Monday, April 29, 2013

Cubicle kitchen: Cherry-O Bars

Now that blog week is all wrapped up, I need to catch up on my recipes.  This one is from a few weeks ago, but don't worry, the post itself is still fresh!

I love cereal.  It masquerades as just 'part of this complete breakfast', but I eat it most these days dry as a snack/dessert.  I like that it has lots of pieces so I can snack slowly, plus I get to indulge my inner child by returning to the sugary favorites like Corn Pops and Cap'n Crunch without derailing my diet.

But as much as I love eating cereal, there was no way I was going to eat an entire Sam's Club-sized box of original Cheerios before they lost their crunch.  Now, a giant bag of the Chocolate, Multigrain Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Burst, or even Honey Nut, I might stand a chance.  Especially the Peanut Butter, those are delicious.  Anyway, the point is that this week's pantry item that I wanted to work into my baking was plain Cheerios.  There were a few options I toyed with, from making cereal treats to oatmeal cookies (I might still try that one - there are still plenty of Os to go).

But then, I had an epiphany.  Cheerios and graham crackers, they aren't really any different.  And graham crackers, as we all know, were made for two things: s'mores and graham cracker crusts.  SO using a little connecting logic, I should be able to use ground up Cheerios in baking.  From there, it was a simple matter of finding the perfect play on words to seal the deal.  And what could be better than cherry-os?  Especially when I have a jar of cherry jam just waiting to be sprinkled with delicious crumbs.  Now, technically, this recipe never used graham crackers, originally it was just all-purpose flour, so my finely-tuned logic wasn't truly applicable, but the thought process was there.  And people always say it's the thought that counts, right?

I was really worried about this one when I brought it in.  I made two batches, because the first I thought was a little burnt, but I was actually complimented on the caramelization of one of those, so go figure.

Cherry-O Bars
(Adapted from Mother Thyme)

  • 1-1/14 cup ground Cheerios, plus about 1/4 cup left whole, set aside
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 6-8 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6-7 ounces cherry jam
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fit an 8x8" pan with parchment paper, or grease.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the ground Cheerios, sugar, and almonds.  Add in the butter until combined. (This is where the ranges come in for the Cheerios and the butter, use your own judgement.)
  3. Reserve a cup of this mixture, and press the rest into the bottom of your pan.
  4. Spread jam evenly on top of your crust.
  5. Add the additional whole Cheerios to the reserved mixture, then sprinkle on top of the jam.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

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