Monday, November 26, 2012

DIY: Granola Bars

Our family loves granola bars. They are a great snack and much better than candy bars. My only problem with them is that they have so many added preservatives and other ingredients I haven't heard of before. I want a healthier option for my family. I like to add crasins to sneak in something healthy and add to the flavor since my youngest and I can't have any chocolate. The others get chocolate in their granola bars and of course love it.

Below I have two different recipes. I love the peanut butter recipe and so does my family, but not everyone does or can eat it so I have also included a recipe that I enjoy without peanut butter. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate chip Granola Bars

2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside. In a small pan bring the brown sugar and honey to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter. Let it cool a bit, add the mini chips, and then spread into a buttered 9×13″ cake pan.

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars from Lauren's Latest
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats {not rolled oats!}
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan {about 12x8x1} and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. {If your pan isn’t small enough, pack the mixture into one side. You really want to press them down so they stick together.} Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and press down lightly. Cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Recipe Notes: If your granola bars don’t seem to be staying together when you cut them, you may have made them too thin or you didn’t pack them in tight enough. Stick them in the fridge for 20 minutes and that should help keep them together. {Be sure not to keep them in there too long or else they’ll become super hard!} The next time you make them, try reducing the butter to 3 tablespoons and really packing them down.

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