So, I guess granola bars aren’t technically cookies, but these are every bit as good as a big ol’ cookie and every bit as dangerous to my sweet tooth. These, however, are quite a bit healthier. I can actually feel good about feeding these to my kids. They do contain some sugar and a little butter, but if you are giving your kids store-bought granola bars, these are 10x healthier than those and 100x tastier. With flax-seed, oatmeal, wheat germ, nuts, peanut butter and raisins (or dried fruit of your choice), they really do have some good nutritional value with none of those nasty preservatives you get out of the box. The hardest part of these easy granola bars is waiting for them to cool before you cut in to them… I ate a whole row last night before they even had a chance to set up and cool. I dare you to try not to take a
big ol’ little taste test before they go into the oven (tastes like cookie dough without the egg… yeah). I’m telling you folks, Cookie Week is going to be deadly for me. I love cookies that much! Okay, I need to get to the recipe before I find myself standing over the granola bar pan (again) 🙂
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raisins (or favorite dried fruit of your choice)
3 Tbsp toasted wheat germ (Just put it in a pan dry over medium-high heat and cook for a few minutes until toasty brown)
2 Tbsp ground flax-seed
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup mini M&M’s or mini chocolate chips
This recipe is really versatile so feel free to subtract any of the nuts, fruits, chocolate, etc and add your favorites. I really want to try to find some freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries and mix with dark chocolate and nuts. I don’t care much for the dehydrated sweetened fruit so I would highly recommend the freeze-dried/unsweetened otherwise, your bars may get too sweet.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Stir in the oats, sunflower seeds, raisins, wheat germ, flax-seed, and almonds. Fold in M&M’s.
Press into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until bars are set and edges are slightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack (yeah right). Cut into bars.