This last year or so I have been building my kitchen braveness. I have discovered that there really are a bunch of easy things to make that require pretty minimal time and effort. I know, who knew? Bread (thank you oh mighty KitchenAid), croutons, soup, pasta, and now... granola bars. It was quite a shock to learn that these things don't grow straight into their packaging on a special Wal-Mart farm somewhere.
I had tried granola bars before, but the recipe was a bit involved for me and didn't turn out like I wanted. I decided to try again (mainly as a way to distract the kids from destroying one another on this endless snow-bound day). I found what is perhaps the easiest recipe in the world on allrecipes.com, and before I knew it we were basking in oaty goodness.
**The link is having issues, so here is the recipe in a nutshell, or go to "easy granola bars: at allrecipes.com :
3 c. quick cook oats
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 T. melted butter
4 c. mix ins o' some kind
Mix it all up, press into cookie sheet or 9 x 13 pan, bake 20-25 min, depending on how crunchy you want them, at 350. Cut a few min. after it comes out of the oven- before it cools.
Here are my sidenotes to the recipe:
*I have no idea if my oats were quick or regular, as they are in a huge #10 can marked "oats" and that's all. I think they were regular? Whichever kind was on a huge sale about 3 years ago at Albertsons. That cleared things up, huh.
*After the oats, sw. cond. milk and butter were mixed I put half into another bowl so we could get two different kinds of mix-ins. Half was butterscotch chips/dark chocolate chips, and the other half was golden raisins, tiny chopped pecans, and a little bit more oats.
*Just go ahead and figure the amount of oats, cond. milk, and butter called for plus 4 c. of mix-ins.
*I used a cookie sheet lined with parchment, and then sprayed that with Pam just for the heck of it. After they came out I cut them with a pizza cutter (again sprayed with Pam, because needless grease is just fun) and then lifted the whole parchment sheet onto the counter to finish cooling.
*Once cooled I wrapped them individually in plastic wrap and then put them all in a big ziploc. I got 20 from my batch, but I cut them pretty huge and will cut them smaller next time to make 30. You can make a ton and freeze a bunch if you are feeling ambitious.
And that's it! Not too tricky! Now go on and make some granola bars. Go on now, you know you want to.