Foodie Friday: Granola bars
(Foodie Friday will be a semi-regular feature on my blog where I try and expand my cooking knowledge. It might be a meal, a snack, a drink or something else, but it’s something I’ll have created and — hopefully — it will taste good. This feature will share time on the blog with Foto Friday, but there will be no set schedule for either.)
I love granola.
Always have. Even as a kid, I was a fan. Whether it be granola bars or granola on its own, I love it.
Besides being a healthy snack, it’s also quite nice to have when you are out doing things, such as disc golf or geocaching or hiking or whatever. It can be quick and filling and, sometimes, that’s what one needs.
I always figured it would be cool to make my own granola bars. In the end, I figured it would be cheaper than buying the mass-produced ones, and I’d know all the ingredients, which would hopefully, in turn, make things healthier.
That’s why I got excited when I came across my latest attempt at making my own snack — no-bake peanut butter pretzel chocolate chip granola bars. Yeah, it sure is a mouthful to say, but it’s well worth it in the end.
I didn’t make any major changes to this one as I’m not even sure if there is a sugar-free brown sugar out there. If there is, I would likely try to do that in the future. There could be a change or two I’d make when I do them again, however. I’ll discuss those below.
Again, my idea for these would be to take out and about with me. I’m not sure, as I did them, if this would be feasible. But, with a couple of changes, it easily could change.
This recipe is supposed to yield 10-12 bars, which it did. But they weren’t the size I was hoping. I like granola bars to be like the ones you get at the store — thinner and a little longer. The dish that’s called to be used for this is too deep and the bars are thick.
Anyway, the recipe:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
- 3/4 cup chopped pretzels
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I used regular sized and added some peanut butter ones, too)
- Cut out an 8×8 piece of parchment paper and place in the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking pan. Spray lightly with cooking spray. (I didn’t have parchment paper, so just “buttered” up the pan and it worked well).
- In a large sauce pan, add butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Stir in the oats, crispy cereal, and pretzels. Stir until well coated. Pour into the prepared pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan and press firmly with your hands. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top and gently press into the granola bars with your hands.
- Place the bars in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into bars and serve.
I really did enjoy these bars and still have a few I’m chomping on. But the one issue is the 8×8 pan. Doing these again will require a bigger pan so the bars can be thinner and take the shape of an actual granola bar. I saw the photos on the other websites and either they didn’t use an 8×8 pan, or something went wrong with the recipe on my end because it was thick as can be in the pan.
The recipe was quite easy to follow and finished quick enough.
The taste is excellent. I really like it. The one problem is leaving them in the refrigerator makes them a little harder. I wonder if it’s necessary to leave them in the fridge after they harden up some? I think I’d like to find a way to cut them all up and store them separately so they can be grabbed on the go a little more. Something tells me they should be able to last for 3-4 weeks, if done right. I could be wrong here, but I’ll have to play around and see.
I also think it might be fun to mess around with the recipe a little, so I might try that down the line, too.
In the end, I’d definitely encourage this recipe. Especially if you have little ones who need snacks. These could even be something they help you make, so it could even taste better. Give it a try!
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