Chewy Granola Bars

I've been testing granola recipes for years, and many times, the granola is baked, resulting in a crunchy, sometimes too crunchy, texture. This is fine for me, but The Man likes chewy granola bars...particularly, those made by a popular cereal company. However, I think they're terribly overpriced, nutritionally lacking, and stuffed full of mystery ingredients. So, when I came across a recipe on Pinterest lately for a chewy granola bar, I just had to try it out!

So I did just that, with a few modifications of my own, of course. Take a look at the original Pinterest version of the recipe.

This recipe is extremely easy...even your kids can help make it with some supervision...and you'll know exactly what's in it!

Note: When I make things like this (to replace a junk product The Man likes), I *must* get his approval, or he'll never eat it. Luckily, with this, I got almost instant approval!

(makes 10 granola bars)
1/4 c butter
1/4 c honey
1/3 c brown sugar, packed
1/8 t Kosher salt
1/2 t vanilla2 c quick cooking oats (not rolled oats)
1 c crispy rice cereal
2 T flax seed meal
1 T wheat germ
1 T wheat bran
2 T mini chocolate chips

Before beginning, line a small baking pan/dish with parchment paper, leaving enough length to be able to lift the parchment from the pan after the bars are set. (I have found, with some experimentation, that my square corner 9x5" loaf pans work perfectly for this recipe.) Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine butter, honey, brown sugar, and salt. Heat until just boiling, stirring occasionally (be careful not to let it boil over). Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

In a medium bowl, combine oats, rice cereal, flax seed, wheat germ, and wheat bran.

Add butter and sugar mixture to the oat mixture and stir until well-combined.

Spread the mixture evenly in the lined pan, and use another pan to pack the granola together as evenly as possible. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Let cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting.

Store in an airtight container.

I've made a cranberry almond version for myself. I started by soaking 1/2 c dried cranberries in warm water for about 15 minutes. Then I drained them, prepared the granola as directed above, omitting the chocolate chips. Before I pressed the granola in the pan, I stirred in the dried cranberries and 1/4 c sliced almonds.

I've got a few other variations in mind that I hope to post later. What flavors would you like to try?


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