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Easy Granola Bars

March 3, 2010

I’ve posted several times about granola, including a Quick Omega-3 Granola, Kitchen Sink Granola, and Chunky Granola and then, later, a recipe for Maple Nut Granola. However, after years of granola-making, I had never ever made granola bars until last week.

These are easy–easier than granola, so if you’re the type to pick up a cereal or granola bar in the morning, make these and you can be more confident in the integrity of the ingredients.

Granola bars also really impress people, I’ve found out, even though they probably shouldn’t because–like most of the recipes I post–they are not difficult at all.

I really like this recipe because you can use whatever dried fruits and nuts you like or have on hand. When I made it, I used dried kiwi, cranberries, and sunflower seeds, but raisins and walnuts would be good, too.

Easy Granola Bars

1/2 C. dry roasted salted peanuts

1/2 C. roasted sunflower seeds or other chopped nuts

2 C. raisins or other chopped dried fruit

2 C. rolled or instant oats

2 C. toasted rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

1/4 C. toasted wheat germ (If you buy wheat germ untoasted, just pop it onto a skillet, turn the heat to low, and let it toast while you mix the other ingredients together. When it starts to be fragrant and a teeny tiny bit toasted looking, take it off the heat.)

1/2 C. peanut–or other nut–butter

1/2 C. packed brown sugar

1/2 C. light corn syrup or honey (I’d advise using honey unless you have corn syrup hanging around from making Christmas treats.)

1 t. vanilla extract

Coat a 9 by 13″ baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine peanuts, sunflower seeds or other nuts, dried fruits, oats, rice cereal, and wheat germ in a large bowl.

Combine peanut butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup or honey. If you have a microwave, heat until bubbling, 1-2 minutes. If you don’t have a microwave, like me, heat on the stove. Add vanilla and stir until blended. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press down firmly; use a little butter or cooking spray if the mixture keeps sticking to your fingers.

Let stand for about 1 hour to harden. Cut into bars.

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