We’re on our third batch of these suckers in as many days at the Zoom house. We’ve shared with friends (not that many) and we just can’t seem to stop eating them.
They’re called cookie bars around here…we’ve got a 2 year old remember. Cookie anything is a sure bet.
We’re sort of doing this thing around here these days. You know, the thing, most everyone is doing during the month of January. The thing, where we tighten our belts just a bit (figuratively for sure, and hopefully literally as well). The thing is working out for us pretty well, I have to say. I’m monitoring Mint.com like a crazed money junkie, and Mr. Zoom and I have both ditched the holiday cookie weight.
Also you should know that it’s been freeeeezzzzing here for the past month (well really like 5 days) and it’s even snowed (about .3333 inches) and we’ve been cooped up inside with coughs and colds and fevers forever (this part is actually accurate). And because of that thing we’re doing, there is NOTHING decadent to eat in this house. So one day this week, I scoured the internet (Pinterest) for something I could make on the cheap, from items already in my pantry, that wasn’t double chocolate ganche with buttercream frosting and drizzled in brown butter (which is what I really wanted).
I came up with these. A variation of about a million homemade granola bars circling the web these days. As mentioned, I’ve made these three times, with three different methods, and they are all good. I consider this the base recipe. Add anything you want. I’m thinking S’mores….who’s with me?
The recipe calls for peanut butter. Yum. Peanut butter. If you live in a peanut free house, I suggest Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s. This stuff, you guys, is AMAZING. I mean, you could certainly go for Sunbutter, or Almond Butter, or Apple Butter, or anything else you usually use, but I’m telling you, I made a batch with Cookie Butter to test for a sweet peanut free friend of ours and dang, that batch was good.
This recipe is super easy, no baking required, and makes about 20 bars. Some math whiz did the numbers and proclaimed to Google that these cost $.08 per bar. I choose to believe that factoid. It makes the fact that I’ve eaten so many seem less indulgent. I’d like to proclaim that there are only 20 calories per bar too. I swear.
These will keep airtight for about a week. At least that’s what the internet says. Ours haven’t lasted more than 24 hours.
Homemade Granola Bars
makes 20 bars
4 cups oats (use rolled, not quick cooking)
2 cups crispy rice cereal (or Cocoa Pebbles. I won’t judge, they went in my first batch!)
1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (or whatever sub you want)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Mix dry ingredients. Put wet ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to boil, stirring. Dump wet on dry. Mix. Pour on foil (or parchment, if you’re fancy) lined cookie sheet (the kind with a slight edge). PRESS DOWN TIGHTLY. The mixture should be about a half and inch thick and pressed in pretty hard. I fold the foil over and press down after I’ve flattened with my spatula. Place in fridge for 30-45 minutes or until firmed up a little bit. Cut into bars or squares. Store in airtight container on counter for easy access (or in fridge if you can manage).