Chewy Cranberry Granola Bars

Chewy Cranberry Granola Bars

Servings: 14 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Quick Oats
  • 3 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder (I used Arbonne)
  • 1/2 cup O Shaped Cereal (I used Kashi Honey Toasted)
  • 60 g Semi Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips (about 1/4 cup) reserve a small amount for topping.
  • 2 oz Dried Cranberries (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 4 tbsp Creamy Almond Butter
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Directions:

  1. Prepare your 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking dish by lining with either parchment paper or foil, leaving some over lapping the sides of the dish. If using foil spray very lightly with non stick cooking spray. Or if you have the pampered chef bar tray you don’t have any prep to do…just pull the tray out of your cabinet.
  2. On a piece of paper town pour out your O shaped cereal, then top with another piece of paper towel. Now you will want to smash these pieces up a bit. If you have a meat tenderizing mallet that works perfectly, or you can use the bottom of a coffee mug. You want them broken into about 4 pieces each but not turned to dust, no science here just crush them up.
  3. Then in a large bowl combine: oats, protein powdered, crushed cereal, chocolate chips, and cranberries.
  4. In a small sauce pot over medium low heat combine: honey, peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Allow the butter to melt, then turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling stir consistently for about 2-3 minutes. This will allow the mixture to thicken. After 2-3 minutes boiling, remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Once the mixture has cooled, pour it into you large bowl with the other dry ingredients. Mix everything together until well combined. Everything should look wet and there should be large clumps.
  6. Now scoop the mixture into your your baking pan or into your pampered chef bar tray. Using your fingers press the mixture down firmly into your baking dish or into the individual bar shapes of the pampered chef tray. You will want to make sure you have pushed out all of the air. You can also use a spatula to do this. Make sure you mix is a nice even layer and that you have pushed as much of the air out as possible.
  7. Top with the few chocolate chips you reserved for the topping. Push these into the mix a little so they are not loose.
  8. Cover and allow to cool for 4 hours or over night.
  9. Once cooled you can either carefully pop the bars out of the pampered chef bar try or grab the edges of the foil or parchment paper and carefully remove from the pan, then cut them into squares or rectangles.

Kcals: 175g / 4.8g P / 22.3g C / 7.8 g F, per bar