Last weekend, my family and I fell in love with making our own homemade granola bars. We made Trail Mix Granola Bars and Peanut Butter S'more Granola Bars. They are super simple and taste delicious. They are so easy that my 7 yr old can make them by himself, and he did! Today he wanted to make them to take for the after game snack for his baseball team. We ended up making two versions - a straight S'more version (like the Peanut Butter S'more Granola Bars, but with no peanut butter - there are kids with nut allergies on the team.) The second version was my son's creation - an oatmeal raisin granola bar with cinnamon. He did everything by himself, except the pouring of the hot syrup into the mixing bowl. He was so proud! He told all his team mates that he made the granola bars, and repeatedly asked them how they like the snack. Adorable!
Needless to say, everyone loved them and everyone was thoroughly impressed.
This is how he made his cinnamon oatmeal raisin bars:
He put 1 3/4 cups of oats, 1 cup of puffed rice cereal and 1/2 cup of raisins in a large mixing bowl. - We are using the same bowl that we just made the S'more version in, so please disregard the chocolate on the bowl. Saving dishes is always a priority. :)
He then put 1/2 stick of butter, 1/4 cup honey and 1/3 cup of dark brown sugar in a pot on the stove. Turned the heat to medium and stirred the ingredients together.
When the mixture started to bubble, he watched the clock for 2 minutes and then turned the stove off.
It was at this point (when he was waiting his 2 minutes for the syrup to be done) that he asked if we could add cinnamon sugar to the mixture. I told him that we didn't need any more sugar, because of the honey and brown sugar in the syrup but that cinnamon would be OK. We sprinkled enough to cover the top (probably about 1/4 tsp), and then mixed it all in.
I poured on the hot syrup and he started mixing.
When everything was completely covered in syrup, my boy wanted to add some chocolate chips. (Of course, I mentioned before that chocolate is pretty much a standard in our house.) This is completely optional. We added 1/3 cup.
As soon as the chocolate was mixed in, I dumped it into a 9x9 pan and started to flatten it out. My handsome man did most of this, but I just happened to take the shot with my hand in the picture.
You really want to make sure to press down hard, so that everything gets good and stuck together. Now , our hands are covered in melted chocolate so we washed our hands and put the granola bars in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes.
When they were cool, I turned them out onto a cutting board.
I cup them into 7 long strips,
and then cut the strips in half - 14 bars. There are 14 members of his baseball team. Isn't it wonderful when things work out?
From here we just put each granola bar in a zip-top baggie with a S'more granola bar, so that each child word have their pre-portioned snack. Served along side a 100% juice pack and it was an awesome and nutritious snack! (The hubby and I hate it when parents bring junk food for the team snack. -Stepping on my soap box. We should be giving our kids healthy snacks and treats. We want them to be healthy and grow up the best they can. Our kids will only act as good as the food we put in them. Just think about that for a second. Our kids have been given candy and doughnuts for an after game snack on more than one occasion. Really people? Just sayin'. OK stepping down off of my soap box.)
These bars really are delicious! I consumed quite a few myself. (We made a total of 4 batches of granola bars today for the team and our family.)
Here's the recipe:
No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars
1 3/4 cup oats
1 cup dry puffed rice cereal
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup honey
Put honey, butter and brown sugar it a pot on the stove. Bring up to a boil and cook on medium for *1 to 2 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine oats, cereal, raisins and cinnamon. When hot syrup is done, pour over the oats mixture and stir to combine. When everything is coated add chocolate chips (if using) and stir in quickly. Immediately dump mixture into a 9x9 pan and press down firmly until even and solid. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into bars. (makes 14 bars)
*for a chewy bar, cook for 1 minute. For a crunchier bar, cook for 2.