Wednesday, March 28, 2012

S'mores Granola Bars

If you followed my trial of Raspberry Granola Bars you know that I left that experiment happy but unsatisfied.  Looking for more of a chewy chocolate chip version this time, I ended on this recipe from Simple Organized Living after quite the search.  I changed a few things to use up what I already had in the pantry: I added those dry marshmallow bits that come in hot chocolate mixes (bulk from Yoder’s), traded the flax seed for a little unsweetened coconut, and used all honey in place of the corn syrup.

Ready for a school lunch!
You will need
½ cup honey ($5.97 per 32oz, $5.97/32oz = $.19 x 4oz = $.76)

½ cup brown sugar ($.99 per 16oz, $.99/2.35 cups = $.42 x .5 cup = $.21)

½ cup homemade peanut butter ($.26 per oz, $.26 x 4oz = $1.04)

2 cups organic rolled oats ($1.49 per lb, $1.49/16oz = $.09 x 8oz = $.75)

2 cups Rice Krispies ($3.55 per 9oz, $3.55/8.75 cups = $.41 x 2 cups = $.81)

2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut ($3.49 per 12 oz, $3.49/4.13cups = $.85 x .125 cup = $.11)

2 Tbsp wheat germ ($2.79 per 16oz, $2.79/3.5 cups = $.79 x .125 cup = $.09)

1 cup chocolate chips ($8.69 per lb, $8.69 x .43lb = $3.74)

½ cup marshmallow bits ($3.29 per lb, $3.29/16oz = $.21 x .5oz = $.10)
Honey mixture with homemade peanut butter ready to stir in
Dry ingredients ready to mix

Mix the honey and brown sugar over medium heat in a small saucepan, stirring constantly, until all the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Add the peanut butter to the honey mixture, stir until incorporated.  In a large bowl combine the oats, Rice Krispies, coconut, and wheat germ.  Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients; stir to combine.  Add in the chocolate chips and marshmallow bits; mix with your hands or a rubber spatula until incorporated.  Fold into a greased 9 x 13 pan, patting down with your hands or rubber spatula until even.  Allow to cool before cutting into bars.
Patted down and cooling

These are really good!  I've made them twice now, and they were really different-

The first batch I used the homemade peanut butter, old overly thick honey, and whole foods bulk chocolate chips.  The peanut butter was fine, the honey made my syrup way too thick, and the chips had a gross metallic taste. Even so, they were gone within a week.  The first batch I also waited a little while to add the honey  after seeing what a mess the chocolate became for Andrea at Simple Organized Living.  This was a mistake.  Instead of the chocolate becoming messy, it was difficult for the chips to stick to the rest of the mass, hence the uneven distribution in the picture.

The second batch had one issue- I didn't have enough peanut butter, but decided to continue, anyway.  They tasted much sweeter and chewier.  I also added the honey mixture right away, which melted my Tollhouse Chocolate Chunks a bit, but it didn't get too messy.  This batch seems to be disappearing even faster than the first batch!  Spencer loves these in his school lunch, it's a big treat for him.  I like that I can give him a tiny square instead of a whole bar (not to mention the lack of wrappers).

One thing I especially like about this recipe is that it's so versatile.  If you'd rather have an almond and cranberry bar, mix that in, instead.  If you have some leftover oat bran from making granola, or anything random in your pantry that you don't have a use for- candy, nuts, dried cherries, etc,throw it in!

Honey basically never goes bad, but it certainly gets stickier.

Try It

$7.61 for 26oz (about 17 bars), or $.29/oz.

Buy It

$3.15 for 6.7oz (8 bars) Quaker Brand Chewy S’mores Bars, or $.47/oz.


I will definitely continue to Try It.  They are tasty, chewy, healthier than the Quaker Brand, and fun to make. 

NEXT WEEK: Easter surprise, if I get my act together...

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