Cherry and Chocolate Energy Bars
I have to say that these bars were so delicious, crunchy texture with sweet-slightly sour and nutty flavor. Packed with goodness and yumminess. Not only kids love them, grown-ups also can't have enough.
puffed wheat cereal
pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
salted and roasted
or dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
ground flax seed
mini chocolate chips
prefer bittersweet, or finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
Position a rack in lower third of oven, preheat to 300Â°F.
Line an 8-inch-square pan with parchment paper, allowing it to overhang on two opposite sides.
Mix together cereal, pecans, pepitas, cherries (or cranberries), sesame seeds and ground flaxseeds in a large bowl.
Add honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan.
Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the honey is more fluid and the salt is dissolved.
Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until everything is moistened and sticky.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Fold in chips (or chopped chocolate) until evenly distributed.
Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a fork.
Using the back of the spoon or fork, press the mixture very firmly all over. (Alternatively, cover with parchment paper and press firmly all over.)
Bake until the top is golden brown, 35 to 38 minutes, do not let the honey burn.
Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the bars.
Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Use the ends of the parchment to lift the bars from the pan.
Gently remove the parchment.
Cut into 16 squares.
Serve or store at an air-tight container.