Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

August 19, 2011

BOTW: Chocolate-Cherry Snack Bars

Back-to-school is upon us.  My kids begin next week, so my hiatus from preparing boxed lunches is over.  I like to keep things tasty, healthy and new for their lunchbox so they don't become bored, so I'm constantly looking for new recipes.  This week's 'Best of the Web' is from Eating Well and had back to school written all over it.  My kids are gonna love it.




















I love cherries and chocolate together but you can substitute any dried fruit with this recipe....apricot would be delicious also!

Chocolate-Cherry Snack Bars

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups unsweetened puffed wheat cereal
1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped medium-fine
1/3 cup salted roasted pepitas {hulled pumpkin seeds}
1/4 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips or finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
Preparation:

1.Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 300°F. Line an 8-inch-square pan with parchment paper, letting it overhang on two opposite sides.

2.Toss cereal, pecans, pepitas, cherries {or cranberries}, sesame seeds and ground flaxseeds in a large bowl.

3.Combine honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the honey is more fluid and the salt is dissolved. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until everything is moistened and sticky. Let cool for 5 minutes. Fold in chips {or chopped chocolate} until evenly distributed. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a fork. Using the back of the fork, press the mixture very firmly all over. {Alternatively, cover with parchment paper and press firmly all over}.

4.Bake until the top is golden brown, about 35 minutes. {If in doubt, take it out so the honey does not burn}. Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the bars. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Use the ends of the parchment to lift the bars from the pan. Gently peel off the parchment. Use a heavy sharp knife to cut into 16 bars or squares.

Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Store airtight for up to 1 week.
Equipment: parchment paper

Photo and recipe credit goes to Eating Well.

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