Fast, Easy and Delicious Puma Bars

Puma Bars

What’s a Puma Bar? Puma Bars are high energy treats made with whole wheat flour, brown sugar, wheat germ, pecans and peanut butter chips. I first came across this recipe when I was learning about dehydrating foods. I checked out this book, Backpack Gourmet by LInda Frederick Yaffe, from my local library to search out recipes using dehydrated food and to discover methods for dehydrating food. It was an interesting book, even though I’ve never backpacked in my entire life!

I’ve shared two other recipes from Backpack Gourmet in a past post called “High Energy Treats – Addictive and Delicious.”  Click here if you would like to see the recipes for Sesame Oatmeal Cookies and Indian Heaven Treats. The recipes in this book are suitable for backpacking trips or for camping adventures as well as being delicious at home!

Puma is another name for cougar, a very large slender cat whose habitat includes places from an arid desert to a cold coniferous forest. Perhaps that means that these Puma Bars are great no matter where you eat them! (You may have heard of the NC version of pumas – the Carolina Panthers!)

The Recipe

Puma Bars
Yields 12
A delicious bar cookie made with whole wheat flour, wheat germ, pecans, brown sugar and peanut butter morsels
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Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
  1. 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  2. 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  3. 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  7. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  8. 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  9. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1 cup peanut butter morsels
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8" x 11 1/2" x 2" baking pan.
  2. Heat oil and nuts in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes or until light brown.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and beat well.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until just set.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
  1. Variations: Butterscotch or chocolate chips may be used in place of peanut butter morsels. Nuts other than pecans may be used, your choice.
Adapted from Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe
Adapted from Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe

The Methodology

The preparation for Puma Bars is done in one large saucepan. No mixing bowl or mixer needed! First, chopped pecans and grapeseed oil are combined in the large saucepan and heated over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat to cool.

Add the brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, whole wheat flour, white flour, wheat germ, baking powder and peanut butter chips to the saucepan and stir until well-combined.

Pour batter into a greased 8″ x 11 1/2″ x 2″ pan.

Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until just set. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

I find the combination of the flavor of peanut butter and wheat germ really enhance a cookie. I posted a recipe for Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps last June. If you’d like to see that recipe, Click here.  Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps have a different texture from most peanut butter cookies that are soft. 

I made several adaptations in the original recipe and I would encourage you to vary the ingredients to suit your particular preferences. The original recipe called for butterscotch morsels but I thought peanut butter morsels sounded better, perhaps due to the fact that I liked the Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps with that flavor combination.  Other chips could be used – chocolate, white chocolate or whatever you would like. I want to try the recipe next time with coconut oil in place of the original recipe’s canola oil. I find that coconut oil gives a nice flavor to just about any food to which it is added. So have fun with this recipe!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!


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