Fun fact: In the late 1800’s, Henry Perky (an attorney for the Union Pacific Railroad) invented a shredded wheat cereal in Denver, Colorado as a vegetarian breakfast/meal option, and he called it Muffets. How cool is that? Of course Muffets was later sold to Quaker Oats, who has since turned shredded wheat into a multi-million dollar industry, but who cares? Colorado had it first, and it completely altered the way that Americans did breakfast.
In honor of this great Coloradoan invention, and taking into account that I need some snacks for a hike tomorrow, I’m borrowing a recipe from the wonderful Shelly at Cookies and Cups to make her delicious Homemade Clif® Bars with a few updates of my own. Stop by her site and check out her other great recipes — she’s about more than just sweet stuff, but the stuff she’s making is all very sweet!
The ingredients to these bars are pretty simple, and you probably have most of them in your pantry already. I have a bag of Texas Pecans (leftovers from a pecan pie from grandmother made me a couple of weeks ago – yup, I’m spoiled) and some dried cranberries already in the pantry, but you can literally throw in anything that you might normally find in a Clif® Bar — white chocolate, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, whatever floats your boat. Just be sure to use dried fruit, it’ll save you from having to clean up a huge mess! Oh, and in lieu of peanut butter (which I am not a fan of), I threw in some Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, but you could use almond butter, pecan butter, etc. Check out some great substitutes for peanut butter here.
If you don’t have a food processor for this part, you could potentially use a blender, or get yourself a Ninja with the food processor attachment. There are certain items in my kitchen that hurt my bank account at the time but made my life a heck of a lot easier in the long run, and my Ninja is one of them. And no, I’m not getting paid to say that, but I will accept any endorsement checks Ninja would like to send my way.
Make sure you use that 8×8 pan for this recipe — while you can go a little bigger without issue, if your pan is too big your bars will be thin and crispy instead of chewy and delicious. Unless you like them that way, in which case do your thang!
These make great snacks for sharing and terrific gifts for your parents to prove to them that you kind of know how to cook, but I like throwing my Homemade Clif® Bars in the freezer and pulling them out the day before I plan to go on a trail adventure or picnic.
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 3 large biscuit style shredded wheat cereal or 1 cup un-frosted spoon-size shredded wheat
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup honey (I get my honey locally from Copco's in Fort Collins.)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup chocolate hazelnut butter (I use Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter out of Boulder, but you can use Nutella if you like)
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Spray an 8x8 pan lightly with cooking spray (I use a Misto with extra-virgin olive oil).
- Place raisins and dried cranberries in food processor and pulse until lightly chopped (it will be sticky).
- Add the shredded wheat, oats, pecans, cinnamon and salt in food processor and pulse until mixture is finely chopped and incorporated.
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs, honey, vanilla and Nutella.
- Add the oat mixture and chocolate chips and stir until combined.
- Spread in prepared pan and bake 15-18 minutes until edges are slightly golden brown.
- Let cool completely in the pan before slicing into squares.