Saturday, February 26, 2011

More Baking Fun!

I like snacking.  There, it's out!  I feel so much better now.  And while I've been done to eat an entire pan of brownies by myself (no, not in one sitting, thank you!), I do occasionally try to make healthy snacks.

This past Sunday, I decided to make Michael's Energy Bars, by Michael Chiarello.  I've made these before, and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand, so now I'll share with you.

The dry ingredients.  The recipe calls for a half cup each of 3 different fruits, which can get expensive.  I used a packaged of mixed dried fruit, plus a half cup of dried cranberries.
Step one:  toast the oatmeal and almonds for 10 minutes.

Step two:  Place dried fruits and oatmeal/almond mixture in a food processor.  Pulse until coarsely chopped.

Step three:  Place egg, butter, molasses, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.

Beat until light and fluffy.

Step four:  Combine remaining dry ingredients and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

Step five:  Add to mixing bowl and blend well.

Step six:  Pour in milk and blend well.

Step seven:  Add fruit/oatmeal/nut mixture and blend in.

Step eight:  Pour evenly into a well buttered pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Step nine:  Cool in pan.  Remove and cut into 18 pieces.  (The directions say into 18 1"x4" pieces, but mine are squares.)

Super yummy!  The kids even like them, yet you know there is healthy stuff hiding inside!  What could be better?  I've found this is a versatile recipe.  Use whatever kind of dried fruits you like.  Substitute nuts if you want.  Don't like a strong molasses taste?  Try using half molasses and half honey.  Or all honey, if you'd prefer.  I've got some golden table syrup in my pantry that I think I'll try next time.  I'm not sure how much the nutritional information will vary with these substitutions, though.  I do know that I've substituted frequently, and never met a batch I didn't like.  I hope you try them and like them too!

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