Well, I said that I needed to do more cooking. Of course, sweet and crunchy snack bars wasn't *exactly* what I had in mind, but whatever. When it's midnight on a Thursday and your fiance's still stuck at work, and you're just dying to bake but don't want to go to the store, and you don't have any butter in the house or very much sugar, but you DO have four or five boxes of mostly eaten old cereal lying around that you'd like to do something with, what do you do?
Well here's what I do. I stumble upon this recipe in My Sweet Vegan, one of the gifts I received from aforementioned fiance this past Valentine's day. And then I make it with completely bastardized ingredients. Hilarity ensues!
The recipe. I knew it was the right one, because it a) didn't call for (many) ingredients that weren't already in my kitchen, and b) allowed me to do something useful with all of those cereal remains languishing away in my cupboard.
I assembled said wheat and oat remnants in my pretty red bowl. Now, the original recipe calls for things like chex and rice crispies and pretzels and peanuts. And granted, that sounds delish. But I was working with what my kitchen had to offer: a shredded wheat type substance, a crispix-ey thing, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and broken up rice bran crackers. Also, while the recipe calls for light corn syrup I had (and generally only use) dark - light usually has high fructose corn syrup in there, which, like, ew.
After assembling my cereal frankenstein, then came the sugar step. I've never boiled sugar like this, and I gotta say it was kind of scary. I was afraid it would turn into caramel or glass, or at least burn the crap out of me. But it all turned out alright.
I had a spat of trouble folding the sugar mixture into the cereal - it may have been thicker than it was supposed to be on account of me using the dark syrup. Or I may just be lame. After I thought I had it pretty well mixed, I started spooning it (there was no pouring) into my pan - only to find that all of my tiny nuts were sitting in a dusty clump at the bottom. But soon enough they got caught up in the sticky mix.
The verdict? Well, they're tasty. A bit odd. Definitely sticky. Very sweet. I've taken to covering them in natural-type peanut butter - it adds a little bulk and cuts down on the syrupy-ness. Most likely, this recipe is infinitely better with ingredients like chex, and pretzels, and peanuts. Maybe next time I'll try something crazy like that.