Kiki's Chewy Granola Bars

Spring sports are here and that calls for healthy snacks that the kids can grab and go. Caroline has 4 lacrosse games this week and a tournament in Charleston. Grant has several practices and a couple games in the Charlotte area. It’s a divide and conquer type weekend so I’m going to make a few batches of my chewy granola bars for the kids and their friends to enjoy!

Kiki’s Nutty Granola Bars

2 cups of old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts and almonds but any nut will do)
1 cup rice crispy cereal
½ cup coconut flakes
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
¼ cup real maple syrup
¼ cup canola oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon of vanilla
a few pinches on salt

Preheat your oven to 325. In a large bowl, add the oats, a few pinches of salt, the butter and the oil. Stir until moist and then spread it out on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes to toast the oats. While the oats cool, take a small sauce pan and over low heat and melt the brown sugar, honey and real maple syrup. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat.

In a large bowl, add the oats, cereal, coconut, cranberries and vanilla. Slowly drizzle over the warm sugar mixture and stir until well combined. Line a *half sheet pan with aluminum foil and spread the granola evenly. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes. It should look golden brown and a little soft. As it cools, it will harden. Once cooled peel off the aluminum foil and cut in rectangles or squares, whichever you prefer.

*Using a half sheet pan will result in thicker bars. If using a full sheet pan your bars will be thinner and you’ll need to reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes. If you only have a full sheet pan but want thicker bars, just use the aluminum foil on one half of the pan and create a ‘wall’ with the foil so the granola stays on one half.

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