Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Yummy, Delicious, Homemade Granola Bars




About 3:00 in the afternoon, I hear from the wee-ones in our house, "What are we having for snack?".  You too?

Just as I want to provide them with healthy meals throughout the day, I want them to have wholesome snacks too. One of our favorites is granola bars.

Knowing that I could make them much cheaper than the boxed versions from the local supermarket (and yummier too), I set out looking for recipes.  Nothing was perfect for our taste buds.  So, as I often do, I combined several, tweaked the amounts, and changed up the process.

So without further ado...here is my Homemade Granola Bars recipe.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup Rice Krispies (or Crispy Rice if you purchase the off brand)
1 1/2 cup Granola (can also use plain rolled oats)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins, cran-raisins, coconut, or other dried fruit (optional)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (more or less to taste, optional)

Click to print the Granola Bar recipe.
Directions:


Since I make granola every other week for the hubby and kiddos, we always have a fresh batch available for granola bars.  If you haven't made it, you wouldn't believe how easy it is...and so much cheaper than the premade versions.  Of course if you don't have granola readily available, you can use regular rolled oats as well.


Begin by pouring the granola into a large bowl.  (To note, I always make a double batch of these goodies as we go through them way too fast.  So the images in this post are for double portions.)


Next add the Rice Krispies. 



If you are as lucky as me, have your cute little assist stir the mixture.


Now we are ready to prepare the second batch of ingredients - liquid (though they won't look like liquid ingredients at first).  Just as when I make my Homemade Granola, the next ingredients will be combined and then heated.  This allows the brown sugar to dissolve and the peanut butter to melt. 


In a microwavable bowl, add the brown sugar.  Be sure to pack it in.  :)


For the next two ingredients, I like to use a Pampered Chef Measure All Cup.  It makes the honey easy to measure and pour into the container.



Using the same measuring cup, add the peanut butter.  Stir well. 

One note...you may be tempted to adjust the sugar and peanut butter amounts in this recipe but be careful not to skew the ratio too much. It is important to have the correct amount of dry vs liquid ingredients.

Place the ingredients in the microwave for 1 minute. 


After heating it will look like a brown, gross mess but stir for very soon it will add deliciousness to the dry ingredients.  (Cook a few seconds longer if the ingredients aren't melted completely.)


Add the vanilla and stir.  If you add the vanilla prior to cooking, the heating process breaks down the vanilla which can cause it to lose the wonderful flavor it adds.  (Your welcome for the science lesson.)


You should have a runny, liquid compound.  If you want the chocolate chips to melt, now is the time to add them to the hot mixture.  Stir well.


Add the hot mixture to the granola and Rice Krispies.  Fill free to add raisins, cran-raisins, coconut, or other dried fruit.  If you prefer chocolate chip chunks, you can add them now.  Stir well so that the liquid fully covers the dry ingredients. 


Pour the mixture into a pan.  For one batch, I typically use a 9x13" pan.  For a double batch, I use a jelly roll pan.  Choose the pan based on the desired thickness. 


Pat the mixture down firmly with the back of a spoon or your fingers.  Let cool.  (As the bars cool, they will slightly harden and firm together.)


Once cool - if you can wait that long - cut the bars and enjoy! Click to print the Granola Bar recipe.

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5 comments :

  1. Hi! We made these this morning...the kids had a blast, and we love the taste. However, even though I packed it in tightly and let it cool completely, it just crumbles apart when I try to cut it into bars. The only thing I did differently was use 1/2 cup of chopped nuts instead of the 1/2 cup of dried fruit. Any ideas of what I should do differently to get it to stick together?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erin - Try cutting back on the "liquid" ingredients just a bit or add a little more granola. I have found that the humidity affects them too. Sometimes we just eat it with a spoon. This typically happens when I haven't measured well. :)

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    2. Great, will try that! Thanks!

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  2. I want to omit the peanut butter. How do I adjust the recipe for this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm...I am sorry. I don't know what you would do instead because the pb is used as a liquid and you need that for them to stick together.

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