The cook, the dentist, the doctor and her daughter met up at Austin’s mom’s place. Thank goodness no one told Peter Greenaway or it could have ended differently. As it stands, a good time was had by all.
This year, and the last, has thus far been marked by the increased presence of children in the lives of friends. While I’m not in the least bit interested in being that way inclined, I’m happy to rejoice in the choice others have made to procreate and gladly accept invitations to baby viewings for assorted cheek pinchings (of the infant sort) and photo snappings. (Also, I have to admit, I love buying baby clothes. Some of the outfits are so colourful and cute, I wish they came in adult size as well).
The rumour of cake convinced me that it would be wise to contribute something a little more healthy to this particular gathering, so I assembled some take-home packs of home made muesli bars. Perhaps there was also a bit of the subliminal in my choice of baked treats, as these were my school friends, and muesli bars always remind me of the wrapped Uncle Toby’s bars in my lunchbox.
The doctor’s daughter bemourned the lack of chocolate in these muesli bars. The original recipe, an AWW classic (mine below is an adaptation of), calls for 2 tablespoons of choc chips scattered on top before baking, which you can do if you wish to desecrate a snack that is otherwise half way to being relatively healthy.
(Jaime, this one is for you…)
Apricot and Cranberry Muesli Bars :
125g unsalted butter
110g brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey (I used a strong flavoured honey from Tasmania)
200g rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
40g chopped dried apricots
30g dried cranberries
1 tablespoon banana or raspberry powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste (or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped)
Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm baking pan.
Combine butter, sugar and honey in a pan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the vanilla paste and banana or raspberry powder if using.
In a bowl, combine the oats, pepitas, cinnamon, apricots and cranberries. Pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture. Mix well. Press this mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake at 160’C for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting into squares or rectangles.
[Note: The beauty about these muesli bars is you can customise them according to your prefered fillings. Substitute the same amount of apricot and cranberries for something else such as raisins, dates etc, use nuts instead of pepitas or even omit the spice altogether – it’s entirely up to you! It’s such a quick, fun and easy snack to make that I’ve decided to submit it as my contribution to Mansi’s Game Night.]