Saturday, December 09, 2006

Peanut Salvage Bars

Jeff Cox says: They're called "salvage" because they'll save you when you need a burst of energy and nutrition. Heidi notes: These taste delicious, but they came out pretty dry. Sweet, peanuty goodness with a nice puffed rice crunch. Getting them to stay in a bar shape was a bit of a challenge. I did a second batch and increased the ratio of sweet peanut-butter "glue" to dry ingredients by quite a bit which helped - put them in the refrigerator and really let them set. Let me know how you fare, my adapted version below.

1/4 cup raw or toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shelled peanuts
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups 1-minute rolled oats
2 cups puffed rice cereal (hs note: I used puffed brown rice cereal)
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

If using raw wheat germ, spread it on a baking sheet and toast for a few minutes until fragrant.

Spread the sunflower seeds and the peanuts in an even later on separate baking sheets and toast in the oven - the sunflower seeds will take about 6 minutes and the peanuts will take 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and let cool; salt the peanuts lightly.

Mix the wheat germ, sunflower seeds, peanuts, raisins, oats, and puffed rice in a large bowl. In a separate bowl that fits your microwave, mix the peanut butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup; microwave on high for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and stir until well blended. Pour over the dry ingredients and fold in until everything is evenly coated.

Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan and transfer the mixture from the bowl. Cover the surface with waxed paper and press it down firmly. Refrigerate until completely cool. Cut into eight 2x4-inch bars.