In between the Tiramisu-fest we (translation = I) recently had, we also took on other healthy-er foods.
After searching for an easy-peasy, no-turning-on-the-oven, great tasting granola bar recipe, this one’s a keeper.
Firstly, it’s base comes from:
- quick cooking oats
- rice crispies
- butter, brown sugar and honey (all healthy, right?)
And you can just about add anything to it such as:
- dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries
- chocolate chips, peanut butter chips
- walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes
The list is endless.
In this instance, dried cranberries were added. Delish!
The downside to the recipe? Not holding it’s shape. It literally broke apart when picked up. Even dear hubby cashed in his $0.02 worth saying it was the cherries. Juice of the cherries, he said. Uhhh….they were dried cherries, dear.
That’s how it was the first time I made this and even after some changes the second time around.
After reading sources and comments regarding how other granola bars “fell”, I found out it was best to “pack” the mixture really well by pushing them to one side and be at least 3/4″ thick.
I used 12″ x 18″ pans this time and gave it another shot.
and smushed and packed…
and pressed some more until the granola mixture was leveled with the lip of the pan.
The bars were then left alone to cool….thoroughly…before cutting into bars.
Can’t wait to add some mini chocolate chips, flaked coconut, walnuts, wheat germ, etc. next time around!
Side note: With this 3rd batch, I added 1 c. Cheerios and 1 c. oats, grounded until fine, and mixed in. It still held well even after adding these.
And, yeah, it’s healthy!
Side note 2: - Even though I had my share, I DID NOT eat the whole thing during these times. Kiddos ate the majority. Thank goodness for them!
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- ½ c. light brown sugar
- ½ c. honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 c. quick cooking oats
- 2 c. rice crispies
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¾ – 1 c. dried fruits, chips, nuts (or a combination of these)
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice crispies, cinnamon and your choice of “additives”. Still until well combined. Set aside.
- Melt butter, brown sugar and honey in a small pot over medium heat. Stir until butter and sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour into oat mixture and mix well, making sure dry ingredients are well covered. Pour into a lightly greased cookie sheet pan and FIRMLY* press down.
- Cool thoroughly (at least 2 hours) before cutting into bars. Keep in an airtight container and store at room temperature.