Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

chocolate chip granola bars

These crispy chocolate chip granola bars are nut-free and gluten-free. 

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Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

chocolate chip granola bars

These crispy chocolate chip granola bars are nut-free and gluten-free. 

  • Author: Marie-Pierre Lessard
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats*
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal*
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • ⅓ cup Grandma Molasses
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Line a 9”x 9” pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. Combine the oats, rice cereal, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and coconut in a large bowl.
  3. Melt butter, molasses and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract (it will sputter).
  4. Pour hot syrup over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Allow to cool for a few minutes then stir in chocolate chips. Press mixture firmly (and I mean firmly) into prepared pan and ensure it gets right to the edges. Try laying a sheet of parchment paper over top to make it easier to press down.
  5. Refrigerate until set and cut into bars.

Crispy almond butter granola bars are no-bake and gluten free

Crispy almond butter granola bars are no-bake and gluten free

No-bake cookies and bars were the first treats I learned to make on my own. The recipes were always extra easy, usually included some kind of cereal and always made a big batch.

 

I got my Brownie “Baking” badge by making peanut butter cereal squares all by myself and I learned to make Rice Krispies squares over a fire at summer camp.

 

 Crispy almond butter granola bars are no-bake and gluten free

There is a lot to be said for getting kids cooking at a young age. When you have mastered cereal squares then it’s onto chocolate chip cookies, and may be a cake or muffins….

 

This is the lasting value of the Brownie “Baking” badge:

  • Once you develop a taste for homemade treats it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed by the packaged version.
  • Setting kids free in the kitchen builds their confidence in the kitchen and that little bit of know-how will stand them in good stead when they’re off on their own.  There’s a chance they’ll do more cooking from scratch, rely less on processed, packaged foods and be healthier over all.

 

 

 Crispy almond butter granola bars are no-bake and gluten free

 

So here I am, back where it all began, making cereal squares.

 

It had been years (decades?) since I last cooked with Rice Krispies and when I first tasted Vanessa’s squares I realised how much I loved that unmistakable crispy texture. They can transform a granola bar (just ask my kids).

 Crispy almond butter granola bars are no-bake and gluten free

This is one of those recipes that you can adapt to suit your tastes by mixing and matching the nut, seed, dried fruit, chocolate combinations.

 

Vanessa’s crispy almond butter granola bars

  •  2 cups rolled oats (not instant), gluten free if that’s what you require
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal (gluten free variety)
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (or a combination)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips or dried cranberries (or both)

 Instructions:

Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper or grease it thoroughly. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine rolled oats, cereal and ground flax.

Measure out the slivered almonds and chocolate chips and set aside.

In a small saucepan combine molasses and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves then bring to a boil for 30 seconds to a minute.

Remove from heat and quickly add almond butter. Stir to combine.

Working quickly, pour sugar mixture over dry ingredients and mix well.

Quickly add the almonds and chocolate chips, using your hands if necessary.

Still working quickly, press into prepared pan.

Cool and cut into squares. Makes 24 squares

Nutritional information:

Calories 140

2.2 gr fibre

Good source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese

 

If you’re into gluten-free treats try our coconut almond energy balls.

Almond butter energy balls are easy, speedy and gluten free