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Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars

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Are you a crunchy granola bar person, or a chewy granola bar person? I’m the latter.  My favorite granola bars are the Sunbelt Bakery ones. and it has been a quest of mine for a long time to find a recipe that would duplicate their soft, chewy texture.  I felt that baking them wasn’t the way to go, as all the ones I baked were just a little too firm, a little too dry, and not chewy enough.  I made lots of my own recipes in the search to find that perfect recipe, and never did find it.

Until Sarah.  She posted a recipe for Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars and my search ended there.  I’m tellin’ ya, coconut oil is such a good friend in the kitchen.  Makes great cookies, coffee, and granola bars!  These are exactly what I was looking for, and a little healthier than Sunbelt Bakery’s with the flaxseed, honey, coconut oil, and lack of processed/weird ingredients.  And totally crazy delicious!

Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed* (I used whole)
1/2 cup mix-ins of your choice (I used peanuts)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
dash of salt
1/3 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used butterscotch chips)

*You can use wheat germ, wheat bran, or more rolled oats in place of the flaxseed.

Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil or wax paper, and grease well with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together cereal, oats, flaxseed, and mix-ins. In a saucepan, stir together honey, brown sugar, and salt. Turn heat onto medium-low, then stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 60 seconds, then remove from heat and gently mix in coconut oil and peanut butter, careful not to splash. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Pour wet ingredients over the dry and mix to combine.

Press mixture into prepared pan, then evenly distribute chocolate chunks over top. If you mix the chocolate in, it will melt. Press into granola mixture with a spatula then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to set. Cut into bars and wrap in aluminum foil or wax paper for easy transport.

Recipe source: The Pajama Chef


Seasoned Crackers

It’s been several years since I’ve made seasoned crackers, and I decided I wanted to add them to our holiday spread again this year, which always includes lots of random and fun snacks and appetizers.  But I lost my recipe!  I knew my friend, Sandy, had her recipe for them posted on Facebook, so I went there in a frenzy when I was whipping these up the night before we were set to travel.  (Thank you for saving me, Sandy!)  Realizing I only had a single bag of oyster crackers, I subbed in a bag of Goldfish crackers and decided to double the ranch dressing mix and the end result was some of the best seasoned crackers I’ve ever had.  In this case, losing my recipe was a lucky thing because this new version is even better than my old favorite!

These would be perfect for New Years, Super Bowl, tailgating–basically any party in any season!  During the winter months, the leftovers make a great garnish for soups.

Seasoned Crackers

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (12 oz) bag oyster crackers
1 (6.6 oz) bag Goldfish crackers
1 (1 oz) envelope ranch dressing mix
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ cup vegetable oil

Mix crackers in a large bowl. Sprinkle dressing mix and spices over the crackers, then pour oil over it all. Mix until the oil is absorbed. Cover and store overnight for the flavors to develop.

*Veronica’s note: Cheez-its would make a great substitute for the Goldfish crackers! Use about three cups, or 7 ounces.

Recipe source: adapted from Sandy S.

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