Thursday, June 24, 2010

Build Your Own No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

I LOVE this recipe! You can make these granola bars as healthy or "naughty" as you would like.

Build Your Own No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

Categories: Cookies & Candies, Low Iodine Diet

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar -- firmly packed
1/4 cup honey (or corn syrup)
1/2 cup brown sugar -- firmly packed
1/2 cup corn syrup (or honey)
1/2 cup peanut butter
ALSO (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 dash salt (if not using pretzels as a mix-in)
cinnamon -- to taste

CHOOSE YOUR GRAINS - 4 cups total
4 cups granola, oats, Rice Krispies, or any kind of cereal (Jeannette likes 2 cups oats and 2 cups Rice Krispies. You can also add healthy stuff here: flax seed, wheat germ, etc.)

CHOOSE YOUR "MIX-INS" - 1 1/2 cups total
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries, coconut, nuts, raisins, pretzel sticks, choc chips, etc. (Jeanette likes to use 2-3 types.)

Choose your "Glue."

Choose your "Grains" - 4 cups total.

Choose your "Mix-ins" - 1 1/2 cups total.

In a medium saucepan, combine your "glue." Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add vanilla, salt, and cinnamon if desired.

Add the "grains" and "mix-ins" (except chocolate chips if using) to the saucepan and fold the ingredients to evenly coat with the "glue". Transfer the granola mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and press firmly to evenly fill. if using, gently press the chocolate chips onto the top of the granola. Let the granola mixture set in the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes, then cut into bars.

Use the peanut butter glue. Make sure your corn syrup is LID-safe. Use non-iodized salt. Make sure all of your "grains" and "mix-ins" are LID-safe (you probably want to use very basic ingredients like oats and dried fruits and nuts).

Source: Jeanette

JEANETTE'S NOTES: TIP...line your pan with saran wrap so the bars can easily be lifted out for cutting. Also make sure you pack the bars down well so they stay together. I usually double this recipe and press it into a jelly roll pan. After they are set and cut, wrap them individually in plastic wrap.
JEN'S NOTES: I prefer to mix the "grains" and "mix-ins" in a big bowl, then pour the "glue" over the top (instead of adding the "grains" and "mix-ins" to the saucepan). Be careful! The glue is like molten sugar and it is very hot after it has been cooked. I also like 2 cups of oats and 2 cups of rice krispies for my grains. You kind of have to have some kind of cereal like Rice Krispies in there to give it some air and a little lift or else the bars turn out to be very dense. For mix-ins, my favorites so far are marshmallows, broken pretzels, and Kraft Carmel Bits with the butter "glue" - we like these so much I haven't tried much of anything else.