My boys LOVE granola bars, but the store-bought variety has so many questionable ingredients. Making them myself lets me control exactly what goes into them. These are so easy to make, and the best part about them is you don't even have to turn on your oven.
What you need:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup raw honey
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
How to make it:
1. Mix the cereal and oats together in a large bowl.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, honey and brown sugar over medium high heat until it starts to get bubbly. Reduce the heat down to medium, and cook for a full 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Carefully add the vanilla and stir again.
4. Pour the sugar mixture over the cereal and stir until it is coated.
5. Pour this mixture into a square baking pan (a 8x8 is good) that has been lightly coated with cooking spray or butter, and press down firmly. Top with chocolate chips and press them into the mixture.
6. Cool at room temperature for a few hours, then cut into bars. To store, wrap in plastic wrap or in Ziploc bags. Do not store them in the refrigerator, or they'll be too hard to eat.
***NOTE: If your bars aren't holding together very well after being cut, you may need to boil your sugar mixture a about 20 to 30 seconds longer next time. Make sure to press them down firmly in the pan. If they still aren't holding together, put them in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
I have to admit, I think store-bought graham crackers taste a bit like cardboard with a bit of honey added in for flavor. They're pretty nasty. Making your own is simple, healthier, and delicious. This graham cracker recipe calls for graham flour, which is pertinent to getting that characteristic 'graham' flavor.
I found graham flour in my local Walmart in the baking section, near the gluten-free flour choices. If you can't find it, you can order it HERE.
While you're busy making graham crackers, why don't you also make some homemade marshmallows, and enjoy some s'mores? You can find my homemade marshmallow recipe HERE.
What you need:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1⅓ cups graham flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses (or honey)
How to make it:
1. Whisk the flours, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set this aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and molasses together with a hand mixer on high speed until fluffy (roughly 2 minutes).
3. Add the flour mixture, and stir together until just blended. You don't want to over mix this.
4. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 2 hours.. This dough is very hard to work with if it isn't completely chilled.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Do not use a greased baking sheet. The crackers won't bake properly if you do.
6. Lightly flour a clean work surface, and roll the dough out until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3-inch square cookie cutter, cut out the crackers and transfer to the baking sheet.
7. Bake for 8 minutes, rotate the baking sheet, (so the front of the sheet is now facing the back), and bake for another 4 minutes. You want the edges to just be slightly brown. Bake these for too long, and they will get very hard.
8. Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.