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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Our Favorite Granola Bars

I have made this recipe so many times that I have it memorized!  The kids love these granola bars, and they are relatively easy.  I have adapted the recipe to make a large batch so that it lasts at least a week in my house.  You can halve it for a 9 by 13 sized pan or quarter it for an 8 by 8.

Our Favorite Granola Bars (adapted from this recipe)

2 cups honey
3 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 cups quick oats
6 cups rice crispies or Cheerios or a combination of both
1/2 to 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, place in freezer preferably the night before (use Enjoy Life brand to keep dairy free)

Combine honey, peanut butter, and brown sugar in a large microwave--safe bowl or pitcher.  Microwave for two minutes, stir, then microwave 2 minutes again and stir to combine.  (My microwave is 900 watts, so you may need to adjust your microwave times.  You want a nice, consistent mixture with the sugar dissolved.).  Stir in vanilla.

While your mixture is microwaving, place oats, rice crispies, and/or Cheerios in a large bowl.  Spray a 15 by 10 inch pan with nonstick spray.

Pour peanut butter mixture into bowl and stir to combine.  This can take a little bit of time and elbow grease.

Next, pour it into prepared pan.  With greased hands or the bottom of a measuring cup, flatten it slightly.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.  (Note: it's best to have these in the freezer beforehand to avoid having the chips melt as you are packing down the bars.) Continue to use hands or the back of a measuring cup to pack the bars down evenly.  You made need to spread the chocolate chips out a bit as you go to keep them well-distributed.

Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set up; then cut into bars.  I like to wrap them individually so they are ready to go for snacking, lunch boxes, etc.  However, Saran wrap can be such a pain to work with.  I have started laying out a long length of Saran wrap on my table or counter.  Then I place several granola bars, top-side down, on top of the Saran wrap.  I use a scissors to cut in between the bars and then wrap them up.  It works so better than trying to cut off individual squares of Saran wrap and wrapping them one at a time!

Hope you love these as much as we do!

Ready to mix.

Press slightly into pan before adding chocolate chips.

Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

Press down firmly with a flat measuring cup.  You may find that the chocolate chips start to melt slightly.  To combat this, have them in the freezer beforehand.

Lay out a long strip of Saran wrap on your table or counter.  Put bars, top side down, on top of Saran wrap.  Cut in between the bars with scissors and wrap up.  This technique is much faster than trying to wrap the bars individually.  I have to tell you, my husband saw me doing this and was impressed with my ingenuity!

Enjoy in lunches, for an afternoon snack, or whenever you need a little something to get you through to the next meal!


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