Monday, March 7, 2011

Crumb topped Pecan Cherry Cereal Bars

Crumb-Topped Pecan Cherry Cereal Bars
Relish publication - March 2011

'Oats and puffed rice are combined with crunchy pecans to make an easy press-in dough that works double duty as a cookie-like bottom and crumbly top. A layer of cherry fruit spread in between adds fresh flavor and color.'

1 c. flour (Whole Wheat)
1 c. quick-cooking oats
1 c. puffed rice cereal (preferably brown rice)
1 c. chopped pecans
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. packed brown sugar (I used sucanat..non refined cane sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (10 oz.) jar cherry all-fruit spread

 Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Butter a 9" square baking pan.
 Combine flour, oats, puffed rice, pecans, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
 Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until well bended and creamy. Add dry ingredients and mix until moistened and a crumbly dough forms. Reserve 1-1/2 c. of the dough for the topping. Press remaining dough evenly into bottom of pan.
 Spread fruit spread evenly over dough in pan. Sprinkle reserved dough mixture over top, leaving some areas uncovered. Gently press down to adhere topping to fruit layer. Bake 30 minutes or until deep golden. Cook 15 minutes. Slice into 12 bars.

*Old-fashioned oats gives this a chewier texture.

** I found the puffed brown rice cereal at Walmart in the gluten free section.

***I think just about any kind of nut would be good in this recipe! Toasted slivered almonds I think would had a whole new flavor.

****I think using almond extract with the cherries would be an even better choice. I just think those 2 flavors go so well together.  Thinking I may try almond flour in the recipe in place of the wheat flour next time:-)

*****How 'bout trying some apricot jam instead!! Or boysenberry!! Maybe black raspberry!! Even blueberry would be delic!

I really want to make this again and throw in some toasted coconut! OH, the possibilities!!!

Revision # 1
Almond Blueberry Cereal Bars....Almond Flour in place of Whole Wheat Flour, Almonds in place of pecans, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and blueberry all fruit spread.  Wonderful!

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