I added these yesterday to our website. These are not traditional energy or granola bars. They are very sweet I'll admit - and could pass as dessert - but are quite tasty! They carry tightly wrapped for a couple days, up to a week. They do get very hard in cold weather though, be forewarned.
Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars
12 oz box cereal of choice
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup honey
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup natural peanut butter
Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray or butter it. Set aside.
In a large and tall saucepan heat the honey, sugar and molasses till it comes to a full boil. Take it off the heat and quickly stir in the peanut butter and then the vanilla. Mix in the cereal, cranberries and nuts with a wooden or silicone spoon till fully coated.
Dump into the pan and spread out, then pack in tightly. Let cool for at least an hour to set up. Cut into portions and tightly wrap in plastic wrap.
These bars carry well in a pack and do not fall apart as they are dense and nicely sticky.
Makes one tray (bars depend on your concept of a "serving").
This recipe was featured in the March/April 2010 issue of Washington Trails magazine on page 35. http://www.wta.org/trail-news/magazine
For the cereal choose a type with texture, flakes and crunchies work well. It doesn't need to be a sweet cereal as the caramel base is sweet enough on its own. If you have a favorite high protein/fiber cereal, by all means use it. Look for a 12 to 13 ounce box preferably.
And of course you can swap in your favorite nuts and dried fruits!
For the peanut butter crunchy is the best.