Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Easy Homemade Granola Bars

If you've never tried to make homemade granola bars, then you should definitely try these! Super easy & super tasty!
Chocolate Chip, Coconut & Peanut Bars
* 1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal 
* 1 cup of bran flakes, such as grape nut flakes
* 2 cups old fashion oats (quick oats don't turn out as well)
* 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 2/3 cup honey
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 cup packed coconut (optional)
* 1/4 mini chocolate morsels
* 1/4 peanuts (optional)
Directions: In a large bowl combine the rice cereal and oatmeal. Grease or line a 9×13 inch pan. (I prefer to line the pan with saran wrap because it makes for easy clean up.)
Mix brown sugar, honey and peanut butter in a small sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until just boiling. Add to cereal mixture along with vanilla extract, cinammon, salt, peanuts, coconut and chocolate chips.
Press into the prepared pan using a spatula, spoon or your hands. (I press down with tin foil or wax paper).  Set aside to cool (I have found placing them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes helps them set the best), then cut into bars.
*
Cranberry, White Chocolate & Almond Bars
* 2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
* 2 cups old fashion oats
* 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 2/3 cup honey
* 1/2 cup almond butter
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 cup packed cranberries
* 1/4 white chocolate morsels
* 1/4 almond pieces
Directions: In a large bowl combine the rice cereal and oatmeal. Grease or line a 9×13 inch pan. (I prefer to line the pan with saran wrap because it makes for easy clean up.)
Mix brown sugar, honey and almond butter in a small sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until just boiling. Add to cereal mixture along with vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, almond pieces, cranberries and while chocolate morsels.
Press into the prepared pan using a spatula, spoon or your hands (like I do). Set aside to cool, then cut into bars.
*
TIPS:
* To keep chocolate from melting into mixture try freezing it first as well as adding the morsels towards the end of mixing process.
* Once the bars have cooled I place a cutting board on top of my pan and then flip the pan upside down onto the cutting board. I can then lift the pan off, remove the saran wrap, and cut into bars.
* Bars taste great if frozen…. Once thawed they retain the chewy texture however I would avoid refrigerating the bars as this seems to dry them out.
* To keep fresh store at room temperature in a sealed container.
* Try swapping out the crispy rice for cereal that you already have on hand… corn flakes, cheerios, etc.
*
Fun “Add-Ins” to experiment with:
Chocolate morsels, M&M’s, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, dried cranberries, raisins, dates, dried apricots, coconut, peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, flax seed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, toffee pieces…

No comments: