Ok. I am trying to come up with healthy and affordable snacks for the kids to take to school. The school provides a good lunch, but they need nibbles during the day too. I used to provide cereal bars and things like that – still do – but they are very expensive here, as are fruit snacks, dried fruit and nuts. Yes, I know that fresh fruit and veggies would be ideal, but they aren’t always portable, and they don’t always get eaten in a timely manner, which is wasteful. They can eat squished granola bars – squished bananas are not very nice. I am also limited because both kids have children in their classes with severe allergies so no peanuts. I also do not like candy (obviously), cookies, chips, and the like. Crackers and real cheeses (not cheese products – blech!) are good, but not for every day, and there’s the wastage problem like with fruit and veg. There’s a local string cheese – like mozzarella, but very salty. They like that sometimes. Anyway…
Today I made some cereal bars. This is a mashed up recipe, frankensteined from multiple recipes I’ve read for inspiration and portions, and using local ingredients.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars
1/2 cup butter (warmed)
3/4 cup brown sugar (I used natural brown granulated sugar cane sugar – not the fine ground, dark brown sugar like I am used to using in recipes in the US)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup (I would have preferred molasses, but didn’t have any)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups quaker oats (I used quick cooking, not instant – uncooked)
1 cup sultanas (rinsed and plumped just slightly -Raisins in the big grocery stores, are expensive. So are nuts – and most nuts are roasted as dry as paper! I got these sultanas and walnuts at a small grocer, where they were being sold by the kilo at a good price.)
1 cup walnuts (chopped fairly small)
* Cream together the butter and both sugars.
* Add the corn syrup and mix well
* Stir in eggs and vanilla
* Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt and oats. Mix well.
* Add raisins and nuts. Mix well again. Batter will be very thick.
* Preheat oven to 350F
For bars, press into 13X9X2 baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars. I assume these could be cookies too – drop by tablespoons on a cookie sheet and cook for ?8? minutes (the batter is thick!) I haven’t tried that yet.
The verdict – delivered when the kids got home from school: “Momma can I have another? Can I have the rest of yours?” Yes, they do want to have them as a school snack. And when I said that I could experiment with other recipes, they said “No! We like these!”