(With apologies to Gina at Home Joys, who also had granola bars on her mind and just posted a recipe for chocolate ones. View her recipe here.)
Confession: When it comes to granola bars, I like to pretend they are ENTIRELY HEALTHY. You know. And sort of ignore away the sauce ingredients, which in this case, as you will see, turn out to be a whopping two bags of miniature marshmallows.
Well. Sigh. You can’t have it all, can you? And think of all that fiber… Plus, in my opinion even the richest of homemade food has a nutrition and simplicity that beats more processed store food any day of the week.
I love this granola bar recipe! It’s the first homemade one I’ve found that has a perfect texture and a most delicious flavor. I received it from my friend Shaunda, an über-housewife who also makes her own bread, granola, yogurt, laundry detergent, babies, and who knows what else. I love her; you can visit her blog here.
Stir together in a big bowl:
5 cups Crisp Rice cereal
1 cup crushed graham crackers (I use one bag, a third of a box)
5 cups oatmeal
1 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 cups raisins or dates
1 cup coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
Feel free to swap out any ingredients you don’t like for the same amount of additional Crisp Rice, oats, or another add-in: cornflakes, Cheerios, another cereal, or more dried fruit. Granola is very forgiving.
Set dry ingredients aside. Butter a large pan so it’s ready when you are, 11 x 15″ or larger.
Combine in a large saucepan:
24 oz. miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
Stir over low heat till melted. The mixture will turn smooth and frothy.
Pour over dry ingredients and stir *quickly* until mostly combined.
Press into buttered pan. Tip: spreading a rectangle of wax paper on top of the bars during this step keeps your hands clean and creates a smooth, perfect top.
Add a drizzle of melted chocolate if you like. (I hear a lot of cooks frustrated about working with melting chocolate. I’ll share a few tips on that tomorrow…)
Cut into bars. Enjoy!
Can’t eat them all now? They keep beautifully in the freezer!