No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
(recipe makes a 9x13 pan)
recipe by Carole Jones of My Kitchen Escapades
2 cups quick cooking oats (or pulse whole oats in a food processor a bit)
1 C rice crispy cereal
1/4 C shredded coconut
1/4 C butter
1/4 C honey
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix -In variations listed below
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, cereal and coconut. Set a small saucepan over medium high heat and melt the butter. Add the honey, brown sugar and salt. Stir together then leave it alone as it comes to a boil. Once the boil has reached all the way around the edges of the pan, begin timing. Allow this mixture to boil for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. During this time, you may need to turn the heat down a bit so it doesn't overflow, but be sure it keeps boiling.
2. Pour the mixture over the oats, using a rubber spatula to get all the sugar mixture out of the pan. Mix the ingredients together until the oats are completely coated. Add in your desired mix-in then press very firmly into a lightly greased 9x13" pan. If you like your bars thicker, you can use a smaller pan. If you do not press firmly enough, the bars will fall apart when you eat them. Place them in the fridge for 20 minutes then cut to size.
Add 1/2 C of mini chocolate chips to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan, allowing it cool just a bit or you will end up with melted chips. Sprinkle on a few extra chips over the top after they are pressed into the pan.
White Chocolate Cranberry
Add 1/3 C of white chocolate chips and 1/3 C of Craisins to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan, allowing it to cool just a bit first or you will end up with melted chips.
Add 1/3 C of Heath bar pieces, 1/3 C of mini M&M's and 1/3 C of chopped pretzels to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan.
Add 2 Tb of peanut butter to the finished sugar mixture before pouring it over the oats. Once mixed with the oats, add 1/2 C peanut butter chips before pressing into the pan.
Add 1/3 C of chopped raisins and 1/3 C of chopped pecans to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan.