First, my apologies for the downtime between posts. Sometimes my work takes over my life and I simply don’t have time to pull a post together. It can get so crazy and then I don’t make the time to plan ahead. As a result meals get a little haphazard, especially breakfast. The following recipe is one of my most favorite grab-and-go breakfast recipes that can be made ahead, cut into portion sizes, and stored in the freezer. The best part is it involves CHOCOLATE! Bwahahhahaaaaa! Enjoy!
Cherry Chocolate Breakfast Bars
1/2 cup butter (Yes, butter!)
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts (Try to leave them in bigger chunks rather than tiny pieces.)
1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries or raisins)
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with extra butter.
TECHNICAL VERSION: Add the butter to a large bowl and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat till fluffy once again. Add the remaining wet ingredients (molasses and eggs) incorporating all into a smooth mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and sift well to blend (flour, baking soda, spices and salt.) Add this mixture to the butter-eggs-sugar mixture and blend until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Add the oatmeal, chocolate chips and dried cherries and using a large spoon, fold in the chunky ingredients until they are evenly dispersed throughout the batter. The resulting mixture is thick.
FAST/DOWN AND DIRTY VERSION: Melt the butter in the microwave. Add in the sugar and mix well with a large fork or spoon. When the mixture has cooled somewhat (We’re talking less than 60 seconds), add the eggs and mix to blend. Now dump in all the flour, soda and spices and give it a good 20 beats with your spoon. NOW add in the remaining goodies and mix some more until it’s a big gloppy mess.
Dump the mixture into the buttered baking pan and press the mixture around until it’s approximately the same thickness and covers the bottom of the pan.
Bake for roughly 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Let it cool and cut into pieces. Wrap each chunk of chocolatey-cherry goodness with waxed paper. Before putting them into the freezer, I find it helps to put them all into a large ziplock bag so they won’t absorb flavors in the freezer. They microwave well coming straight out of the freezer and are awesome with coffee for breakfast. Wrapped up in a napkin, they travel well in the car to work….if they make it that far!
Well, back to work!