Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Makes 9x13 pan or 8 long bars or 12 store-bought sized bars

Prep and cook time: 5 minutes (though to be fair, these do have to set up for about 10 minutes in the fridge)

Cost: $1.35 for 12 bars (that's .11 per bar)

(choc. chips: .45, PB: .45, milk: .08, oats: .27, and a few more Tbsp chocolate chips: .10)

Melt in microwave, stirring or whisking at 20 second intervals:

1/2 C chocolate chips

1/2 C peanut butter

1/2 C milk (can be dairy or a non-dairy variety)

To this add and stir in :

1 splash of vanilla if you remember it (let's say 1/2 tsp)

1 Tbsp sugar (or agave or raw sugar or honey). You can skip the sugar if you wish. You can also add more if you want a sweeter bar.

To this add and stir in:

2 C oats (I use quick)

To this add and stir in:

1 C dry ingredients (dry fruit, coconut, flax seed, protein powder, nuts, more oats, whatever). We used more oats since I didn't think anything else would go over with the masses.

You're going to have a thick "dough" that looks like no bake cookie "dough." It should start to ball together as you mix.

At that point, press it into a 9x13 inch pan (I put parchment paper in mine to make removing and cutting easy, but you don't have to). Your hands will get a little messy; wet them with a bit of water if the stuff is sticking to them too badly.

Once you've got your "dough" all pressed in, you can press some toppings into your bars--more chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles--the sky's the limit. We used chocolate chips (tell me you just fainted from the shock). And one of the really really great things about the end press method is that if you like things your family members don't, you can press some nuts, seeds, or dried fruit into a portion just for you. Ha. I do like me some personalized granola bars.

Refrigerate bars until hard. I leave mine overnight. If you want them quickly, throw them in the freezer for 10 minutes. 

To store these, I cut them and then layer them between parchment paper (I use the same parchment paper that I lined the pan with--cheap and lazy, yup). I store them in the refrigerator or freezer and when one is needed I toss it in a Ziploc bag. 

Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate: