1/4 cup creamy unsalted butter (half of one stick)
1/4 cup honey (light-colored corn syrup may be substituted and will keep the bars firmer at room temp than using honey)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Honey Nut Cheerios
(or similar storebrand cereal; plain Cheerios may be substituted for a less sweet bar)
1 cup raisins, optional (1 cup honey-roasted peanuts, 1 cup chopped almonds, or 1 cup trail mix may be substituted)
about 1/2 cup chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, optional (I used Trader Joe’s)
pinch sea salt or Kosher salt for sprinkling, optional
- Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, honey, brown sugar, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt.
- Stop to stir. Mixture will be on the granular side, this is okay.
- Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power. Stop to stir
- Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power. Stop to stir. On this third and final burst, mixture will become quite bubbly and foamy; use caution when removing from micro because this is boiling hot caramel and can cause burns.
- Stir in the vanilla using caution because mixture could bubble up.
- Stir in the cereal.
- Stir in the optional raisins (or nuts).
- Turn mixture out into prepared pan, packing it down firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top.
- Optionally, sprinkle evenly with sunflower seeds and salt (the salt cuts some of the sweetness and I recommend it).
- Cover pan with a sheet of foil (to prevent fridge smells), and place pan in fridge to set up for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, or until bars are completely set before lifting out with foil overhang, slicing, and serving.
- Bars will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I recommend storing them in the fridge rather than room temp