certainly elbow my way under the basket to guarantee the rebound & pass the ball off to one of my team mates who could secure the score. Dressed out in black jersey’s with white trim, that’s when The Panthers began winning.

Hoops inspired cereal bars are the perfect way to celebrate how far we’ve all come from our first encounter with organized sports & step in for a fun addition to upcoming March Madness basketball game parties. Pass off a round of Peanut Butter Alley-Oop Bars to guests for a slam dunk move & score big with loads of b-ball appeal. While warm, top the surface with mini peanut butter cup nets beside pretzel stick goal posts for added charm. High top cashew halves & little baby orange basketball candies fast break the sweet treat all the way to the next bracket so be certain to reserve a spot for these irresistible bars on your table of game day snacks ideal for fans of all ages.

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rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickPeanut Butter Alley-Oop Bars
makes 2 dozen


You’ll need to work quickly to get the garnish on top of the bars while still warm. Use a wooden pick to attach the orange candies or nuts in particular with any remaining peanut butter mixture from the saucepan, if necessary. A little dab of peanut butter will work as well.

3 cups toasted oat cereal loops
1 cup pretzel sticks
1/3 cup salted, roasted cashews
2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
A pinch of kosher salt
3/4 cup peanut butter
14 super mini peanut butter cups, cut in half
1 Tbsp mini orange coated chocolate candies
12 pretty cashew halves

Combine the cereal, the pretzels & 1/3 cup cashews in a large bowl. Set aside. Bring the butter, the corn syrup, the brown sugar & the salt to a boil in a 2-qt saucepan over Medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Working quickly, stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal blend & coat well. Press firmly in a lightly greased 1/4 sheet pan, approximately 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 1-inch. Press the peanut butter cups & the orange candies over the surface. Press two cashew halves together over the surface to resemble pairs of high top shoes. Let stand 2 hours. Run a paring knife around the pan to gently loosen from the sides. Cut into bars. Store at room temperature. 

… And One

Although the small orange candies match the scale of the other ingredients, use any of your favorite picks to sub in for the b-balls. Larger plain, peanut & peanut butter filled M&M’s make excellent additions or look for orange coated chocolate candies in bulk to purchase the exact amount needed for the recipe.

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{testing notes}

How To Tip Off A Basketball Game Party Dessert

B-ball swag deserves a sweet spot on your table of game day snacks. A pan of these adorable treats get fans ready for the hoops action to come. Follow a few tips for a slam dunk batch.

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Exercise a full court press when preparing the bars. The more compact the cereal mixture the better they’ll hold their shape once cut. Snack bars can be sticky business. A small palate knife work makes removing them from the pan with ease. Press additional pretzel sticks on the surface if needed to showcase the design. Attach with a dab of peanut butter, if necessary. For a firmer bar, the bars can be made ahead & stored overnight.

The Tune
“Spirit In The Dark” Aretha Franklin

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Be sweet. 

About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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