I cannot believe how many things are made with peanuts. You don’t realize it until you find out your kid has an allergy, and are then forced to read all the labels. And the tiny print. Ad nauseum. Giving you a headache. Making you say bad words in the cracker isle. It happens.
Packaged granola bars are the biggest culprits for peanuts, and therefore used to be my nemesis. Until I found out how easy and fast it is to make them. Ya booooy. There are a gazillion recipes available…and it’s possible I’ve tried that many; some have been like candy, and some have tasted and felt like cardboard.
This one is a favorite – soft and chewy, with a slight crunch from the oats…sweet, and without preservatives or HFCS. And no peanuts.
(If this doesn’t appeal to you, hang tight. I have another favorite coming. A little firmer, made with cranberries and almonds. Mmmm.)
Of course the point of having a healthier version only works if you eat just one as a snack. I think I devoured three out of the first batch. But who am I to say what’s a serving? Especially when brown sugar and chocolate chips are involved.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Makes 10 bars
Prep time: 10 minutes
• 2 cups quick-cooking oats
• 1 cup crispy rice cereal
• 1/3 cup light brown sugar
• 1/4 cup honey
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.
In a large bowl, stir the oats and rice cereal together; set aside. In a small saucepan, melt the brown sugar, honey, and butter together over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour the melted mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour the oat mixture into the prepared pan and press down to ensure that the ingredients are tightly compacted in the pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with the miniature chocolate chips and press down on the top lightly with the back of a spoon.
Cool at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
(from Brown Eyed Baker)