In today’s post Maree of Three Foot Cooks shares a delicious recipe for Apple Cereal Bars, perfect as a lunch box treat.
Bear adores Apple Cereal Bars. She would live off Apple Cereal Bars and Orange Juice if I let her. Apple Cereal Bars are found alongside muesli bars in the supermarket. They are basically an oven baked pastry tube with a pureed fruit filling.
Since Bear likes to have a cereal bar in her lunchbox every day I wanted to try making my own. While there are lots of recipes for homemade muesli/granola bars I haven’t found many for oven baked fruit bars. I came across this recipe for Homemade Strawberry Cereal Bars from Super Healthy Kids and decided to adapt it to suit my family’s tastes.
For our Oven Baked Fruit Bars, I made an apple filling by peeling and slicing 2 granny smith apples and then cooking the apples with a teaspoon of caster sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat until soft. I added a drop of vanilla extract at the end for added flavour and then let the apple puree cool for a few minutes. Homemade apple puree is easy to make and great to cook with. It’s even great in Chocolate Brownies!
If you don’t want to make your own filling just use a homemade fruit jam. You can pick up some great ones at farmer’s markets and school fetes. A word of warning about the pastry – it is very crumbly. Even after resting it in the fridge it is still a bit tricky to work with. If your pastry is too crumbly to roll out it is probably too dry so try adding a few drops of water and kneading it gently. If you were to use all wholemeal flour I would recommend adding a couple of teaspoons of water to the pastry.
Oven Baked Fruits Bars Recipe
Makes approximately 14 bars
You will need:
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup rice malt syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cups wholemeal self raising flour
- 1 ½ cups plain flour
- Pre-prepared fruit puree or jam for filling
1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Line 2 baking trays with non stick baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, syrup, vanilla and egg.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flours.
4. Add the flour mix to the oil and syrup mix and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
5. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
6. Once the pastry is chilled, roll it out onto a floured bench top to about 3 or 4mm thick. Use a knife to cut the pastry into rectangles 8cm x 10cm.
7. Place a teaspoon full of fruit filling down one long side of the pastry rectangle. Leave a little border so the pastry will stick together.
8. Carefully fold the rectangle in half to cover up the filling. This part is where it gets tricky to work with the pastry. A spatula or flat knife comes in handy. Gently press down the edges of the pastry rectangle to seal in the filling.
9. Transfer the bar to a baking tray. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.
10. Bake the bars in the oven for 15 minutes. Allow the bars to cool on a cooling rack.
11. Store the fruit bars in an air tight container to keep them soft.
Which filling for Cereal Bars would your kids choose?
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