We had to make a run down to Rochester today and since Jeff is working from home tomorrow, we are pushing back treat day this week to Thursday. Look for what we are sending in this week in Wednesday's post.
We've been a little low in the homemade snack department, so yesterday I made these Maple-Cinnamon Granola Bars to take with us today. Stuffed with lots of good ingredients, these bars are composed of rolled oats, brown rice cereal, whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, powdered milk and a sprinkling of cinnamon. If you don't already have brown rice cereal handy, you could just as well substitute Rice Krispies (the cocoa variety would be nice!) or another small crispy cereal. The powdered milk will add a little richness and tender quality to the bars - however, if you want a protein boost, you can use a soy protein powder instead.
They probably don't sound too exciting to far, right? To get the flavor going, pure maple syrup, peanut butter, just a little oil and a couple splashes of vanilla are whisked together to moisten and hold the bars together. If you want to toss in a handful of chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, cinnamon chips or toffee bits, I wouldn't complain, but we left them as-is for simple bars. If you are not a fan of maple syrup, switching it up with a bit of Lyle's Golden Syrup, honey or brown rice syrup would probably work well. I'd also like to try these with some of the homemade cashew, hazelnut or almond nutbutters that I often make.
When the bars are almost done baking, you'll want to take them out and quickly cut/score them into bars (I used a sturdy bench knife), then put them back in the oven for a couple more minutes. I didn't think this was completely necessary, but it did aid in cutting them neatly once they had cooled. These are definitely in the softer realm of granola bars, but they were decidedly chewy, a little sweet and pretty filling. This is a good base recipe that you could change up in a variety of ways to suit your tastes or pantry stock.
Maple-Cinnamon Granola Bars