I'm just a busy wife and mom who loves to cook (and hates to clean up afterward), balancing the many hats I wear and trying to look cool, calm, and collected while doing it...

Oh, and I rarely measure anything when I cook, so consider yourself warned. Love good food. Try new things. Eat to your heart's content.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Super Easy And Oh So Yummy Granola Bars

I may be alone here in saying that I can't stand those Quaker Chewy Granola Bars.


They're like my least favorite snack food. Possibly ever.

I know. I'm weird like that.

I've seen a lot of home made versions of granola bars, but they all seem to call for tons of oil, and I've been trying to find something a little healthier, or at least without so much added fat, without sacrificing the yummy, part chewy, part crunchy  texture, and of course the flavor.

So, of course, I made up my own.

This recipe makes a lot of granola bars... at least 24 good sized bars, which could actually be cut in half and still be super satisfying.

You can also control the "add ins" yourself, subbing Sunflower Seed Butter for the Peanut Butter if your kids have allergies, Brown Rice Syrup for the honey, different kinds of dried fruit, white chocolate... the list could go on forever!

Homemade Granola Bars
6 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup Raw Sliced Almonds (I toasted mine in a skillet with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 cup (packed) Sweetened Coconut
1 cup Peanut Butter, melted
1 1/2 cups Honey
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (for the cookie sheet)

Preheat the oven to 325.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds and coconut. Add the peanut butter, honey, and maple syrup, and stir. (I use my hands to stir. They just really get everything combined better than a plain ol' spoon does.)

Now add in the chocolate chips, and stir some more.

It's good like this, in it's raw state, but I like the crunchy nuttiness cooking the bars adds.

Use the veggie oil to grease a cookie sheet with sides or sheet pan. I like to use my Large Bar Pan from Pampered Chef since it just makes everything bake so nice and evenly, but a metal one would work fine too.

Evenly spread the granola bar mixture in he pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until it's lightly golden brown on top.

While it's still hot, use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the granola into bars. Like I said this makes at least 24 bars, but it could easily make 48.

And PS... they're REALLY good when they're warm, since the chocolate gets all gooey and delicious. Mmm....

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