Make Your Own: Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

One of my daughter’s favorite snacks are chewy chocolate chip granola bars.  I won’t name brands on this post, but I will tell you that they come individually packed, usually 10 to a box and retail for $2.89 at my local grocery store.  They advertise “No High Fructose Corn Syrup” as if to lure someone like me to buy them.  I can hear the box shouting “pick me! pick me! pick me!”  Fortunately, those tactics don’t work for me. Like other prepared foods, its long shelf life is achieved through additives or preservatives (many of which my daughter is allergic to).  Because of this, I’ve been buying an organic brand’s version since none of the ingredients are that bad.  This second option is also more expensive, $3.89 for 6 bars!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out  dozens of recipes for a home made version of the store bought chewy chocolate chip granola bars.  Let’s just say that some have been major flops while others were not even close to resembling a bar. Just when I was getting ready to give up and move on to something else, I decided to test out one more. The winner comes from Nonuttin’s home made version of their popular bars.

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 1/4 cups crisp-rice cereal
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup lightly packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup brown rice syrup (you could reduce to 1/4c & 1TB veg oil)
1/3 cup honey

Directions:

1.  Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; line baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides. Set aside.
2.  Place oatmeal and rice cereal in a large bowl; stir to combine. Set aside.


3.  In a medium saucepan, mix together brown sugar, rice syrup, and honey. Place over medium-high heat; bring to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

4.  Remove from heat and add to oatmeal mixture; stir until oatmeal mixture is fully coated and well combined.
5.  Evenly pour oatmeal mixture into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with chocolate chips. When mixture is cool enough to touch, press down into pan. Let cool to room temperature.

6.  Cut into 16 (1-by-4-inch) bars. Granola bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week, and frozen up to six months.

NoNuttin’s recipe can be made gluten free as directed on Martha’s site. There, you can watch the short segment and see how Martha Stewart makes these with Nonuttin’s owner Alaina Elliot. I made this recipe with traditional ingredients.

Laura’s tip: use small crisp rice cereal and quick oats. Otherwise, the ‘bars’ won’t stay together.

 

 

 

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