Peanut Butter Granola Bars

 I have a real problem buying granola bars from the store. It might be that the packaging misleads me into thinking I’m going to have more than a two-bite snack. I feel like I’m being ripped off. So after a bit of searching, I found a recipe I really like. The original recipe is here. I omitted the brown sugar in my version because it made the bars feel grainy and too sweet. This recipe has more steps than some I’ve tried, but I think it’s totally worth it. You get a more crunchy, flavorful result.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

4 T. salted butter

1/4 cup honey

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

1/4 cup hulled green pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease 9 x 13 baking dish. (The original recipe calls for a 9 x 9 pan. They turn out pretty thick that way, though.)

In a small saucepan, melt butter with honey over low heat, stirring.

In a large bowl stir together oats, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until combined well.

On a large baking sheet, spread granola evenly in a thin layer. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes to keep from sticking or burning, until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. (Do not overcook; the granola will crisp more when cooled.)

Remove granola from oven and cool in the pan. When the granola is completely cooled, place in a large bowl.

Combine the corn syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture is at a boil. Remove from heat and pour the mixture over the granola, stirring to coat well. Cool slightly and press into the prepared baking dish and let cool completely and harden. Cut into 15 bars. (Even though you can cut into the bars when cooled, I find they stay together best when cut the next day.)

Notes:  This is the kind of recipe that you can add or delete ingredients easily. The photos I took don’t include pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds because my kids don’t like them.

Other options include 1 cup raisins or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or mini chocolate chips. Let your imagination run wild.

Enjoy!

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