Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Minus the granola. :)

Recently I started counting calories in hopes I might lose a little weight. I have had a difficult time finding foods for breakfast that won't use up too many of my "allotted" calories. I was shocked to find out that even my favorite store bought granola bars contained more calories than I really care to give up before the day even starts. :) I much prefer to save those calories for my dinner. But at the same time, I need something to eat in the morning to get my day going right.

Enter Pinterest.

Someone recently "pinned" a recipe for homemade granola bars on Pinterest (which was adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe).

And right away, I was intrigued.

However, don't let the name fool you. The granola bars have NO granola in them. Why? Granola is high calorie. So the recipe poster made these a bit leaner. And honestly, that was fine with me. :)

Oh, did I mention that this is a "no bake" recipe? That sealed the deal for me. :)

By the way, I followed the recipe fairly closely other than using a different type of chocolate chip, a different baking dish, and the fact I somehow got 12 "bars" out of this rather than the 10 mentioned in the recipe...of course, that only lowered the calorie count for me. The only problem is I want to eat more than one. :)

1/4 cup butter (I used Blue Bonnet Light)
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats (not rolled oats)
1 cup crispy rice cereal (I just used Rice Krispies)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp mini chocolate chips (I didn't use mini chocolate chips, but I did use Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips...have I mentioned how much I love dark chocolate?) By the way, if I weren't watching my calories, I would use more chips than that.

Stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside.

Melt butter, honey, brown sugar in a pan on the stove over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce heat and cook for 2 minutes. The original recipe didn't say anything about stirring, but I stirred the whole time. I really think it would have burned if I hadn't. After 2 minutes, add in the vanilla and stir thoroughly.

Pour over the dry ingredients and stir well until all is moistened.

Pour into a lightly greased jellyroll pan (12 x 8 x 1). Press into a thickness of about 3/4 inch.

Okay, I don't have a jellyroll pan. I just used a glass baking dish about the right size. I did spray it and I placed parchment paper on the bottom. I also didn't measure the thickness of it. I just pressed it down until I couldn't any more. I probably should have pressed more but it turned out okay.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and press down into the mixture.

Cool at room temperature on the counter for 2 hours before cutting the bars.

Store at room temperature.


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