I got this recipe from Bakerella; granola bars are a common snack in my house as Steve and I are pretty active. The only adjustment that I made to this was instead of cherries I used dried blueberries and dried cranberries. The initial cost of everything was slightly expensive but you can make several batches and each batch yields about 12 granola bars, so well worth it. I made these a few days ago, had one for lunch and wasn’t hungry until well past dinner time. I didn’t have the 8×8 pan, so mine came out a little crazy looking.
Cherry Almond Grab and Go Granola Bars
1 1/2 cups Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup rice cereal
1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8 X 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper overlapping on opposite sides so you you can easily lift bars from the dish when finished.
- Toast almonds. Spread them in an even layer on a large baking sheet and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Watch closely so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place oats and toasted almonds in a food processor and give it several pulses to break the shapes up into smaller pieces. This will make the ingredients press together more compactly in the baking dish.
- Place all the oats, almonds, rice cereal, dried cherries and chocolate chips in a large bowl and mix together until evenly distributed. Reserve about a tablespoon of the chips to sprinkle on top at the end.
- In a medium bowl, microwave the peanut butter, honey, syrup and vanilla for about 10-20 seconds so you can easily stir it together. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir until completely combined and all the dry ingredients are coated.
- Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and press down as flat, even, and compact as possible. You can use a smaller baking dish to help or press using your hands coated with vegetable oil. Once the mixture is as flat as you can make it, sprinkle any reserved chocolate chips and gently press them on top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and cool completely for at least 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for another hour. Remove and cut into 12 equal bars using a thin serrated knife while still in the baking dish. Lift the bars from the dish holding the parchment paper.
- Makes 12 bars. Bars will be good for several days at room temperature or for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.
- To prepare them for the week ahead: Working with chilled bars, wrap each one in a strip of parchment paper and tie with a string. Place in a plastic treat bag to travel with. You can also dip the bottoms in a little melted chocolate or candy coating and let dry before packaging.