Recipe for Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars are easy to make and full of good nutritious ingredients; each bite delivers great taste as well as that much-needed pick-me-up expected from every snack food.

The added bonus of making your own granola bars is that can make specialized bars for each person in the family. The addition of raisins, coconut, wheat germ, nuts and seeds, peanut butter or caramel and chocolate all work well in this type of snack food. Also try adding favorite dried fruits or chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch morsels. For a sweeter, less nutritious but still delicious treat, add bite-size candies, such as M&M's.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Ingredients You Will Need:
2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup coconut
1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup peanuts
1 cup dried cherries
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the oats, seeds and coconut on a baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon and pop in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and honey. Simmer for a few minutes.

Remove the baking sheet, and add the peanuts and dried cherries. (Leave the oven on.) Remove the brown sugar mixture from the heat, stir in the vanilla and pour it over the baking sheet, coating all dry ingredients.

Using buttered sandwich baggies as gloves, press the granola firmly into a buttered 8-x-8 inch baking pan, and pop it into the oven for another 15 minutes.

Cool slightly before cutting into squares with a sharp, buttered knife. If the granola sticks, wait a few minutes, and try again. Do not remove the granola bars from the pan until the pan and its contents have returned to room temperature. Immediately remove from pan, and wrap in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container.

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