Homemade Cereal Bar Cookies
As I embarked on this whole Get Real journey I knew one of the challenging items in our home was going to be cereal bars. I was aware they contained high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients I couldn’t pronounce but they are an absolute staple in our home, for my son in particular. This would be the son who is EXTREMELY particular about his food, most especially his cereal bars.
Lest you think I am joking, we have to buy the SAME cereal bars with the GREEN shiny package as that is his favorite color. (Seriously. The child picks his breakfast food on the color of the wrapping!) Then to take it even further it has to be served on a paper towel. A WHOLE paper towel. Did you ripe a corner off the towel? PUT IT BACK! It won’t do. No plate, no bowl, not off the table. On a WHOLE paper towel. Then, we must unwrap the cereal bar for him. If there is a CRACK or god forbid, a BREAK the whole morning is ruined. It simply won’t do.
Now before you go lecturing me on giving in to such crazy demands, note that I do not always play along. Most times we force him to eat broken or cracked ones anyway and occasionally we push him on the towel issue. I do admit that I am aware of his sensitivities and on most days I go along with this one. Let’s face it, I am not ready to do battle at 7 am. It would not start the day out on the right foot. And I also choose my battles, more often than not, this is NOT the one I choose.
I digress. So as you can imagine, coming up with a replacement cereal bar was going to be a challenge for me. I started buying Barbara’s cereal bars first as I wanted to see if he would go for a cereal bar that was better for him, without shiny green packaging. If you have never had Barbara’s Apple Cinnamon cereal bars you might not know that their packaging is mostly brown with one small green strip. I presented the cereal bars to him (without the others present) and he actually was convinced to take one and try it. I was impressed. Then he ate it. And LIKED it. Another win for me.
From here I added some of the shiny green cereal bars to the cereal bar basket we have because we needed to use them up and I wanted to see what he would choose. (Yes, I experiment with my kids, don’t you?) What happened next SHOCKED me. He chose the Barbara’s cereal bars over the shiny green one. He continued this until they were gone and all that were left were the shiny green packaged ones. And then he did something I NEVER would have dreamed, he yelled at me because I didn’t have the kind he liked! SCORE! And score one for Barbara’s too!
As much as he loved the Barbara’s they are still expensive. I also wanted to find a way to make them myself. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to make a bar because the only way to do that would be to cut the bars and then my son would view them as “broken” so I decided on a cookie using my muffin tin. I slaved away one day praying over them as I went. :)
I presented them to the kids at breakfast as an alternative to their cereal bars. To my shock and amazement they LOVED them. I mean really LOVED them. As in every time they want a snack now Isaac will say, “I have a good idea, how about a blueberry cereal bar COOOOOOKKKKKIIIIIIEEEE!” And I am all dancing to the kitchen on my happy euphoria cloud. This child and that food item were my greatest challenge and I just defeated Goliath. It is an AMAZING feeling. I hope that your kids love these as much as mine do!
Homemade Cereal Bar Cookies
Tricia @ onceamonthmeals.com
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1. 5 cups oats, ground (or oat flour)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used fresh milled hard red wheat)
- 1 cup white flour (I used fresh milled hard white wheat)
- 1 cup sucanat (brown sugar if whole foods isn’t your gig)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1.125 cups (9 ounces) organic jam (I used blueberry and apple)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients, except the jam, together in a large bowl. It is easiest to do this with your hands. Go ahead, get a little dirty! :) Once it is mixed well together (there should be no dry ingredients dust, but well incorporated) add half of the mixture to each of 18 muffin tins. Press the mixture into the muffin tins creating a bit of a lip as you would for a pie. Add in 1 Tablespoon of jam on top of each “crust”. Next, with the remaining mixture create 18 equal size balls. Smash each of the balls into a circle large enough to cover the top of each “cookie”. Add the disc to the top of the “cookie” and press the edges to meet the sides of the bottom dough. Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then gently remove to a cooling rack. (I inverted a cookie sheet on top of the muffin tin, flipped the muffin tin and then turned the cookies over to cool a bit longer. Be warned, they are very soft when warm).
Follow directions above but allow to cool completely. Add to a gallon freezer bag and freeze. To serve: Allow to thaw overnight or place in a microwave and heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Be careful as internal contents will be very warm.
Servings: 18 cookies
Disclosure: I was not compensated nor was I asked to write about Barbara’s cereal bars. My family has found them to be enjoyable and I just thought I would share. :)