Seriously, that never happens in this house. I mean, I eat the stuff on bread, apples, sweet potatoes, bananas and spoons. I make sure we never run out of peanut butter. But I've been planning to transform this household into a natural peanut butter zone, so I was trying to think of ways to use up the remaining p.b. as soon as possible. As I mentioned earlier this week, we also have a never-ending box of crisp rice cereal in the pantry. And although I made Peanut Butter & Honey Treats earlier this week, I wasn't opposed to mixing peanut butter and crisp rice cereal together again.
Unfortunately, I should have planned a little better. I had full intentions of making granola bars. (I figured I'd put some of those pantry items to good use and make the husband a healthy treat for his lunch box.) But about halfway through the process, things began to go downhill. Oh, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
I mixed up a bowl full of crisp rice cereal, old-fashioned rolled oats and dried cranberries. That took all of about 15 seconds.
Then I heated the peanut butter, finely chopped walnuts, honey (all but about 1 TBSP), vanilla and a little of the cinnamon until smooth. (I never intended to use walnuts. But when I realized I only had about 1/4 cup of peanut butter - and I planned to have 1/2 cup - I turned to the walnuts. I measured out 1/4 cup and pulsed them in my mini-chopper until they were extremely fine and pasty.) Yes, it was at about this moment that I thought everything was going to fall apart.
But I mixed the p.b. and cereal mixtures together, and spread it in a Pyrex dish. (The 13x9 was still home to a few treats from the other night, so I had to use the next size down.)
They looked good, but they weren't quite sticky enough to be considered bars. I used my spatula to get about another tablespoon of honey out of the measuring cup I'd used and drizzled it over the top of the bars. Should I throw them in the fridge? Find room for them in the freezer, or should I attempt baking them?
I heated the convection oven to about 300 degrees F, set the timer for 10 minutes and crossed my fingers.
After about 20 minutes in all, the bars smelled fantastic and had started to brown a little, so I took them out.
I'm not sure if they'll cut into bars after sitting all night. Perhaps I'll end up spooning this crispy "granola" mixture over some low-fat yogurt tomorrow. I'm sorry, husband. I guess I'll consider buying him granola bars this weekend. And I'll be sure to pick up a jar of peanut butter - or two.
What's your favorite natural peanut butter? And please don't tell me Trader Joe's has a great p.b. I'm very upset by the fact that we don't have a Trader Joe's within 100 miles.