Friday, November 4, 2011

Energy Bars

Have you had these energy bars?

They're made like Rice Krispies Treats with peanut butter and trail mix ingredients--but I haven't made them before a couple of weeks ago.

I had them at a craft show recently and thought my family would like them, so I rummaged through my pantry and refrigerator to see what I had on hand.


This was my first attempt and my family loved them.

I gave a few to my mother-in-law, she liked them so much she said she wanted to take some for omiyage when she visits Japan soon.

Then she hid them and didn't share them, she liked them so much.

She's funny sometimes.


I've already made them twice.

The first time I made them with an assortment of Chex cereals that I had in my pantry, but this time I'm making them with the called-for Rice Krispies.

They're a great way to use up left-over cereals.




Energy Bars

adapted from the Senshin Cookbook

Ingredients:

5 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups Quick Quaker Oats
4 cups assorted unsalted raw nuts--sunflower seeds, pepitas, cashews, almonds, pecans, peanuts or macadamia nuts
2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup diced dried apricots, raisins or dried berries

Mixture:

1/2 cup butter
2 (10 oz.) packages small marshmallows
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Optional:

1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
furikake nori



Put all the dry ingredients into an oven roasting pan and put into a 300ºF oven for about 6 minutes, then remove.

Transfer into a large bowl sprayed with non-stick spray.



I had measured all the ingredients into this sheet cake pan, but it didn't fit in the oven--but it was perfect for setting the energy bars.

Spray the pan (or two 9 x 13 inch baking pans) with non-stick spray and sprinkle 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds in each.



Over medium/low heat, melt 20 ounces marshmallows, 1 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup butter.



Stir frequently.



Stir and cook until mixture is smooth, well combined and all the marshmallows have melted.



Pour over dry ingredients and mix well with a shamoji or large spoon that has also been sprayed with non-stick spray.



Stir until all the oatmeal has been incorporated into the mixture and sticks together.



Turn mixture into the sheet pan or baking pans.

Sprinkle with remaining toasted sesame seeds.



As I was pressing the sesame seeds into the mixture, I wondered if adding furikake nori would give the energy bars a nice sweet/salty taste.

I've been sending the energy bars with Gary & Rick when they've gone golfing, and today Rick ate all the ones with furikake on them first.



It's easy to simply sprinkle a little furikake nori on part of the batch of energy bars.




When they're cool, cut into squares or small rectangles that you can wrap in waxed paper and twist the ends closed, or simply put into an airtight container.


Itadakimasu!





***




Remember my mother-in-law?

She made her Cheese Macaroni here on FOODjimoto?



My mother-in-law has been working on a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle since January.

I posted this picture of it a little while ago in my Grilled Fresh Trout post.



She finished it!

It took her a long time--I gave her this puzzle last Christmas.

My in-laws used to do jigsaw puzzles a lot when my kids were little but stopped when one of the younger grandkids came over and messed the puzzle up.

They haven't done another one until this year--and it was such a difficult one!


She couldn't have finished it without my son Rick.

Rick was conscientious about going over to help Bachan finish The Puzzle.

Whenever we'd go over to help, there would be several pieces--sometimes more than twenty--placed in the wrong spots, but Rick would never call out that he took out a misplaced one.

He's nice like that.



The last time Rick and I worked on The Puzzle we left it like this--with just a little bit left and hoping she would be able to finish it herself.

Sure enough--the next day The Puzzle was done.

Bachan and Jichan finished it the next morning.

Sometimes Bachan wouldn't get one single piece in The Puzzle for A WHOLE WEEK--but she didn't give up and persevered until it was done.

She worked on it for ten months and wanted to hang The Puzzle on the wall when it was done.



When it was done, there were four pieces missing--we all looked high and low, but couldn't find them.

But Bachan didn't let that get her down--she still loved The Puzzle and she decided she was going to make pieces to fill the gaps.

My husband went to help her and they cut pieces from the picture that comes with the puzzle, to fit into the places of the missing pieces.

Then Gary and his sister Nancy helped their mom spread glue over the pieces and frame it.

The Puzzle is finally done.

It was a nice project that brought the family together.

She's got it hanging in the living room right next to the entry so everyone can see it.




***




Energy Bars



Ingredients:

5 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups Quick Quaker Oats
4 cups assorted unsalted raw nuts--sunflower seeds, pepitas, cashews, almonds, pecans, peanuts or macadamia nuts
2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup diced dried apricots, raisins or dried berries

Mixture:

1/2 cup butter
2 (10 oz.) packages small marshmallows
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Optional:

furikake nori


Preheat oven to 300ºF. Spray 2 9 x 13 inch baking pans with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds in each. 

Put the cereal, oats, nuts and dried fruit into another large pan and roast in the oven for 6 minutes, then remove and transfer to a large bowl sprayed with non-stick spray.

On medium/low heat, melt butter, marshmallows and peanut butter, stirring frequently until marshmallows are melted thoroughly. Pour sauce over mixture of dry ingredients, mixing quickly with a large shamoji or large spoon sprayed with non-stick spray. Divide into two 9 x 13 inch baking dishes and pat down firmly. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds before giving a final pat.

Cool. Cut into desired sizes. Wrap in waxed paper. Store in air tight container.

5 comments:

  1. Hi, Karolyn! Ooo, I think I have most of these ingredients! Can something else be used instead of the peanut butter? Some of us have peanut issues... :( And I suppose I could just use more cereal since some of us also have oat issues...? This recipe will be great! I can make granola bars that I can eat! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love everything about this post! These bars will be great for rock climbing trips. AND... I got a little weepy when I read how everyone came together to help finish The Puzzle. I love you guys!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for the comments!

    @Robbie--Can you use almond or sesame butter? You can put anything in there that works! :)

    @Kelly--I thought of you and your climbing photos when I was making the bars! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your thrifting and blogging. Miss you! :)

    ReplyDelete