Tuesday, March 12, 2013

His & Hers Granola Bars

Ahhh, the granola bar.  That proverbial grab and go snack.  The breakfast of champions on those mornings when it's all you can do to remember to brush your teeth.  The choices faced in the grocery store...chocolate, dried fruits of all kinds, maple, brown sugar...the choices are never ending, but what if I told you that in practically no time you could make your own in any combination you could dream up?!

I found this recipe a while ago on Pinterest with the original recipe found here but still felt like I needed to experiment with some things to get them the way I like them.  For me a perfect granola bar is one that sticks together but is still chewy and flexible, one that won't cause fear of chipping a tooth or crumbling into your lap.  Be sure to check out the tips & tricks at the end for some suggestions on how to modify the recipe for your preferences.

Let's begin!
Our fantastic ingredients which can be adjusted per your own taste affiliations.
The common denominators of dry ingredients are mixed together

The sweet things are measured and added.  If you want to add an extra step and put them in cute containers first I won't be the one to tell you no. 
It will look as though the liquid to dry ingredient ratio is impossible.  DO NOT BE ALARMED!!
See, it all comes together eventually.  Be sure to get all the dry bits that want to lurk on the bottom of the bowl.
Press until flat and firm into a greased 8x8 pan
His and Hers granola bars if you will
Let's enjoy some pictures shall we?

Now enjoy and don't be alarmed if they somehow disappear in a single day!

1/4 C butter
1/4 C honey
1/3 C packed brown sugar
2 C quick cook (instant) oats
1 C rice cereal
1/2 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips
dried cranberries

  • Stir oats and rice together, set aside
  • Melt butter, brown sugar, and honey over medium heat until it comes to a boil
  • Reduce heat and allow mixture to cook for 2 minutes
  • Pour in the vanilla and stir
  • Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well
  • Place into greased pan and press down
  • Sprinkle with chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or anything else you 'd like and press lightly
  • Allow to cool for 2 hours
Tips & Tricks
  • You MUST use quick cook or instant oats.  I tried repeatedly with regular rolled oats that I use for cookies and they never held together.
  • I use an 8x8 pan but you could use anything you'd like.  The original recipe uses part of a cookie sheet, I found it difficult to get them condense and firm enough without an edge all the way around.
  • Use a regular metal dinner spoon to press the mixture into the pan.  A wooden spoon tends to absorb the stickiness and pull bits of granola up with it.
  • If you choose to use more add-ons in the initial mix (i.e. additional raisins, cranberries, even chocolate chips inside, etc.) you may need to adjust your proportions slightly but I've found that adding in additional raisins with an extra couple tablespoons of butter seems to work out well.  
  • The smaller the food item is you want to place on top the better it will stick to the granola when pressed down.  In the pictures you can see that some of the cranberries and chocolate chips have fallen off.
  • You can certainly place the whole pan into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to cool faster although this is not necessary.
  • I leave the granola bars out on the counter and uncovered for easy access in the mornings or afternoons.  I have not had any issues with anything going to stale, but that could simply be because they don't last us very long.
Thanks for reading and happy baking!

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