This multi-tasking business is most certainly rubbish.
It became stunningly clear to me yesterday when I decided to make Muesli Bars for Scout’s play-lunch AND Butter chicken for dinner at the same time. Clearly, I am in need of counselling.
I went to add cinnamon to the muesli bar mix and instead I flicked in a dash of dried chilli flakes from the bottle that was idly minding its own business on the kitchen bench. “F*CK”, was my first thought, quickly followed by “COOL”, let’s make some ADULT shit (and yes, I had to swallow the impulse to add brandy). Scout wouldn’t eat it, “Too spicy, too spicy” she whines, like it was the end of the free-world. Inky chowed it down like she’d never eaten anything her whole life (actually, she eats like that all the time).
The result was magnificent, proving that busy mums are indeed going to take over the world. This basic recipe (originally from Taste.com.au) has evolved over time, but with a bit of an after-kick of chilli, it’s the bomb. The mums and dads at Playgroup approved. Check it.
Accidental Muesli Bars (with Chilli)
- 1 ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup sunflower kernels
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup dried fruit of choice (I like a mixture of sultanas, currants and dried cranberries)
- 125g butter
- 1/2 cup honey or other liquid sugar (maple syrup, rice malt syrup, golden syrup etc. whatever is in the pantry!)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- A dash of dried chilli flakes
- Grease and line a large baking pan with baking paper.
- Toast oats, coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower kernels and pepitas in a frying pan over medium heat until they are golden and start to smell brilliant. Place mixture in a bowl and set aside to cool.
- Stir in dried fruit and chilli.
- Dissolve butter, honey and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, for about 4 minutes. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low.
- Simmer, without stirring, for 7 minutes or until mixture forms a soft ball when a little is dropped into ice-cold water (this is a really important step – it means that the muesli bar will set well and not be too crumbly).
- Add to dry ingredients. Stir until combined.
- Spoon mixture into pan and press down firmly. Allow to cool. Cut into squares. Store in a foil-lined airtight container for up to 7 days or wrap individually and freeze for lunchboxes.