Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Peanut Butter Cranberry Go-Bars

These are delicious.  Need I say more?  My kids can't get enough!   You have to try these.  They couldn't be easier.  The best part is they are good for you too.  No preservative crap that you get in store bought bars.  Enjoy!    (Did I mention these were really good?)
cooking oil spray
1 cup regular rolled oats
1/3 cup oat bran
3 Tbsp flax seed
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp each, baking powder & salt
1/2 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
1/2 dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely chopped dried mission figs (can substitute raisins instead)
3/4 cup natural chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup honey
finely shredded zest from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Line a 9 x 13″ pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on the 9″ sides, and coat with cooking oil spray.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, oat bran, flax seeds, flour, baking powder, salt , peanuts, cranberries, and figs until well blended.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter, milk, egg, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well blended.

3. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture and beat until completely blended.  Scrape dough into lined pan and with wet fingers or a rubber spatula, pat to fill pan completely and even.  Chill dough until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Invert pan onto a work surface, lift off pan, and peel off plastic.  Using a knife, cut straight down lengthwise through middle, then crosswise to make 16  bars, each 1 1/2″ wide.  Place bars about 1″ apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or greased baking sheet.

5. Bake bars until lightly browned and somewhat firm to touch, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

If you make this ahead, it can be stored for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

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