Saturday, August 13, 2011

Crumb Topped Pecan Strawberry bars


I love eating breakfast and I have been on a personal crusade to eat healthier cereal. I know many people think "healthy cereal" is an oxymoron, but I do think you can, at least, make better choices. Whole grain with minimal sugar beats overly processed sugar bombs any day. Your digestive tract will thank you. ;-)

Enter these cereal bars made with whole grain cereal. They are more indulgent than a bowl of cereal; but we have been enjoying them for breakfast the last several morning. The original recipe called for cherry; but I am not big fan of cherry. As far as I am concerned any jar of all fruit should work just fine.

Adapted from Relish.com



Ingredients:

1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Quick-Cooking Oats
1 cup Puffed Rice Cereal  ( I used Kashi 7 whole grain cereal puffs )
1 cup Chopped Pecans
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
¼ cup (½ stick) Butter, softened
¼ cup Vegetable Oil
⅓ cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 (10-ounce) Jar Strawberry All-Fruit Spread ( I used Smucker's Simply Fruit. )


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter or spray a 9-inch-square baking pan.

Combine flour, oats, puffed rice, pecans, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat butter, oil, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well-blended and creamy. Add dry ingredients and mix until moistened and a crumbly dough forms. It is less dough and more crumbly.

Reserve 1 1/4 cups 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 30-35 minutes or until deep golden. Cool 15 minutes. Slice into 12 (2 ¼ x 3-inch) bars.

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