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Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Shelf Reliance Mom: Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars


With 4 cute kiddos around the home, we go through a lot of snacks throughout the day.  These kids may seem tiny, but they have quite an appetite when it comes to granola bars.I have never been a fan of the "name brand" Chewy Granola Bars, but bought them for the kids at Costco a few times a year because they only equaled out to about 25 cents a piece.  Bingo...$1 and the 4 are fed, right?  Well, sort of...

After eating them, they were still hungry, but now they had their day's worth of sugar but were still wanting another.  If I let them, they'd eat 3 a piece which is just not going to happen.  I decided I had to find a granola bar that was simple enough to make so I would stick with it weekly, yummy enough so the kids wouldn't remember those wrapped snacks of the past, and filling enough to where the kids wouldn't be eating a whole pan at one sitting.

I love this recipe from One Little Word She Knew and have only tweaked it a little bit.  I hope that you'll give it a try and call it your own.  I will say that we are never looking back.  These bars have a much heartier portion, for less cost and lower sugar.  YAY!  One time we were in a hurry to leave somewhere and I had ran out of the homemade variety so I grabbed the few "name brand" bars I had been saving for such an emergency and the kids all complained.  They wanted the "Yummy Bars".  I knew at that moment that they had crossed over to the homemade-darkside with me.  Muahahaha!

My sister grabs the bars and a glass of milk and calls it breakfast.  Tell me folks, can you do that with the others.  Nope...these are the REAL DEAL.  So let's get to it shall we?

Creaming the butter. 
Step 1: Cream the butter, honey, brown sugar and vanilla extract. (Or get some little cutie pies to do this difficult job for you.
We like it really fluffy!
I love Pampered Chef's liquid measuring cup!
Please note that I soften the butter first to make the job easier but DO NOT MELT the butter.  The bars were still delicious the first few times I made them, however, they crumbled after the baking process so I knew I was doing something wrong. You want the mixture nice and creamy like this.

Well creamed mixture
Dry Ingredients:Freshly ground wheat flour, baking soda, oats. Bam, you're done! 
Step 2: Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  (This is a double batch because I always make 2 pans at a time, so if you were thinking it looked like ALOT of were right :) )  Use your bare hands to thoroughly mix these ingredients together.

 Step 3: Add the chocolate chips and shredded coconut (or nuts/dried fruit if you are creating a mixture of your own).

Step 3: Lightly spray a 9x13 pan and dump the mixture in.  It should be fluffy and crumbly.  Flatten the mixture into the pan with a large spoon or with the bottom of a flat jar/cup.

Step 4: Bake in the oven at 325 for 17-22 minutes.
Step 5: After removing from the oven, allow bars to rest in the pan to allow the chocolate to harden slightly.  Use the flat jar to flatten the bars once again.

Step 5: Cut into bars.  Because these are so filling, I've actually cut them into more than the 18 bars Christy suggests.  I usually cut it into about 22 per pan, but 18 makes it so nice and simple.

Step 6: Enjoy the bars and be sure to hide them from the kiddos if you'd like to not have granola bar crumbs strewn around the house because the children decided to pull them out and eat the whole container of them while you were getting dressed so you could take them somewhere.  No, I'm not bitter :)

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Slight Variation from One Little Word She Knew

Makes 18 bars          
Prep Time:15 min    
Cook Time: 17-22 min @ 325  
Total Time: 35 min

3/4 c butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 c honey                               
1/3 c brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract                    
1 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda                         
4 1/2 c regular oats
2/3 c chocolate chips             
1/3 c shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 325. Cream together butter, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
2. Mix in flour, baking soda, and oats to creamed mixture with your hands. Mixture should be soft and crumbly.
3. Press mixture into lightly greased 9x13 dish.  Bake for 17-22 minutes until edges are just beginning to brown.
4. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.  Use flat jar  bottom to press the bars flat.  

Can be kept at room temp in a sealed container, in the fridge or freezer.  I can’t wait to try substituting THRIVE fruits for chocolate chips., adding nuts and mixing it up!

THRIVE Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

3/4 c THRIVE butter, reconstituted
1/2 c THRIVE honey, reconstituted
1/3 c THRIVE brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract (homemade recipe coming soon)
1 c THRIVE whole wheat ground flour
1 t THRIVE baking soda
4 1/2 c THRIVE quick oats
1/3 c shredded coconut
2/3 c chocolate chips

Reconstituting butter is pretty easy, but I have found that different people like different consistencies.  I disagree with the SR recommendations to do equal butter to water.  You will need 1 c butter powder to 3T water.  Whisk ingredients together in a bowl and add a little bit of water to this if needed to reach desired consistency, but try to do so a teaspoon at a time.  It will look different, but taste the same :)-

Yes, it looks different :)
Reconstituting honey takes some time to get thicker.  It gets almost as thick as regular honey within about 40 minutes but if you let it sit out for hours, it will crystalize so you need to be watchful.   Here are the directions for making honey:

Mix 3/4 c THRIVE Honey Crystals with 1/4 c of very hot water.  Microwave for 20-30 seconds on high.  Stir well, until crystals are dissolved.  Cool for 2-3 hours or until thickened.  Makes 1/2 c honey.

I tried using it the reconstituted honey right out of the microwave in a modified version of this recipe this morning and the texture for the bars just wasn't quite the same so I'll keep experimenting. I think I will try adding a little more honey crystals, butter powder and water to see if they soften up.  They were still a hit with the kids though.  Stay tuned for a fruity version coming soon :)

Question of the Day:
What will you use your honey and butter powder for?  What snacks would your kids not be able to live without?

PS. Don't forget to check out our Giveaway starting up in just a couple of days.

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