Food and gas are my biggest expenses of the month. While I can’t do much about the insane cost of gas, I can whittle at the food bill without sacrificing the things I love to eat. I started making my own granola bars about two years ago when I noticed the prices of a box of six bars was getting higher and higher. I always needed to buy two boxes so my husband and I could have one in our lunch buckets for work and that would cost us between $4 to $8 a week, depending on what I purchased and from where. After a little searching on the Internet, I found Playgroup Granola Bars at Allrecipes.com. The original recipe had too much sugar and oil for my tastes and included raisins, a dried fruit my husband hates about as much as he hates going to the dentist. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and the result is my white chocolate and cranberry granola bars. If you and your family members hate that combo, you can customize this recipe to add any ingredient you can think of. I’ve listed other flavors below the recipe. These freeze really well and my husband loves them!
My only complaint about these bars is that they are very crumbly. That’s a warning for all of you moms out there with messy kids. I eat mine out of a sandwich baggie to prevent a mess.
White chocolate and cranberry granola bars
Makes about 16 generous-size bars in a 8×11 pan
Bake at 350 degrees in either a greased 8×11 inch pan or 9×13 inch glass pan, depending on how thick you like your bars, for 30 to 35 minutes or until bars turn golden on the edges.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 wheat germ (or oat germ or bran works well too)
- 1 cup flour (I use wheat, but you can use what you prefer)
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup each oil and unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup cranberries (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup white chocolate baking chips (or to taste)
Mix together all of your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Stir well until the mixture is moist and fold in chips and fruit. This will be a very crumbly dough, but make sure all of the flour has been stirred in. Pour into prepared pan and press into pan until dough is firm. Cook at temperature and time indicated above. When done, leave pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before cutting. Do not let sit for any longer or the bars will be really hard to cut!
Some other combos I’ve tried with this recipe:
- Butterscotch bars. Substitute light molasses for honey and butterscotch chips for white chocolate. Omit cranberries.
- Candy granola bars. Substitute chocolate chips, Reeses’ or M&Ms baking chips for white chocolate. Omit cranberries.
- Cinnamon raisin. This was the original recipe’s ingredients. Substitute raisins for cranberries and omit white chocolate chips. Add 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon.
- Caramel apple granola bars.