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Road Trip Prep July 21, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff, Surly Boy.

Surly Boy came in around 3:30 Monday morning. He may have been drinking – he evidently knocked stuff down the stairs. I figured that since he’d probably be sleeping for a while (he’s like that), I’d put together some  energy bars with grape nuts and dried cranberries and peanut butter for the ride and for The Boy to snack on at the re-education camp.

So these energy bars – I started with a recipe, then I tweeked it and played with it and adjusted it. . . and now I LOVE them!  😀


The first thing I do is dump some Grape Nuts™ cereal (or a store-brand knock-off) into a big bowl:

  • 4 cups cereal
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds

And stir it up, then set it aside.

Meanwhile, get a 9×13″ pan and line with a sheet of parchment or waxed paper in it so it covers the bottom and hangs over each end by a couple of inches.  The paper will go up the sides of the pan too – that’s good; you want that.

Then grab a medium-ish saucepan (you’ll want to use something with a non-stick finish) and melt together over medium heat:


  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ cups sugar

Bring this mixture to a gentle boil and cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

And for what it’s worth, it’s REALLY hard to stir molten peanut butter and honey with the dog’s nose in the way, trying to get “just one little sniff” of peanut butter. 🙄


I’m not going anywhere until you hand over the peanut butter.

Note to self:  I think the dog may have a serious problem – we might need to schedule a peanut butter intervention soon.

PhotobucketOnce the peanut butter mixture has boiled, CAREFULLY! pour it into the cereal mixture.  Remember that this is sugar (brown sugar and honey) and fat (peanut butter = lots of peanut oil) that has been boiling for the past couple of minutes.  And it’s HOT!  I’m just saying. 😉

Then just gently stir the two mixtures together.   Oh, and if you’re using a stainless bowl, remember that it is an efficient conductor of heat – the bowl will get hot very quickly!  😳

PhotobucketSpread the bars into the parchment (or waxed paper)-lined pan and walk away.

Let it cool several hours, preferably overnight, at which point you can just lift the paper up out of the still-clean pan.

Pretty neat, huh?  😛


At this point, you just cut it into whatever sized bars you want – I find that cutting into 16 granola-bar sized bars is fine if I’m going to be using these for breakfast, or if it’s for Surly Boy.   If it’s just for me for snacks, though, squares about half that size are more in order.  They’re very filling – if I cut them too big,  I either end up not eating lunch, or, if it’s an “afternoon snack,” I don’t want dinner.  😯


I told you I’m not going anywhere without the peanut butter.

I wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap – I’ll probably give The Boy half of them, and I’ll bring a few for The Road.

The rest will probably end up being breakfast for a couple of days – I have a feeling I’m going to need all the help in the “energy” department I can get.


Oh, and believe it or not, tightly wrapped, these energy bars will keep for at least a couple of weeks without any problem.  You know, if you were to, say, bring a bunch to work and stash them in a desk drawer and then somehow forget they were there. . . if something like that were to happen.  Not that I’d know from personal experience or anything.  🙄



1. Mazco34 - July 21, 2009

Question: I’m not that big on cranberries. Are there other choices for fruit?
Maybe blueberries? Is there such a thing as dried blueberries?

Toy Lady - July 21, 2009

Sure Maz – you could put whatever fruit in that you want. And I’m reasonably sure I’ve seen dried blueberries – I think Sam’s or BJ’s carries these:

I know Sam’s has bags of mixed dried fruit. . .

2. anne - July 21, 2009

Smoosh it into the pan and walk away. Hahahahaha! Um, you don’t give any instruction as to how much of the mixture to leave clinging to the bowl, spoon, spatula, etc. I could envision that the recipe might have as much as 1/4-1/2 cup too much, which needs to be consumed directly out of the bowl while still warm.

Unless you have a very sad brown eyed dawg, in which case it must be consumed directly out of the bowl while still warm from inside a small closet. In the dark. Quietly.

Toy Lady - July 21, 2009

See, Anne, I knew you’d figure it out! 😀

Just make sure, though, that when you’re in the dark closet, you have some music or something playing – it’ll help drown out the piteous whimpering and starving-puppy moaning from the other side of the door . . .

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