Remember cereal bars from the 1970s?
My mom made them all the time. She was forever on the lookout for big batch sweets because there were seven of us kids rushing in the door after school each day, famished and ready to devour anything on the counter.
Mom used to buy these huge bags of puffed wheat cereal that were about half the size of our dishwasher.
I swear they took up a full seat in the car coming home from the grocery store.
I wasn’t much for eating puffed wheat or puffed rice with milk (too much floating and the sugar wouldn’t stick) but I loved the big batch cereal bars. A little chewy, they always seemed to last longer than a cookie and mom cut them into nice big squares.
It was likely cereal squares that I made to get my “Baker” badge in Brownies. They’re that easy. Just melt a few ingredients together in a big pot, stir in the cereal and press them into a pan. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool.
The only hitch with mom’s recipe is that they used to stick together in the tin. A thin coating of dark chocolate on the top mostly takes care if that and it dresses them up a bit.
(Did you get your “Baker” badge in Brownies?)
There are so many kinds of puffed cereal available these days that you can make a different kind of cereal bar every week, if you like. Here’s a chewy gluten-free version with puffed millet:
Almond butter cereal bars
Inspired by Aida Mollenkamp and my mom
- 10 Tbsp. almond butter (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp.)
- 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 3 ½ cups puffed kamut, rice, millet or quinoa
- ½ cup (heaping) of dark chocolate pieces (chocolate chips or 70% bar broken into pieces)
- Like an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
- In a large pot over medium heat combine the almond butter, molasses and honey or maple syrup.
- Stir until it comes to a gentle boil.
- Let it bubble for 30 seconds to a minute then add the vanilla, salt and pour in the cereal.
- Stir well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Scrape the mixture into the prepared plan.
- Press lightly to spread and flatten.
- While they’re cooling on the counter, melt the chocolate in a heavy pot, in the microwave or in a double boiler.
- Spread melted chocolate over top of the squares and refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
- Cut into squares.
Best eaten within two days.
Do you prefer your cereal squares crispy? Try our Crispy almond butter granola bars
One more thing…
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Here’s to eating well, everyday,