Monday, July 14, 2014

Chewy Granola Bars

These are THE best snack for summer! No baking required and you can make them so many different ways! They taste much better than store bought and are soft and chewy. I have made them 4 times in the last few weeks. The first batch I made didn't stick together very well. I figured out that you really have to press them FIRMLY into the pan to make them stick. Also, make sure to store them in the fridge. I tried chocolate chip, mini M&M and coconut, and raisin with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon added. I used flax meal in some and wheat germ in others, and both were great. The chocolate must be sprinkled on the top because if it is stirred in, it will melt. But if substituting the the chocolate and/or almonds for coconut, raisins, or other dried fruit, mix them in with the dry ingredients. If you throw in too many extras, the bars will be dry and not stick together, so don't add more than 1 cup total. The original recipe uses dark brown sugar, but I like light brown sugar instead.

Chewy Granola Bars
adapted from
6 TBSPs butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 TBSPs honey
1 1/2 tsps vanilla
Heaping 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 3/4 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1/4 cup flax meal or wheat germ
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large pot, combine the butter, brown sugar and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
3. Add the oats, rice cereal, almonds and flax meal (or wheat germ) to the pan and fold with a rubber spatula until well combined.
4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down lightly with a rubber spatula to even out. Let cool about 5 minutes (so chocolate doesn't melt) then sprinkle the miniature chocolate chips over top, and press down FIRMLY with the spatula so the chips stick. The mixture should be tightly compacted in the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 - 2 hours to cool.
5. Use the foil overhang to transfer the uncut bars to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into rectangles. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you have to stack them, use parchment paper or foil in between the layers, so they don't stick together.

Makes 20 bars


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