I love baking, and definitely prefer to feed my family home made snacks over store bought. In the summer though, when my house in an inferno and I can't use the oven for fear of roasting us all, it gets harder. Enter these delicious no bake granola bars.
I come from a long line of women who stubbornly resist following an exact recipe. I grew up watching them eye-ball tablespoons of this and half cups of that, using terms like "bake until done" or "add enough flour" and still end up making amazing food every time. I can't help but follow suit, I don't measure like I should and love to mess around with different ingredients. I end up with my fair share of culinary disasters, and I deserve them. But this recipe? It doesn't matter what I throw at (or in) it, this one has never let me down. As long as you can manage to stay relatively close to the ratio of dry ingredients to wet, and stir the honey mixture until it bubbles, you are going to end up with an easy recipe that is chewy and soft, cuts nicely, holds its shape, and disappears before you know it.
This is a really great one to get the kids involved with. After they've helped choose ingredients and measure, I give them each a spoon and let them go to town mixing while I melt the rest on the stove. Sensory play at its finest!
If you have a favourite ingredient that's not listed, or a combination of flavours that you like best, please share in the comment section, I'd love to try it!
Versatile Granola Bars
2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/4 cups oatmeal
2 1/4 cups, total, of anything else you'd like to add!
*suggestions: seeds, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, candy covered chocolate, granola
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup peanut butter
Mix Rice Krispies, oatmeal, and 2 1/4 cups of other dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper or coat with non-stick spray. Melt brown sugar, honey and peanut butter in a large pot over low heat, stirring constantly until bubbly. Stir in Rice Krispie mixture until everything is thoroughly coated. Pour into prepared pan and press down evenly. (Clean, wet hands work great for this.) Cool, cut into squares, and store in the refrigerator.
**Edited to add: If you want to add chocolate chips, it's best to mix everything else first, and wait until the bars have cooled a bit before sprinkling them on top and gently pressing them in. Otherwise they tend to melt into the warm honey mixture.