Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Little Smackerel

Packing lunches is not my forte, nor is figuring out what I am going to want to eat long, long before I actually feel hungry.  Lately, because of all the darn tylenol I am taking, I don't ever really feel hungry--I feel queasy.  Of course, if I don't eat, it gets worse, so hence, I must try to plan for nibbles even when I feel like ackewyuckyola.

The other day, I was pining for something with peanuts, and chocolate.  Of course, there were no Reese's cups to be found.  But a browse through the internets found me a recipe that served as a great starting point for what turned out to be an excellent cereal bar.  Sweet enough for a treat, and having cereal so it could technically qualify as breakfast, it made me really happy.

Plus, it is imminently packable.

Buenas Mananas bars ala The Chicken Lady

You'll need: six cups of cereal (I used half cornflakes and half rice crispies, although chex would also work for this); one cup of honey; one cup of brown sugar; one cup of peanut butter; 1 1/4 cups of roasted, unsalted peanuts; chocolate chips for melting and drizzling; butter for greasing the pan and waxed paper.

Prep a 9x13 pan by lightly buttering it, lining it with waxed paper or parchment paper, and then lightly buttering over the paper, too.  This mix is seriously sticky and you really do need to add the lubricating goodness of butter!

In a large bowl, combine the cereal and peanuts and mix well to combine.

In a small sauce pan, heat the honey and brown sugar until boiling and boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter--I had organic smooth PB and it took just a moment to blend in.  Pour this mixture over the cereal and nuts in the bowl, and stir well until it is completely coated.

Turn cereal mixture  out into the prepared pan, and pat it down lightly yet firmly (try not to smash the cereal too much) to pack it in well.  Allow it to sit and cool for about 10 minutes.  While you are waiting, melt your chocolate chips (I used about one cup) in either the microwave or on top of a double boiler, so that the chocolate is smooth and runny.  Drizzle melted chocolate over the cereal mixture, and allow it to cool and harden.  Once everything has set up, lift the bars out of the pan by way of the paper, and cut into three inch by 1 1/2 inch bars...or you can cut it up however you want to.  I find the bars make for happy packing in my lunch containers.

Try not to eat them all at one go.  These will even live in the fridge or the freezer for a while, if you can hang onto them that long. 

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