rocky road granola bars
I (Amanda) bought some quick oats recently. I had a serious craving for oatmeal, which happens sometimes, and that was the only type of oats the drug store near me had. I think it’s my stepdad’s fault that I get oatmeal cravings. He is famous for his love of oatmeal. Maybe it’s not love, maybe it’s begrudging acceptance of oatmeal as a very nutritious breakfast. He’s remarkably healthy in his eating habits and is the first person I ever knew who expressed deep appreciation of brussel sprouts. So maybe for him nutrition & love are the same thing, at least when it comes to breakfast.
Almost every morning, my stepdad has a big bowl of oatmeal, usually mixed with raisins. When I was little, I thought this was gross. Who in their right mind picks that bowl of oatmeal and raisins over a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios? Well, once I moved to Chicago and had to walk to class in the brutal, cold wind of a Chicago winter, I kind of understood why one would choose the oatmeal. Even though I don’t live in Chicago anymore, I still embrace oatmeal and every now and again have a downright craving for it.
But this is not a post about oatmeal. This is a post about granola bars that Emily and I made. Granola bars that you can make with quick oats, which you may have lying around because of a long-past oatmeal craving. Unlike most granola bar recipes, they don’t require baking time in the oven. You just let them set in the fridge and a few hours later, you have granola bars that are far tastier than the kind you get in the store.
You can halve this recipe and make it an 8 x 8, but I just love my 9 x 13 Pyrex too much. I always joke that if there were ever a fire and I could only save one thing from my kitchen, it would by my Pyrex. And yet, the beauty of it is, it doesn’t need saving. It would pretty much survive any fire. Didn’t you see that episode of Desperate Housewives where the Pyrex measuring cup found amid the ruins of a burnt house is the key to the mystery?
Another note – you could consider making these true rocky road granola bars (i.e., more chocolate-y) by adding a bit of cocoa to the syrup that you make on the stove-top. But I wanted to pretend these were healthy.
Rocky Road Granola Bars
Adapted slightly from Chow
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/2 cup honey
- big pinch salt
- 3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1/2 cup almonds, cut up into chunks (not slivers)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup mini marshmallows – the smaller, the better
Mix the Rice Krispies, oats, almonds, chocolate chips, and marshmallows in a big bowl and set aside.
Heat the butter, brown sugar, honey, and salt in a pot over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and let boil for one minute before removing from heat. Alternatively, get your cooking partner to do this step, which will give you the impression that these granola bars are even easier than they are. Special bonus points if you forget to tell her that you’re doubling the recipe you’re using as a base.
Pour the boiling butter and sugar mixture over the cereal & other yumminess mixture.
Stir this all together to the best of your ability using a wooden spoon. Then, you’re just going to have to use your hands. Seriously. I was reluctant to do this because I was in a weirdly squeamish-about-sticky-stuff mood during our last cooking extravaganza. But this was a mistake – I missed a few spots that didn’t get enough of the syrup and so they didn’t stick together well enough, and then some spots had a bit too much syrup. Don’t be like me. USE YOUR HANDS. Mush everything together gently, pull the dry bits of cereal from the bottom of the bowl and mix them with the syrup. Do whatever you have to.
Then pour this mixture into a 9 x 13 pan and pat it down into an even layer.
Cover with foil and refrigerate for a few hours or until firm.
After the granola bars have set, cut carefully, using a very sharp knife, into about 24 granola bars. They’ll be easier to cut if you first “cut” the outer edges of the granola bars, drawing your knife between the outer edges of the bars and the edges of the Pyrex dish. Store the bars in an airtight container or wrap individually in plastic wrap to make them extra-easy to throw in your purse or bookbag before heading out for the day.
Yummy. . .