My younger sister, Kathy, gave me a wonderful present for my birthday—a huge baking cookbook! She either wants me to bake for her or to bake better for her, and I couldn’t be more grateful. This book has bare minimum basics, like explaining what “knead” means—I’ve been trying to bake for a while without ever learning these basics. When we were kids and my mom (a great baker who reminded me just how great with a delicious birthday carrot cake) began teaching us, I always opted out. The measurements frustrated me and there were so many rules. Most of the time I would go play outside and wait for the food to be ready. My sisters were much defter than I, though I wouldn’t learn it until I attempted to start baking in my early twenties, and they learned in their childhoods the cakes and cookies, brownies, pastries, and crepes that I’m now struggling to figure out. All I really remember (vaguely) is zucchini bread—probably because of my fondness for green vegetables.
Since I keep a decently healthy or, at least, health-conscious diet now, I’m always on the look-out for nutritious baked goods. The cookbook has some gems: date bars, fig newtons, energy bites, and cereal bars. This weekend, I ate my last bran muffin, and decided to give the cereal bars a try for breakfast. My recipe ended up significantly different from the cookbook’s, but I value the base recipe given, which included mashed bananas and light corn syrup—things I wouldn’t have known to include.
I’m entering the bars into WBB#12, hosted by The Spice Who Loved Me. The theme this time is a breakfast food made with spice(s). The only spice in these bars is cinnamon but all the other flavors pack such a punch on their own, that many spices weren’t needed. I guess due to an American childhood of cinnamon toast and the occasional doughnut, I always like cinnamon in my breakfast baked-goods!
Oven Temp: 350°
Details: 11 x 7 x 1½ baking sheet. Prep 25 minutes, baking 30 minutes.
- 2 mashed bananas
- 1/2 dried, chopped apricots*
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 pumpkin seed granola
- 4 tbsp. flax seed
- 1/2 whole wheat flour
- 1 cup oats
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1/4 light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup butter
*The fruits, granola, and flax seed are subject to taste, and my measurements can be used as approximates. Next time, I think I’ll put in more flax seed, and maybe some chocolate chips!
- Grease baking sheet.
- Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in corn syrup.
- Add first 8 ingredients to saucepan and mix well. Spoon into tin.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with cinnamon and, if you prefer, sugar.
- Slice into about 14 bars. The bars will keep in the fridge for a few days, or you can individually wrap (and then put in an airtight container) and freeze for about 2 months.