Ohhh. It’s so lovely to be back to real life which includes blogging! Sure, vacationing in Australia is wonderful but so is getting things back to normal. Normal still feels like a bit far off though, considering all of the things I have to catch up on. Lucky for me, my first day back at it is the Chocolate Party for this month – so I had to get my post ready ahead of time!
Simple, sweet, and ready for snacking, these granola bars are perfect for breakfast or on the go. We went on a wonderful fall bike ride with friends a few weeks ago and I made these to snack on down the trail. They were a big hit with us and I know you’ll like them, too.
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries (Craisins) or dried sweet cherries
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 cups crispy rice cereal
4 ounces or 1/2 cup white chocolate
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the butter and cook until melted. Add the brown sugar, honey, milk, salt, and dried cranberries to the melted butter and stir to combine. Let the mixture come to a boil and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the pan off the heat and add vanilla and cinnamon. In a large bowl add the oats and crispy rice cereal and then pour the cooked mixture over the top. Stir until well combined. Dump the mixture onto one side of a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Press the mixture into the pan using the greased bottom of a measuring cup. The finished bars will take up about 2/3 of the pan and be about 3/4 of an inch thick. Allow the bars to cool and set for at least an hour.
After the bars have had time to cool, place them and the parchment paper they are still on, on a cutting board. Cut into bars using a sharp knife, but leave them close together (see pictures below). Melt the white chocolate in a mug over high heat in the microwave until smooth, stirring often. Drizzle the chocolate evenly over all of the bars. Allow the chocolate to cool and set for at least an hour. When the chocolate is set, cut the bars again with a sharp knife in the same places you cut before. Gobble them up or store in an air-tight container for later.
I like to re-hydrate and plump up dried fruits before I eat them in something like this, so I boiled them in the sugar/butter mixture to soften them. If you like your Craisins chewy and more firm don’t boil them and just add them to the cereal/oat mixture.
This is a great recipe to add anything too! Throw some nuts, flax, or wheat germ into the cereal/oat mixture; the possibilities are endless.
The bars firmed up as they sat overnight, uncovered. So if they are a bit soft, just leave them out overnight.
Me being part of the Chocolate Party group means that youall get access to the other ladies’ recipes too. Here is the collection of recipe from this month’s Chocolate Cranberry Challenge. Just click on the icon to access whatever else looks good, and be sure to check back because people will add to the collection as the month goes on. If you have your own chocolate/cranberry recipe, you’re free to add it to the collection and share the love.
Enjoy the Chocolate,
Keep in touch! Blogging is way more fun when I get a chance to connect with you.