Friday, July 23, 2010

Benedict Bars

Special K bars were another favorite recipe from college. And one day, the recipe was published in an alumnae newsletter. But I improved it a bit, so I changed the name, in honor of my schools, The College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. This is probably my favorite dessert. I don't make it often, however, since I have to buy the main ingredient--cereal--as we almost never buy cold cereal.

Benedict Bars

Grease a 9x12 cake pan. Put in
  • 8 c cereal such as Special K, puffed grains, Cheerios, etc.
In a small saucepan stir together
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 c white corn syrup, honey, molasses or simple syrup (1/2 c sugar, 1/4 c water)
Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Remove immediately. Stir in
  • 1 c peanut butter (I prefer fresh ground creamy)
Pour over cereal and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Appears impossible, but just go slowly and eventually the syrup will coat all the cereal. Spread evenly and press down firmly with waxed paper, cereal bag, or butter wrapper.

  • 11-12 oz chocolate and butterscotch chips (I usually go about 2/3 and 1/3, but do it to your own tastes). 
In microwave, takes about 90-120 seconds; stir every 30 seconds. Keep a dozen chips or so to stir in at the end (helps temper the chocolate). Spread over cereal and let cool. Cut into bars before chocolate hardens. These freeze well (thank goodness. Otherwise I think I'd eat them all in two days they are so fabulously yummy).

The syrup should be stirred almost constantly so it doesn't burn. However, it's slow enough in the beginning that you can probably put it on while greasing the pan, measuring the cereal, and getting the PB ready.

Original recipe called for corn syrup, which I never use. (I know it's not high fructose corn syrup, but it's still corn syrup. And another ingredient I'd have to buy special for this recipe, which I hate doing. So I experimented and found honey and simple syrup work just fine. I'm guessing molasses would, but I haven't actually tried it. I used honey today as I have a jar that sugared, so it's perfect for use in recipes that require heating the honey.

I experimented with the recipe until I had too little syrup and too little chocolate (and then upped the amounts). These amounts seem almost right. Today, I think I could have used more syrup as some of the cereal fell off as I cut them into bars. But maybe I just didn't stir it together well enough. Some days I wish I put more chocolate on top, too. ;-)

Eric found Chocolate Special K (regular cereal with chocolate chunks in it) and got it for me for these bars (he's so sweet!). Many of the chunks melted when I poured the syrup on. It's nice to have the extra chocolate in, but I won't bother again since I could just put more chocolate on top or throw some chocolate chips in.

I like to imagine these are a healthy dessert with all the good for you cereal and the peanut butter. And honey--honey's better for you than corn syrup, right? But you have to cut the bars small, too!

1 comment:

  1. These were yummy! I have no memory of eating them or of their being a big deal at CSB though... I graduated in 2003.. There has been a lot of talk about them in alum stuff, so I had to try them. Like the substitutions.