Saturday, July 20, 2013

Triple Raisin Chewy Granola Bars

Big Brother is a fan of granola bars and I'm often on the look out for a good, homemade granola bar recipe. Today we decided to experiment. The primary inspiration came from a recipe my husband spotted on the back of a store brand cereal box. It used yogurt covered raisins but the coating was melted off and used as part of the mixture to hold the bar together. We replaced the cereal with oats and puffed rice and added in more raisins. I swapped out the nuts the original recipe called for and replaced them with sunflower seeds as I wanted these bars to be nut free. Of course, we also had to add a little bit of chocolate.

The recipe does involve some cooking, but no baking (so no oven on these hot days.) And it was a great one to get Big Brother's help with.

In the end, we were pretty pleased with the taste of this new treat! Definitely a sweeter granola bar, more like a dessert, that would make a great treat in a lunch box. (And sadly, we all know summer vacation won't last too much longer.)

The Recipe
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup puffed rice cereal
1/2 cup golden yellow raisins
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup yogurt covered raisins
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

1. Mix the oats, rice cereal, yellow raisins, craisins, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
Big Brother helped pour the ingredients into the bowl and then mix them.  Here he's sampling some of the dry ingredients while stirring. 
2. Melt the yogurt raisins, honey, and butter in a small sauce pan over medium to low heat. Melt until the coating has come off the raisins and the butter is fully melted. Stir regularly while melting. (An adult should do this task.)

3. When the yogurt and butter mixture is fully melted add to the dry ingredients (raisins too!) and stir until all the ingredients are dampened.

4. Spoon the mixture into a parchment lined 9x13 pan. Use a spoon or spatula to really press the mixture into the pan, so that the ingredients all stick together. At this point it's still a little warm from the mixture that was melted on the stove so I recommend not trying to press it in with your hand. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and gently press again.

5. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. I popped our batch in the fridge as it was pretty warm here today. 
6. Cut and either serve the bars or save them in a sealed container to use throughout the week. 

Really, any kind of dried fruit or nut could replace one of the raisin ingredients. It will be exciting to see what other flavors we can come up with. 

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