Crispy & Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars
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Let’s take a trip back to the 80s, when I was a little kid. I used to eat Kudos Bars, the chocolate chip ones were my favorite and the cookies and creme was a close second. Want to take a trip down memory lane with me? Here is a video of an old Kudos commercial. Back then there wasn’t a huge variety of granola bars available in grocery stores. These days there are a dozen different companies making a huge variety of flavors. And so I went happily along buying granola bars for myself and my hubby to have with our lunches, not even thinking about making my own, until one day I saw one on Pinterest.
Total light bulb moment. I could make them in any flavor I wanted, add in flax meal, go organic, no corn syrup… The possibilities were endless! Since seeing that pin, I have made granola bars for us and haven’t looked back. The best part is you can splurge on more expensive ingredients because even with whole honey roasted cashews from your favorite premium grocery store mixed in, you are still going to spend WAY less than you would on that 4-5 dollar box of granola bars that has 5 bars inside. On the flip side you can make these out of ANYTHING. Say you have a small handful of nuts left over, or leftover Halloween candy? Did another recipe use 85% of your bag of chocolate chips? This recipe can use any of those leftovers and make something delicious!
Over medium heat, whisk until combined and let it come to a boil for 45 seconds.
Add in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
Let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes since it is still so hot.
Add to the dry ingredients.
Combine and let cool again until you can add your M&Ms without them melting before mixing them in.
Add in your delicious M&Ms.Our favorite flavor is Peanut Butter ones, so of course those go in here. You can use any other size/flavor you want. Or even just chocolate chips or peanut butter chips. These granola bars can have any snacks you love go into them! I’ve even added crushed Oreos or graham cracker pieces. That being said, we are a PB M&M sort of family (No advertisement/sponsorship here, just M&M love).Grease a 9×13 pan and gently pat the mixture into the pan, then refrigerate until it has firmed up. At this point you can enjoy them chewy but we are looking for crispy and chewy, so we are going to bake them. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out of the fridge, flip tray upside down onto cutting board.
Cut in half lengthwise, then into bars of your choosing. I cut ours into 16 pieces.
Put onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes
Let cool and enjoy!
Crispy & Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars
- 2 ½ cups Puffed Rice Cereal (I use Organic Brown Rice Cereal from Whole Foods)
- 1 1/4 cups regular oats
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped pretzels
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup chunky peanut butter
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup peanut M&Ms
- Add cereal, oats, flax seed, raisins and pretzels into a bowl.
- Stir to combine
- In a saucepan, add honey, brown sugar and salt.
- Over medium heat, whisk until combined
- Let it come to a boil for 45 seconds.
- Add in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
- Let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes since it is still so hot.
- Add to the dry ingredients and combine.
- Let cool again until you can add your M&Ms without them melting before mixing them in
- Grease a 9×13 pan and gently pat the mixture into the pan
- Refrigerate until it has firmed up.
- At this point you can enjoy them chewy but we are looking for crispy and chewy, so we are going to bake them.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Take out of the fridge, flip tray upside down onto cutting board.
- Cut in half lengthwise, then into bars of your choosing. I cut ours into 16 pieces.
- Put onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes
- Let cool and enjoy!
Crispy & Chewy Trail Mix Granola bars have all the same flavors of your favorite trail mix and are a perfect snack or meal substitute in a pinch.
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