Christmas may be a-comin' but that doesn't mean real life is on hold. Oh no. This week, for example, while I was trying to remember where the Christmas box got stashed when we unpacked and patting myself on the back for making our traditional Christmas cake, the Small Girl needed a late-night doctor's visit and the Boy Wonder ran out of muesli bars.
Despite what you might think, the former is less serious than the latter. The Small Girl was fine after lots of cuddles and a splash of paracetamol, but the Boy Wonder without food is another matter. We even have a word for it in our house - hangry - which describes the acute sensation of being so hungry that you lose all perspective and rationality. I'm particularly prone to this condition too, which is why I end up in the kitchen so much.
The Boy Wonder often eats breakfast at work (homemade muesli, yoghurt, berries) but lately he's been so busy that he needs something he can scoff one-handed. I've been trialling various recipes to avoid buying those noxious packets of muesli bars, with mixed results. The first lot was very worthy - no butter or oil, no sugar, no nuts, no eggs - but also rather depressing to eat (and they grew furry mould within days, which was even worse). But this recipe, even though it has negligible nutritional value, is a winner. These bars are sweet, sticky and just the thing for a busy superhero, as long as he doesn't eat too many of them in one sitting. Lycra is very unforgiving...
Honeycrunch Breakfast Bars
The rice bubbles give these sticky bars their brilliant light, crunchy texture - and you get to hear them go snap, crackle, pop when you're mixing them. Add nuts, seeds and dried fruit as your pantry supplies allow.
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups toasted muesli
2 1/2 cups rice bubbles
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts/seeds
1/2 cup dried fruit
Put the butter, peanut butter, honey and sugar in a small saucepan and melt gently together. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, without stirring.
Put all remaining ingredients into a large bowl, then add the hot liquid. Mix well, then press into a slice tin lined with foil. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then put in the fridge to set. Slice into bars and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes about 18 hearty bars.