Chewy Granola Bars

printed from melskitchencafe.com

*Note: Don't substitute rolled oats for the quick oats because the granola bars will fall apart. If you only have rolled oats, give them a very quick process in a blender or food processor (don't pulverize them!). Also, if you want to take these to a new level, toast the oats in the oven (350 degrees for 4-7 minutes) and let cool before using them in the recipe. Amazing.

*Makes 10-12 bars

INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 cups quick cooking oats

1 cup rice krispies cereal

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Lightly coat a 9X11-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside. If you don't have a pan that size, use a similar sized pan, like a 8X12-inch. This recipe is a bit small for a 9X13-inch pan but if that's all you have, just pack the granola bar mixture into a smaller portion of the pan - the mixture doesn't spread so that should work fine.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats and rice krispies. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, honey and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture comes together, stirring frequently. Cook at a simmer (so the mixture is lightly bubbling) for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour the wet mixture over the oats/rice krispies and mix with a wooden spoon until evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing down very firmly. If the mixture isn't pressed down well enough, the bars will be crumbly once they cool. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top. Press lightly if you want them to stick to the bars. Mine tended to fall off, which was just fine since there were a lot of little fingers ready to eagerly pick them up and eat them anyway. Let the bars cool for at least 2 hours at room temperature. Cut into rectangles. Store well covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.