Honey Orange Granola and Bars

I think that if you had read my earlier Facebook post, you’d have gotten the idea that my day was going very smoothly. I had high hopes for today, despite being very tired. In the end, my husband walked in the door tonight and didn’t bother to ask what was for supper. Instead he commented on my tired, puffy eyes and asked how soon I wanted to lay down. We wouldn’t have starved for at the very least we could have eaten granola bars for supper.

The amount of money I spend each month on granola bars is laughable. Shameful, even. But I tell you, for whatever reason, despite trying dozens of recipes and even finding a few that I loved, my children would not eat my homemade creations. Now I will admit that Liam still turned his picky 3 and a half year old nose up at these, but he’s been in a foul mood all day.  Sylvi couldn’t shove hers in her mouth fast enough. What’s more, the husband gave these guys a firm stamp of approval.

I made a quick batch of granola first.

  • 2 cups of gluten free oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. orange extract
  • orange zest (optional)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Melt the butter and mix in the honey, orange extract and any zest you choose to add. Mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  Then, pour the honey mixture over the top and toss through the oats.  Line a baking sheet with foil and dump your granola out on it.  Spread the granola out and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir the granola well and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Recipe makes just over 2 cups of granola, which is the perfect amount for the bars.

Once the granola cooled… and I got my hands out of the pan… seriously.  I couldn’t stop eating the little granola clumps!  Honey and orange with the oats is amazing! Anyway, once the granola cooled, I made it into bars.

  • 1 recipe of granola
  • 2 cups puffed rice cereal
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup mix-ins (chocolate chips, cranberries, raisins, peanuts, etc.)

Mix together the granola and rice cereal.  You can reuse the foil from making the granola, but this is very important: grease the foil before you put the granola mixture on it.  I know there’s butter in the recipe, but it still sticks like the dickens and that’s just not pretty. 🙂  Then, melt the butter in a small pan with the brown sugar and honey.  Bring it to a boil and stir constantly.  The mixture will become caramel colored and bubble constantly, remove it from the heat and very quickly stir it into the dry ingredients. Press the granola into the prepared pan.  My bars were about 10 inches square, so I just molded it so that they were fairly even across the top.  Then, press your toppings into the granola and set aside for 20 minutes while the caramel hardens.

These granola bars and crispy and chewy and just the right amount of sweet.  Store them wrapped tightly for 2 weeks.

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