These are decadent and chewy and delicious. All you need to whip them up are a few spare minutes and handful of ingredients. I stole a few minutes of precious nap time while my girl was snoozing and easily threw together two batches. They were so simple and inexpensive compared to store bought, not to mention you control the ingredients. Always a plus. All organic and gluten free ingredients per usual over here--and I couldn't be happier with them!
No Bake Granola Bars
Simply toss the oats, cereal, and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Melt the butter, honey, and brown sugar over medium heat. Once it begins to bubble give it another 2 minutes or so, stirring continuously. You want it to turn to an almost caramel-like consistency, thick and sticky, but careful not to overdo it as it can easily burn. Once you're there, pour the syrup over the oat mixture and toss making sure everything is coated well. Press into a parchment lined 9x13 pan to about half an inch in thickness, and then simply press in the chocolate chips. Be sure you pack it all together really well. If you don't they'll crumble to pieces when you try to cut them. Also, if your syrup mixture isn't sticky enough that can have an effect, too. My second batch held together much better because I gave the syrup a few more seconds on the heat. Allow them to cool and set for at least 2 hours before cutting into bars. (update: cool them in the fridge overnight--makes them hold together perfectly!)
The best thing about these are the endless variations. Use this as a base recipe (minus the chocolate chips) and add in anything you want: nut butter, dried fruit, coconut, seeds of any kind, nuts galore, coconut oil, you name it! I did a variation with big coconut flakes and almonds. Really yummy. Reminiscent of an Almond Joy. I want to try peanut or almond butter for sure, too, and one with dried cranberries and pecans, maybe sunflower seeds.
Oh! The other thing? I hate those skinny little twiggy granola bars that offer you two bites and leave you wanting... I cut mine THICK! No skinny bars over here, people. And I still got a dozen per batch! That's two store bought boxes, four in my case. The cost comparison is insane. I don't have the exact math, but even with organic ingredients these cost a fraction of what their highly processed, store bought counterparts do.
So there ya have it! Let me know what you think... and if you have any other flavor suggestions!