My kids go through a lot of granola bars. My older two often take a bar in their bookbags for a snack at school and we all often grab them for a quick snack when they're headed out to play or we have to go run errands. However, at $2 or more for a box of 8-10, I felt I was spending way too much money on something they'd wolf down in seconds.
I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. After reading some of the comments and making a couple small adjustments, I've found a new favorite! Variations on the basic recipe are endless and, while I haven't sat down to do an exact cost breakdown, I know they are significantly cheaper than store bought bars (and even yummier!)
|Original raisin, S'mores, and coconut chocolate chip!|
- 2 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
- 2 cups quick cook oatmeal
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins (or other add in!)
1. Measure the rice cereal and oatmeal into a large bowl and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, add honey, corn syrup, and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until just boiling. Remove from heat and add peanut butter and vanilla, then stir until smooth.
3. Pour mixture into the bowl with the cereal and oatmeal and mix until well coated. ( I found it worked well to slowly pour in the sauce while stirring so everything gets covered evenly)
4. Add your raisins, chopped nuts, or other add ins and stir gently to combine. If adding chocolate chips or mini marshmallows, wait to add until step six so they don't melt too much.
5. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. ( You could also use a regular pan and cut into bars, but I loved how easy it was to get even portions and remove the finished snacks from the muffin tins.)
6. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out the mixture and put into the muffin tins. ( You should get about 18 servings) If you're adding chocolate chips or mini marshmallows, sprinkle them on the mixture in each cup. Then, using a piece of waxed paper sprayed with a little cooking spray, firmly press down on each bar.
7. Stick your muffin tin into the fridge for about a half hour to cool the bars. Then easily pop them out and you can wrap the individual bars to use as snacks.
Because these snacks are so easy to make, I've already made several batches and look forward to trying even more combinations. I plan on playing around with the cereal options as well as switching up the add ins. ( So far, we've loved the original with raisins, S'mores with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips, and toasted coconut and chocolate chips)
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