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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Tips for Making Molasses Wheat Germ Bread


 What is Wheat Germ?

Wheat Germ is the heart of the wheat berry. It has a delicious nutty taste and contains Vitamin E and Folic Acid, both nutrients that contribute to a healthy heart as well as phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and fiber.

I can remember Wheat Germ back to my childhood when my Great-Grandmother used it in her wonderful muffins so I was delighted to find this recipe a few years ago for Molasses Wheat Germ Bread. If you like wheat germ, check out my recipes for Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps and Hunza Bread.

Molasses Wheat Germ Bread

Molasses Wheat Germ Bread is also flavored with molasses and brown sugar. Molasses is a viscose by-product of the refining of sugar cane or sugar beets into sugar. Molasses varies by the amount of sugar, method of extraction, and age of plant. Cane molasses is a common ingredient in baking and cooking.

Molasses Wheat Germ Bread is fat-free so you can have some butter with this bread without feeling the least bit of guilt!

To make Molasses Wheat Germ Bread, warm water, yeast, brown sugar and 1 cup of the whole wheat flour are mixed together and allowed to sit for 15 minutes. I put this together in the Bosch Universal Plus mixer and placed the plastic lid on top while it was bubbling. Here’s what is should look like:

Then 15 minutes later:

Then molasses, nonfat dry milk, sea salt and more warm water are added to the initial mixture.

Next, wheat germ, whole wheat flour and white flour are added and kneaded thoroughly.

The Molasses Wheat Germ Bread dough is allowed to stand for 10 minutes. The dough is punched down and allowed to stand in a warm place for another 10 minutes. Then the dough is punched down, shaped into 3 loaves and placed into 9″ x 5″ loaf pans, and allowed to rise for 30 minutes.

The loaves are baked at 350°F. for 40 minutes, or until bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Turn loaves out of pans and onto a cooling rack.

The Recipe

Here’s a printable version of the recipe for Molasses Wheat Germ Bread:

Molasses Wheat Germ Bread
Yields 3
A wonderful bread flavored with molasses, brown sugar and wheat germ. This bread is fat-free!
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  1. 2 cups warm water
  2. 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
  3. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  5. 1/2 cup dark molasses
  6. 2 1/2 cups warm water
  7. 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  8. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  9. 1/3 cup wheat germ
  10. 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  11. 4 cups white flour
  1. Beat together in a large bowl (in the mixer bowl, if using it): 2 cups warm water, yeast, brown sugar and 1 cup whole wheat flour. Let stand in a warm place for 15 minutes.
  2. Add molasses, 2 1/2 cups warm water, nonfat dry milk and sea salt and beat thoroughly.
  3. Stir in wheat germ, whole wheat flour and white flour and knead thoroughly. Let stand in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  4. Punch down dough, knead for 1 minute, then let stand in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil three 9" x 5" loaf pans.
  6. Punch down dough, shape into three loaves, and place into pans. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes, or until bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom.

 Tips for Making Molasses Wheat Germ Bread

*Make sure all ingredients are fresh. Yeast in particular must be fresh, and not past its expiration date, to do its job of making the bread rise. Whole wheat flour also must be fresh for the best flavor to be produced in breads.

*Water used for bread should be water good enough to drink. Temperature of water used in bread should be between 105°F. and 115°F.  To be sure water is of the correct temperature, use a thermometer.

*For ease of removing molasses from measuring cup, first spray the inside of the measuring cup with pan-release spray. The molasses will release from the cup without effort.

*Pay attention to times specified for dough risings. Set a timer so you won’t forget and the dough will be perfectly risen.

Enjoy some homemade bread soon!

Remember to Savor the Flavor and Aroma of Homemade Bread!