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Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars
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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/09/2011 21:50:04 MDT Print View

I tried her recipe some months ago, and it turned out good. Today I tried it again, and I made some changes to suit my own palate. Walnuts instead of macadamias. For the vanilla, I used half vanilla and half maple extract.

Also, I was trying to get better packing density, so when I had the breakfast cereal in the bag, I rolled it with a rolling pin, then crunched it by hand a bit.

It's still good. Thanks.

--B.G.--

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/09/2011 23:20:48 MDT Print View

So glad to hear that - thank you! :-D

Photobucket

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

Cran-Mac Caramel Bars

Ingredients

12 oz box cereal of choice
1/2 c dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 c chopped macadamia nuts
1 c honey
1 c white sugar
1 T molasses
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 c natural peanut butter


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.

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/10/2011 05:03:43 MDT Print View

Glad you mentioned it, Bob. I'm always trying to find a better energy bar recipe, and this looks like a very good one to try! How's the shelf life on these? I'm working my way through a batch from a similar recipe that uses a ton of honey and nuts. They're a little over a month old and still wicked good.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/10/2011 09:35:03 MDT Print View

Around here they never last long enough ;-)

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Re: Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/10/2011 10:21:29 MDT Print View

"Around here they never last long enough" <- Not Helpful :-P

Long storage life is good for sending mail drops to myself on long trails. Otherwise, short storage life is fine.

Justin Nelson
(jnelson871) - MLife

Locale: CA Bay Area
Re: Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/10/2011 12:13:07 MDT Print View

Sounds good to me. I will give these a try on my next trip. How filling are they? I try to keep my calories to around 130/oz.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Oh they fill you up! on 04/10/2011 13:16:03 MDT Print View

Just cut them in big chunks. It satisfies the need for crunchy/salty/sweet all in one :-)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/10/2011 13:48:17 MDT Print View

"How's the shelf life on these?"

I'm not sure. The first batch of these that I made some months ago came out a little sticky, so I wrapped each square with aluminum foil, and that was not air-tight. Then I stored a dozen of those in a plastic bag, and it was not air-tight either. They stayed good and crunchy for a month or two, and then the crunch got a little soft. But, that's OK. I didn't finish them for three months or so.

--B.G.--

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/10/2011 15:22:17 MDT Print View

I've probably made this recipe 20 times at least since Sarah first printed it. I, too, use walnuts, because they're what I have. I also double the walnuts and craisins in the recipe. I even made them once with a cup of chocolate chips, and amazingly, I didn't like them as well.

I've tried cheerios, wheaties, corn flakes, and bran flakes, and I've settled on corn flakes as my favorite cereal for them. I sometimes make two batches at once and cut each batch into 16 rectangles, then bag each one in its own baggie. They do keep just fine for several months - the longest I've tested their shelf life. Mr. B and I almost always take one each for our day trips, year 'round, which is why I make them so often. And of course, they're great for midday eating on our backpack trips. They do tend to get really hard when the temperature is below about 25 degrees, so if we take them on snow trips, we try to remember to put them in our pockets for awhile before trying to break our teeth on them. Someone in the first thread had asked about whether they have a strong peanut butter taste, and they don't. All the tastes blend nicely together.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/10/2011 18:31:01 MDT Print View

Heh...the teeth comment had me laughing! When I first made them I still had braces on so I had to break the bars apart and mush each "bite" between my fingers and then eat.

Now I chomp away happily.

Eating (and developing recipes) has been SO much easier since my braces came off :-D

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Re: Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/11/2011 04:23:58 MDT Print View

"They stayed good and crunchy for a month or two, and then the crunch got a little soft. But, that's OK. I didn't finish them for three months or so."

That sounds really great to me! I think I'll be making a few of these.

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/23/2011 15:12:53 MDT Print View

Alright, I'm a convert. These are fantastic. And relatively easy to make endless varieties. I'm on my second batch already! Thank you indeed, Sarah.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 04/23/2011 18:00:27 MDT Print View

Thanks! :-D

Michael Levy
(neweyes) - F
Awesome! on 08/20/2012 14:03:06 MDT Print View

I just used batch of these on my CT thru-hike and they were one of my favorite foods out there. Very easy to eat, well balanced flavor. I'm going to try a batch with some whey protein to see if I can optimize them for long exercise sessions.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 08/20/2012 14:34:15 MDT Print View

The only (small) problem I have with them is that they get very hard after a while. It would be neat if they stayed more on the chewy side. I'm afraid that I will break a tooth or something. I substitute walnuts for the macadamia nuts.

--B.G.--

Michael Levy
(neweyes) - F
Re: Re: Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 08/20/2012 18:25:17 MDT Print View

Over what time frame did they get hard? They were still nice and chewy for me five weeks after I made them.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Sarah's recipe for Cranberry Macadamia Cereal Bars on 08/20/2012 19:28:25 MDT Print View

"Over what time frame did they get hard? They were still nice and chewy for me five weeks after I made them."

Mine were rock-hard within a week or two. That suggests that there was something different about the way that I cooked the caramel mixture.

On something like ordinary cookies, I can make them softer by under-baking them.

--B.G.--