The first thing that hit me when I saw Mark’s recipe for No-Bake Fruit and Cereal Bars in his new book How to Bake Everything was that it sounded a lot like Rice Krispies Treats®, only with fruit and juice instead of the sticky marshmallow sauce for glue. If I went with a puffed whole grain—Khorasan wheat to be exact—the bars would have a similar texture and, with the fiber and small bit of honey for sweetener, they’d actually be a healthy and satisfying snack.
Like all of the recipes in Mark’s books, this one is endlessly variable. If fact, you can use anything from granola to Cheerios or bran flakes to make them. Since it’s fall on the calendar but summer on the thermometer, the idea of not turning on the oven was appealing. In a nod to the season, I chose dried apples for the fruit and local cider for the juice. (The exact amount of juice you’ll need will depend on how dry your fruit is; I used about 1/3 cup for this batch.) Then I tossed in a handful of unsweetened coconut because no one told me I couldn’t.
After a couple hours in the fridge, the puffed wheat absorbed terrific apple flavor and became soft and chewy. The coconut added a smidge of crunch. Can’t wait to make them again, with a whole new set of ingredients.
Recipe: No-Bake Fruit and Cereal Bars