Sunday morning, I woke up with an unreasonable craving for granola bars. It probably had a bit to do with the statement Mr. How Sweet made on New Year’s Day… something along the lines of wanting to buy Fiber One bars in bulk? I raised an eyebrow.
He does not need any more fiber. Trust me.
Why won’t he eat my own granola bars?
I’m sure if I could create a granola bar out of chicken and steak, he’d go to town on that.
But now that I’ve left you with that digusting image in your head , let me tell you about the deliciousness that is these peanut butter granola bars.
They may just be the simplest bars you’ll ever make!
You only need five ingredients to begin. They will create a simple, perfect peanut butter granola bar, but I also like to think of it as a base for a packed peanut butter granola bar.
Since I’ve made six batches of these bars since Sunday, I can tell you what works: chocolate chips, dried cherries, almonds, wheat germ, dried figs, and dried banana.
Yes, dried banana. A peanut butter, honey and banana granola bar! Mmmmm. I think I’m in heaven.
Into this particular batch went a boatload of chocolate chips, because well… we all know nothing is better than chocolate and peanut butter.
I know I don’t need to explain myself to you guys. You know me.
And since you know me, many of you are probably wondering when I’ll cave and add bacon. Honestly, I just thought about it for the first time as I was writing this post. Perhaps I need to make an Elvis granola bar? I am giddy at the thought.
I might need to be committed after that one.
The best part? You don’t even have to bake these bad boys. I baked 3 batches and left 3 other batches as no-bakes. I can’t decide which I like better, but I do love that the chocolate gets a bit melty in the oven.
Have you ever bit into a warm granola bar? You need to experience this.
The funniest part of these granola bars is that before I perfected this easy concoction on Sunday afternoon, I had 3 failed attempts – all more complicated and full of fluff. Sometimes simple is better, no?
At least I’m off to a good start with 2011 recipe disasters. Nothing like getting ahead.
makes 12-16 granola squares
4 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds (these are optional, I just love the texture they give)
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
3/4 cup natural peanut butter, melted
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (honey works too!)
dried fruit (I made some with cherries!)
Preheat over to 350.
In a large bowl, combine oats, chia seeds and peanuts. Add brown rice syrup (or honey) and mix to combine. Add melted peanut butter and mix until moistened. This works as a perfect, simple granola bar, but you can also throw in any add-ins at this time. Fold them into the dough. You may need to get in there with your hands and work the granola dough! If dough is still too dry (this can depend on your ingredients) add more peanut butter or syrup (or honey) 1 tablespoon at a time until moistened.
Press dough in a greased (non-stick spray) 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.
These would also work as a great no-bake granola bar, but I liked how they came together and the chocolate chips melted as they got warm. If you want to make no-bakes, simply press the dough into the pan and refrigerate for 60 minutes.
Off to dream of bacon granola bars. Don’t hate.