September 30, 2013

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

Homemade Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars

For some reason, I thought making homemade granola bars was going to be hard.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I surely didn't think it would be this easy.  All you have to do is prepare your ingredients. mix it all together, and press it all in to a pan.  They don't even have to be cooked!  They're no-bake!  Easy peasy.  You can mix in any kind of dried fruit or nuts or chocolatey goodness that you want.  Or, you can leave them plain and enjoy a simple chewy basic granola bar.

Not only did my daughter enjoy these as a tasty after school snack, I grabbed one on the go a few times as a quick breakfast on those mornings when we were running a tad behind on getting out the door for school.  And we can't forget my husband.  He munched on them as a midnight snack.

So, there you go.  Easy, yummy, customizable recipe that was enjoyed by everyone in the fam!  


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Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup add-ins - for example, chopped nuts, raisins, dried fruit, shredded coconut, etc., optional (I used chopped pecans and dried granny smith apples)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Homemade Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars


Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the cereal, quick oats, and the add ins of your choice.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, stir together the honey, brown sugar and salt.  Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. Add the peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir it all together until it's completely combined.
  5. Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn into a greased 9 x 13 pan (I used a glass baking dish and greased with butter).  Really make the effort to press the mixture down well.  Otherwise, the granola bars will fall apart while you're eating them.  I used the back of a spatula to help press it down, so that the granola bars wouldn't be all bumpy.  Top with the chocolate chips and press them into the granola bars.  (Next time I'll try putting the chocolate chips in the pan first, then pressing the granola mixture on top of them.) 
  6. Cool completely before cutting.  

Notes
  • I stored these in the pantry in a tupperware with wax paper between the layers.  They can be frozen as well, but they don't last that long around here!
  • Source: Adapted from Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars found over at Money Saving Mom.

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