Thursday, December 09, 2010

Gift Mix 2010

If you're new here, you should know I make gift mixes every year for Christmas presents to give to extended family, friends, coworkers, pastors, church staff, neighbors... you get the idea.

I work hard every year to come up with a gift mix that tastes great and is easy to make. That's not always easy to accomplish. We try lots of recipes each year before finding just the right one. (It's a tough life we lead, but we suffer through it 'cause we love ya'.)

In the past, we've made cookie mixes, bread mixes, muffin mixes, crumb cake mixes, and even scone mixes. I wanted to do something different this year, but with all those different mixes in my repertoire, there weren't a lot of choices left. I also wanted something that was at least sorta healthy. (Hey! I said sorta!)

A few months ago, the girls and I started working on test batches of granola bars. I started with a recipe from my friend Krista. I thought those were a bit too "heavy" for us, so I tried a few other recipes I found online. I ended up smushing (Like that technical cooking term?) several recipes together to come up with what I think are the most addictive granola bars on the planet. I seriously can't tell you (nor would I want to admit) how many batches of these things we've consumed.

So, without further adieu, I give you the recipe for Chewy Granola Bars, our 2010 gift mix.

Chewy Granola Bars

Mix Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (I used vanilla sugar so the recipients wouldn't have to add vanilla)
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut

Recipient Needs to Add:
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • ½ cup honey


Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix all ingredients together, using hands. Press mixture into lightly greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. May be refrigerated to make firmer bars.

Makes 16 bars.

Flavor Variations:

  • S’mores – Add ½ cup crushed graham crackers and substitute mini marshmallows for coconut; omit cinnamon.

  • Healthy – Substitute dried fruit and/or nuts for chocolate chips; substitute wheat flour for all-purpose flour; substitute applesauce for honey.

  • Honey Nut – Substitute chopped nuts for chocolate chips.

  • Sugar-free – Substitute 1/3 cup Splenda for brown sugar; substitute nuts or unsweetened coconut for sweetened coconut; substitute unsweetened dried fruit for chocolate chips, substitute unsweetened applesauce for honey.


Gina said...

Oh. Yum!!!! And "healthy"? What would you want to do that for? {giggle}

Krista said...

I made your version of the granola bar recipe expect I used crushed Rice Chex cereal becaus I didn't have any Rice Krispies on hand. They are in the oven now...I have a feeling they are going to be delicious...if they are I am going to have to experiment to cut down or substitute part of that WHOLE stick of butter! :)

Jennifer said...

I hope you like them, Krista! We experimented with them so many ways I can't even list them all. I will say, though, that eliminating the butter didn't significantly lower the calorie or fat content. You can try using a combination of applesauce (for the moisture) and an egg (to hold the bars together). The consistency is different, but it might be a little healthier than the butter.

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