Helloooooo, granola bar goodness. I make my own granola but have never attempted to make granola bars, for one I guess it just seems like it might be rather messy and complicated, and for another I was pretty sure I’d never be able to make ones I like – namely, those awesomely soft Quaker granola bars.
Um, I was wrong folks, WRONG – not only is it quick and easy and not messy in the least, but: exactly like the Quaker ones, like EXACTLY. And the possibilities are endless, really they are: my first batch was chocolate cherry, but you can also make peanut butter ones, or S’mores, or cinnamon raisin; just toss in some dried fruit, nuts, candies or chocolate bits, whatever your heart desires.
A tip: make these about a day before you plan to eat them, as I think the texture and flavor is better after a day. I found mine were a little too soft and crumbly on day 1, but then they were perfect by the 2nd day. Ours lasted about a week, kept in a tightly sealed containger.
Another few things to note, the original author suggested the following:
1) start with a plain, low fat granola, with no big clumps
2) don’t be stingy with the rice cereal, use a big heaping cup of it
3) try them first with the lowest amount of sugar (1/4 c.); the more sugar you use the harder your finished bars will be
4) make sure to press them TIGHTLY into the pan for best results
5) cut them while they are still warm, it will be much easier for you that way
Now – go make your own granola bars!
Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars
(adapted from Back to the Cutting Board)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 – 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (see tips above)
1/4 c. honey
2 c. plain granola (I use Ina’s recipe for granola)
1 c. rice cereal (Rice Krispies, etc.)
1/2 c. dried cherries
1/3 c. milk chocolate chips
Combine honey and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar after the butter starts to melt.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Add the granola, rice cereal and raisins into the saucepan and fold them into the sauce until evenly coated.
Spread the mixture into a 9×9 pan (for thick ones) or a 9×13 inch pan and press firmly with a spatula to evenly fill. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, and gently press into the top.
Let sit until mostly cooled and set, then cut into bars. NOTE: chocolate chips will still be quite melty, so it’s best to allow them to completely set before inhaling these. Unless you are really into smearing chocolate all over your face. And if you are then by all means: go for it.