Monday, July 1, 2013

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars




Do you ever get those custom-selected-just-for-you coupons in the mail from your local grocery store? The kind you're happy to get because they're mostly for things you buy, but at the same time give you that creepy feeling that they know just a little too much about you? I have such a love-hate relationship with those grocery club cards. They give me such sweet discounts and yet they're like little plastic spies that report back to HQ about everything I buy. Double-edged sword.

Anyway, for some reason, in one of these recent mailers, I got a coupon for a free box of plain Cheerios. Totally scot free--no "buy this, get that" hanky-panky. This struck me as a little odd (though I'm sure it's totally calculated) because I have never in my life purchased plain Cheerios, not even when my kids were babies. Undoubtedly, the good old Kroger corporation wants to offer me these free Cheerios in the hope that my kids and I will like them and become repeat buyers. Well, sorry, Kroger, you lost that gamble…but if you're gonna give me a box for freeeeee, I'm sure as heck gonna take it.

The problem is, the coupon was only good for the enormous box-to-end-all-boxes size of Cheerios. This one:


(pictured with monster finger puppets for scale)

I think Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on this box of Cheerios. This leaves me with 18 bajillion ounces of plain Cheerios and no one who genuinely wants to eat them. (Knowing this, I was going to donate them to church, but ended up opening them when my 4-year-old wanted to try them…then he decided they weren't flavorful enough and that he didn't want them after all.) Okay, so 18 bajillion ounces of plain Cheerios minus the approximately 12 my 4-year-old ate. 

This being the case, I thought I'd try my hand at making cereal bars. My kids consider the granola bars from Trader Joe's a special treat (probably has something to do with them being covered in chocolate), so I'm hoping these Cheerio bars hold the same sway. Plus, it's always nice to feed them something that doesn't contain palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, and other mystery ingredients--though, admittedly, these are a bit high in sugar. Kids are asleep right now (how else would I be blogging uninterrupted, right?) so I'll have to let you know the verdict in the morning!

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars
(Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup rolled oats
3 cups toasted oat cereal (aka "we're not allowed to say Cheerios")

In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar and honey. Bring to a boil (large bubbles bursting on surface) and stir for one minute, then remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter until well blended. Stir in the rolled oats and cereal. Use a strip of wax paper to press into a generously greased 9 inch square pan. Allow to cool until firm, then cut into bars.



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