There was a grueling 30k nordic course, zipping up and down those notorious hills, for the hardcore skate skiers amongst us. The 15k was perfect for the more moderate recreationsists, as was the 5k Mini-Moose for the youngsters and the uber-energetic sprinters. There was even a 0.5k Mini-mini moose chase for the 6 and unders.
More importantly, my Taste Testers told me what a power bar should NOT be: too sweet, too crunchy, too chewy, too chunky.
I'd especially like to thank Len for providing me with the recipe from his obscure cycling magazine, on which I based one of my bars. Once the power bars were finally ready for the Moose Chase, he noted that they tasted like Rice Krispie Treats for grown-ups. I like that.
Moose Chase Power Bar
I found agave nectar to be too sweet, and preferred the flavor of good honey. If you use agave nectar, you may try reducing the amount slightly.
By using a gluten-free puffed rice cereal, I was able to offer these bars to the gluten-free nordic athletes at the Moose Chase.
Almond butter is the ultimate nut butter for these bars, but peanut butter makes them more economical.
- 1 cup peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter
- 2/3 cup honey or agave nectar
- 1 1/2 cups almonds, cashews, peanuts or walnuts, lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup crystallized ginger slices (found in bulk at Jackson Whole Grocer)
- 1/2 cup dried Mission figs
- 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 cups puffed brown rice cereal (I used Erewhon, a gluten-free brand)
- If you are using raw nuts, toast them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
- Place peanut butter and honey in a large saucepan, and warm until melted and bubbly, stirring until smooth. Add salt and vanilla extract.
4. Add the nuts, and continue to process until coarsely ground.
6. Add puffed rice cereal and mix well.
7. Scoop mixture onto a 9x13 inch pan lined with wax paper. Place another piece of wax paper on top, and firmly press down evenly. Use a rolling pin to flatten and compress the bars.
9. Remove bars from the pan by lifting the wax paper underneath. Cut into small bars, any size you like. They will keep for about a week wrapped up, or can be frozen for a few months.
The Moose Chase Apres Ski Bar
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup golden brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Lyle's golden syrup
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. almond extract
- 2 1/3 cup quick (1 minute) oats (not instant)
- 1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger slices (found in bulk at Jackson Whole Grocer), chopped into small pieces
- 3/4 cup dried mission figs, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup almonds, lightly toasted and chopped into small pieces.
- If using raw almonds, toast them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
- Chop the figs and ginger with a sharp knife (spraying it with vegetable oil will make this job easier), or whiz them in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Make the oatmeal crust. Place the butter, brown sugar, Lyle's golden syrup and maple syrup in a saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, and stir until smooth.
- Add oats, salt, and almond extract, and stir well.
- Scoop into an 8x8 inch pan lined with foil, and sprayed with vegetable oil.
- Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 18-22 minutes, or just until starting to brown. If they brown too much, they will not be chewy.
8. While the crust is cooling, melt the chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl for 30 second spurts, until melted and smooth.
9. Stir the chocolate vigorously with a spatula, and then spread it evenly on the still warm oatmeal crust.
11. Place a piece of wax paper over the top, and press lightly.
12. Once completely cool, lift foil liner from the pan, and place the bars on a cutting board. Cut into small squares and enjoy!