Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars
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Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 03/05/2010 08:38:31 MST Print View

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.

http://www.trailcooking.com/recipes/cran-mac-caramel-bars

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

Instructions:

At home:
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").
Notes

Notes:
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.

Dicentra OPW
(dicentra) - F

Locale: PNW
RE: Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 03/05/2010 11:35:26 MST Print View

Well YUM!!! Save me one! :)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 03/09/2010 09:36:07 MST Print View

Here is a photo of the bars:
Photobucket

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
hello, deliciousness! on 03/09/2010 10:41:47 MST Print View

My one question is do they taste peanut buttery? Carmelized sounds amazing but I am seriously burnt out on bars with a noticeable peanut flavor.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: hello, deliciousness! on 03/09/2010 10:48:30 MST Print View

Just sub cashew/almond/sunflower butter.
picky picky.
;)

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 03/09/2010 12:47:24 MST Print View

Where's the chocolate? !!

Since I don't buy or eat store-bought cereal, I need some actual names for ideas. Please don't say rice crispies. I already know I won't buy those. Wheat chex? Grape nuts?

I'm getting mighty impatient for late-breaking news about your new addition. Any action yet?

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Re: hello, deliciousness! on 03/09/2010 12:53:06 MST Print View

Haha yes, it's true. I am a bit particular!

Good point about the other butters! PB is what I have on hand, though... and I'd be willing to use it, but only if the taste is barely noticeable :P

Also I'd love to hear how long these last in terms of freshness. Whenever I make bars they get eaten too quickly to find out!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 03/09/2010 14:27:22 MST Print View

On nut butters? You want heaven? Get cashew butter. OMG! Droooool! I didn't find the PB taste to be really heavy though - but I used natural style Adam's (you know the really oily stuff). Sunflower butter is very, very mild - it blends right in.

The sugars do really create a flavor that is strong :-)

Kathleen....add chocolate chips! You can definitely change this recipe to one's liking. On cereal brands? My favorites are Costco ones....they make some awesome ones. Think of using a cereal with flakes, nuggets and other shapes. That gives good texture. One that would work would be http://www.postcereals.com/cereals/honey_bunches_of_oats/ - especially the Just Bunches version.

On storage? I'd say a week. You will want to wrap them tightly. You could wrap in wax paper, then in a snack size zip bag. But they won't last - they are too good to not eat ;-)

Now on the baby? Soon! :-) He seems to be liking the All You Can Eat Buffet and Warm Shelter quite nicely and sees no reason to leave - though he has dropped and things are progressing as they should :-) He is a big baby and the suggestion is he could reach 9 to 10 lbs. So anywhere from today to a couple more short weeks :-)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 03/09/2010 15:31:33 MST Print View

Give over Sarah - some of us are trying to keep our weight down!

Cheers

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 03/09/2010 15:55:24 MST Print View

The diet version is you hike with 11 other people and let them share the pan of them ;-)

JR Redding
(GrinchMT) - F
Re: Diet on 03/09/2010 22:40:41 MST Print View

Might be better to make these using Brown Rice syrup instead of all that sugar. Make them a tad crispier and healthier by doing so as well.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
agave nectar on 03/10/2010 06:39:39 MST Print View

Joe... agave nectar is a good substitution in many recipes as it has a lower glycemic index than regular refined white sugar.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Diet on 03/10/2010 09:26:28 MST Print View

Pffft! Brown rice syrup is still "sugar" when it comes down to it.

These bars are not for diet conscious folks. They are meant for an indulgence - and long hiking trips are often that one time people can indulge.

Not everything must be considered healthy. The ingredients are all simple items, no need to make it into a trip to the health food store.

If I wanted brown rice syrup I'd eat Cliff Bars.

And on using syrups: the recipe would need to be tweaked to work - for any syrup. It also would affect the final flavor. There is a reason there is 3 sweeteners added! They produce a certain flavor.

But hey, go ahead and try it!

Dicentra OPW
(dicentra) - F

Locale: PNW
Pam or Butter? on 03/10/2010 10:16:37 MST Print View

Which works better to get these out of the pan?

And heck yeah add chocolate!!!

Wesley Witt
(weswitt)

Locale: Northwest
Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 03/10/2010 10:20:47 MST Print View

These look really good and I'll definitely make some for my next trip. If there anything like Sarah's other bar recipes they will be very tasty for sure.

I did a quick calorie count and the recipe came out at 5607 total calories using a granola for the cereal ingredient. If you cut the recipe into 12 bars you get 467 calories per bar, which is a nice energy kick.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 03/10/2010 10:24:57 MST Print View

Wesley....Lol! Now there is a calorie count ;-) Oinky goodness!

JR Redding
(GrinchMT) - F
Re: Brown Rice Syrup on 03/10/2010 12:35:42 MST Print View

You know Sarah, the way you take things personally continues to shine through.

There is a huge difference between Brown Rice Syrup vs. Refined White Sugar. As an example, Brown rice Syrup is an organic natural sweetner that has a lower glycemic index which for some people is important, indulgence or not. The way Brown Rice Syrup and Refined White sugar react in the body is the difference proving that it's not "just sugar" too as you have implied.

It's a viable alternative in your otherwise nice recipe. Rather than going "pfffft" and carrying on like someone's suggestion is completely ignorant isn't really all that professional. The point of these discussions are to offer input and opinions. If you don't like what someone offers, that's fine, but maybe you should consider not posting them for comment if you are not going to keep an open mind into improving or changing something to suit all people as opposed to just yourself. At the minimum, maybe the high school esque "pffffftt's" could be kept out of it?

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
benefits of lower glycemic index on 03/10/2010 14:15:19 MST Print View

In defence of the lower glycemic index alternatives to white/refined sugars... there can be benefits such as prolonging physical endurance. Higher GI foods will cause a sudden spike which can also be useful but combined with lower GI choices one can have both immediate and longer term benefits.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Brown Rice Syrup on 03/10/2010 15:58:24 MST Print View

Joe- maybe take a chill pill. I don't think you know Sarah as well as you imply "the way you take things personally continues to shine through"
She was just being "light hearted" and "casual". I think you might want to look in the mirror to see if there is a chip on your shoulder and maybe flick it off. We are talking about something with over 470 calories per bar- and yes "pffffft" about whether replacing different sugars is going to make a big deal. She likes the way they taste with regular sugar and has an opinion about "her" bars.

Send me back to High School, I liked the light hearted and totally unpretentious "pfffffft"

JR Redding
(GrinchMT) - F
Re: Tad on 03/10/2010 17:25:08 MST Print View

You don't have any idea of the history involved and that's ok, you don't need to. No chill pills needed.

Edited by GrinchMT on 03/10/2010 17:26:11 MST.