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Pack a homemade snack

By on October 2, 2008

peanut butter jelly bars

Fixing school lunches can be a challenge. You want to avoid packing snacks that end up traded or in the cafeteria trash. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, but you don’t always have to rely on prepackaged snacks. Here are a few homemade snack recipes for when you start to feel like you’re making or packing the same old thing. They’re great for after work, ahem, school, too.

PB&J Bars

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup jelly
1-2/3 cups peanut-butter chips, divided

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 9-inch-square baking pan. Mix together flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in butter with fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg. Reserve 1 cup mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Stir jelly to soften, and spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle 1 cup peanut-butter chips over jelly. Stir remaining 2/3 cup chips into reserved crumb mixture; sprinkle over top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars. — S.G., Louisiana

Mozzarella Sticks

2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
2 cups Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 quart oil for deep frying
1 package mozzarella string cheese

Cook’s note: For best results, use frozen mozzarella sticks prior to coating and frying. You can make these and freeze them. Reheat, and place into a food jar for lunches.

In a small bowl, mix the eggs and water. Mix the breadcrumbs and garlic salt in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, combine the flour and cornstarch. In a large, heavy saucepan or deep fryer, heat the oil to 365 F (185 C). Cut string cheese in half. One at a time, coat each mozzarella-cheese stick in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs. Repeat to double coat. Using tongs, place into the oil. Fry 30 to 40 seconds or until golden brown. Using tongs, remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

Peanut-Butter Popcorn

1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups popped popcorn

In small saucepan, melt together corn syrup and sugar. Heat on low to prevent burning. Add peanut butter, and stir until melted. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over popcorn.

Fun Trail Mix

1 cup toasted-oat cereal (plain, honey nut, apple cinnamon, frosted)
1 cup trail-mix cereal
1 cup goldfish crackers
1 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries or banana chips
1 cup cashews or peanuts
1 cup candy-coated chocolates
1 cup baking chips (chocolate, peanut butter and/or butterscotch)
1 cup miniature pretzels
1 cup mini-marshmallows
1 cup animal crackers or bear-shaped graham crackers

Combine in a large bowl, divide, and store in plastic zip-enclosure baggies.

Photo by Jennifer McHenry

One Comment

  1. Mark Cummings

    10/4/2008 at 11:35 pm

    I am a self confessed vending machine addict. I am a sucker for a portable candy store holding peanut m&ms. In addition my family budget has been squeezed to the point of frugal.
    Someone was describing a mutual friends and how they do not spend money. They further described this couple as bringing their snacks consisting of fresh vegetables and fruit.
    All that to say Thank you for the recipes! The thing I like is three out of four contain peanut butter or peanuts!

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