Cranberry-Pumpkin Seed Energy Bars

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These honey-flavored cereal bars with puffed rice and toasted oats, from Real Snacks by Lara Ferroni, make a great substitute for store-bought energy bars. They can be made with almost any mix of nuts and dried fruit. Slideshow: Tasty Snack Bar Recipes 

Cranberry-Pumpkin Seed Energy Bars
Photo: © Ryan Liebe
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins
Yield:
12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecans (crushed)

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • cup pumpkin seeds

  • ¼ cup flaxseeds

  • cup muscovado or dark brown sugar

  • ½ cup honey

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 2 cups puffed rice cereal

  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the pecans, oats, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds on the sheet and bake until fragrant, 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

  2. In a saucepan, bring the sugar, honey, butter and salt to a boil over moderate heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved and a light brown caramel forms, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

  3. Drizzle the caramel all over the nut-and-oat mixture. Stir in the puffed rice and cranberries until evenly coated.

  4. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, extending the paper over the side. Scrape the cereal mixture into the dish in an even layer. Cover the mixture with a second sheet of parchment and press down to compress it. Let stand until firm, about 2 hours.

  5. Discard the top piece of parchment. Using the overhanging paper, lift out the cereal square and transfer it to a work surface. Cut into 12 bars and serve.

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