Granola Bars

One of our big grocery expenses is Clif Bars for Daniel. He loves them.

We have been discussing alternative options for the bars and Daniel asked if I could make something similar. Since that conversation, I have been on the hunt for a good recipe.

Over the course of the last month I tried several different recipes. One had condensed milk {low fat} as a key ingredient. Another had peanut butter and honey as the sticky component. I have been experimenting with the bases and trying different flavors. 

Then I jumped off the wagon and tried Popcorn Balls with Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Pretzels {it was a healthy snack with popcorn in lieu of oats}. Daniel was not amused {I thought they were delicious}. He emailed me to ask if I had lost my mind and why were their popcorn kernels that he might chip a tooth on in his granola bars???

I guess I got a bit distracted from the task at hand. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but when the story of the popcorn balls was shared with both my family and his mom and sister, I learned that maybe I was a little off my rocker on this one.

So yesterday I returned to my senses and went back to the recipe that Daniel liked the most. It is simple and fairly healthy {high calorie, but gave it a B-}.
They taste great and I still plan on experimenting with the flavors some… after all, if you know me, you know I don’t cook the same recipe very often.

Granola Bars {that are not Popcorn Balls}
Recipe adapted from A Recipe A Day
2 cups quick oats
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tbsp flaxseed
14 oz sweetened condensed milk {I used Eagle Brand, low fat}
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup craisins


Heat oven to 350ºF.

Line a 11×7-inch pan with lightly-greased parchment paper. 

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl then spread into the prepared pan, evenly pressing into the corners and out to the sides.

Bake 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden brown {use slightly less time for chewier bars and slightly more time for crunchier bars}

Let bars cool for 5 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper to lift them from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars.

Let the bars cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes 8 bars.