Audrey turns Ann's no-bake Homemade Clif Bars into a baked version, with inspiration from the process photos released by the makers of Clif Bar.
- 1 and 1/4 cups muri (puffed rice from a Bengali grocery store)
- 1 c uncooked quick-cooking oats
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal) - Note: I may omit this or substitute. Not sure yet.
- ¼ c finely chopped dried fruit (e.g., raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.)
- ¼ c finely chopped nuts or seeds (pepitas are great)
- 1/3 c pureed banana syrup, cooked down to the thickness of honey (I used 3 whole overripe bananas to make this)
- ½ c peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
Combine the puffed rice, oats, flaxseed meal, dried fruit, and nuts in a large bowl.
Combine the banana syrup and nut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted and well-blended (alternatively microwave in small microwave-safe bowl 30-60 seconds until melted). Stir in vanilla until blended.
Pour nut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated (use a wooden spoon at first, then get your hands in it. It will be sticky, but this way you can really coat everything. Just scrape off your hands when you're done).
Form a log the long way across a big cutting board. Cut log into 9 equal pieces.
Shape the pieces into Clif Bar shapes and transfer to a large rectangular baking dish coated with butter or olive oil. Or use parchment paper or a Silpat if you have that. I'm not sure if we have either of those. I'll have to look in the garage.
Bake at 300°F for 20 minutes, or until the bars turn lightly brown and are firm to the touch.
Stack bars in an airtight glass container, separated by wax paper.
Refrigerate so they last longer and provide relief for a teething little girl.
Photos from the makers of Clif Bar:
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Replace the dried fruit with an equal amount of semisweet miniature chocolate chips (or carob chips). Combine the cereal mixture with the syrup mixture, then let the combined mixture stand 10 minutes before adding the chips.
Use chopped cranberries for the dried fruit and raw pepitas for the nuts/seeds. Use either honey or brown rice syrup.
Peanut Butter Cookie
Use chopped dates for the dried fruit and dry roasted peanuts for the nuts. Use honey, or half honey-half molasses for the syrup and peanut butter for the nut butter.
Will You Cherry Me?
Use chopped dried tart cherries for the fruit and lightly salted roasted almonds for the nuts. Use any nut butter (almond butter is great, but I know, a bit pricey--but worth it!), and add ¼ teaspoon almond extract.
Use chopped dried apples for the fruit and rice syrup or honey for the syrup. Be sure to add the cinnamon option, and use toasted walnuts or pecans for the nuts.