Sunday, May 20, 2012

Absolutely Delicious Granola Bars

I posted this over at Mamal Diane a week ago and I thought I would share it here with you now!

First of all I want to to thank Diane for honoring me by allowing me to write a post for her wonderful blog! I can see that she has many great ideas and I will definitely have to take my time looking around and trying out some of her fabulous recipes and tips!

I'm Randomly Fascinated from Domestic Randomness. I am a new mom to My Little Guy who is almost 6 months old. At Domestic Randomness you can find me sharing my thoughts on all sorts of domestic topics. I have recently been writing a series comparing major diaper brands. I also like to discuss Recipes, Saving Money, Wedding Topics, Swagbucks, and other Random Thoughts. Please feel free to come visit me and let me know what you think of my random thoughts!

Anyways, on to the actual post :)

Absolutely Delicious Granola Bars

I asked my husband how he would describe these granola bars and he said "absolutely delicious". I said "No, I mean what should the title be?" And he said "absolutely delicious granola bars, that's what they are". So here it is just for you, my absolutely delicious granola bars.

I do not know the origins of this granola bar recipe. I got the basic idea from my aunt years ago, I think that she got it from some cookbook somewhere, but  I don't know what book it was so I'm sorry to the original author, I can't give you credit for the idea because I don't know who you are. I have adapted this recipe pretty liberally so I guess it is mine now.

This recipe is tripled because my husband and I LOVE these granola bars and if I made a small batch they are gone in just a few days and I would have to be making more constantly. If you would like to make a normal amount of granola bars simply divide the #s by 3. These measurements are not exact. Those of you who follow my blog know that I tend to just throw things in and not worry about exactness. As a courtesy to Mamal Diane's readers I tried to measure before I threw things in :)

3 cups Peanut Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Honey
1 1/2 cup corn syrup
4 cups oats
7 cups cereal (almost any rice or crunchy cereal will work, I generally use the leftovers at the bottom of the boxes, in whatever types I have on hand)
2 cups dried cranberries (any dried fruit will work, I used to use raisins but found that I prefer cranberries, I love the tart taste with the sweet granola bars)
2 cups peanuts (or any type nuts, if using larger nuts chop them in smaller pieces)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (whatever type you like best works, I used a smaller amount because I am not super into chocolate, but chocolate lovers can feel free to add more :)
Any other add ins you think would taste good in these. Some things I have tried - other nuts, seeds, other dried fruit, protein powder, fiber powder, wheat germ, flax seed etc.

In a large (if using triple recipe, then a very, very large bowl, I used a roasting pan because I didn't have anything else big enough) mix together oats, cereal, cranberries, peanuts, and any other dry add ins you want.
I used grape-nuts flakes, corn flakes, honey roasted honey bunches of oats, and wheaties for the cereals

Put peanut butter, brown sugar, honey, and corn syrup in a large glass (microwaveable) bowl. Microwave on high for several minutes (sorry I forgot to take note of time) until corn syrup is boiling.
Mix together.
 Pour over dry mixture. (Be careful not to burn yourself on the bowl or mixture, both are very hot!)
 Mix together.
Pour on wax paper lined cookie sheet. Wet hands. (helps mixture not stick to hands) Press mixture into an approximately square shape.
Freeze (this helps the sauce set faster, if you don't mind waiting you could let it sit out or put in fridge)

After fully cooled take out of freezer and cut into squares

Store in airtight container. I like to store them in the freezer or fridge because I like them cool.
One of the things I love about this recipe is that it is so versatile. You can adapt it almost any way you want and it will still turn out fabulous as long as you use something sticky in the sauce. I haven't tried it but I think you could probably use maple syrup also, or just use all honey and skip the corn syrup. You can use almost any add ins that sound yummy to you as long as they are in small enough pieces to mix in well. I think every batch of granola bars that I make is different, but so far they have all been great!

Thank you again to Mamal Diane and to her wonderful readers! I am very grateful to you for allowing me to post my random thoughts on your blog! I can't wait to see what Diane has for us next!

I hope that you enjoyed my recipe! I would love it if you would come stop by and visit me at Domestic Randomness. If you want to stay a while you can subscribe by email, RSS feed, or Google Friend Connect.


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