Cran-Mac Caramel Bars

Cran-Mac Caramel Bars

12-ounce box cereal of choice
1/2 c dried sweetened cranberries
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup honey
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup natural peanut butter

At home:
Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray or butter it. Set aside.

In a large and tall saucepan heat the honey, sugar and molasses till it comes to a full boil. Take it off the heat and quickly stir in the peanut butter and then the vanilla. Mix in the cereal, cranberries and nuts with a wooden or silicone spoon till fully coated.

Dump into the pan and spread out, then pack in tightly. Let cool for at least an hour to set up. Cut into portions and tightly wrap in plastic wrap.

These bars carry well in a pack and do not fall apart as they are dense and nicely sticky.

Makes one tray (bars depend on your concept of a “serving”).

This recipe was featured in the March/April 2010 issue of Washington Trails magazine on page 35.

For the cereal choose a type with texture, flakes, and crunchies work well. It doesn’t need to be a sweet cereal as the caramel base is sweet enough on its own. If you have a favorite high protein/fiber cereal, by all means use it. Look for a 12 to 13 ounce box preferably.

And of course you can swap in your favorite nuts and dried fruits!

For the peanut butter crunchy is the best.