No-bake cookies and bars were the first treats I learned to make on my own. The recipes were always extra easy, usually included some kind of cereal and always made a big batch.
I got my Brownie “Baking” badge by making peanut butter cereal squares all by myself and I learned to make Rice Krispies squares over a fire at summer camp.
There is a lot to be said for getting kids cooking at a young age. When you have mastered cereal squares then it’s onto chocolate chip cookies, and may be a cake or muffins….
This is the lasting value of the Brownie “Baking” badge:
- Once you develop a taste for homemade treats it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed by the packaged version.
- Setting kids free in the kitchen builds their confidence in the kitchen and that little bit of know-how will stand them in good stead when they’re off on their own. There’s a chance they’ll do more cooking from scratch, rely less on processed, packaged foods and be healthier over all.
So here I am, back where it all began, making cereal squares.
It had been years (decades?) since I last cooked with Rice Krispies and when I first tasted Vanessa’s squares I realised how much I loved that unmistakable crispy texture. They can transform a granola bar (just ask my kids).
This is one of those recipes that you can adapt to suit your tastes by mixing and matching the nut, seed, dried fruit, chocolate combinations.
Vanessa’s crispy almond butter granola bars
- 2 cups rolled oats (not instant), gluten free if that’s what you require
- 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal (gluten free variety)
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (or a combination)
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips or dried cranberries (or both)
Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper or grease it thoroughly. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine rolled oats, cereal and ground flax.
Measure out the slivered almonds and chocolate chips and set aside.
In a small saucepan combine molasses and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves then bring to a boil for 30 seconds to a minute.
Remove from heat and quickly add almond butter. Stir to combine.
Working quickly, pour sugar mixture over dry ingredients and mix well.
Quickly add the almonds and chocolate chips, using your hands if necessary.
Still working quickly, press into prepared pan.
Cool and cut into squares. Makes 24 squares
2.2 gr fibre
Good source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese
If you’re into gluten-free treats try our coconut almond energy balls.