I realized quickly that I was out of puffed rice cereal. How does that happen!? I swear, most of the time we have 3 open boxes of Rice Krispies in my cabinet. But today there were none. I figured I would be fine if I had another light, crunchy, small cereal - which I didn't. So I made the executive decision to chop up some Cheerios. I was a little worried, but it actually worked out perfectly.
Anyway, the cereal and oats get mixed together, and then you make somewhat of a syrup from half a stick of butter, some honey and light brown sugar, and don't forget some vanilla at the end. Doesn't that sound good already? Mix it all up good and pour it into a greased sheet, and then the fun really begins. You can decide to top the bars with whatever you want. I made the mistake of asking my mother for advice for what we should toss on, and she requested lots of nuts. I hate walnuts for some some reason, so I refused to agree with that, but I did press on some almonds and pecans. I also added pepitas (and what an excellent idea that was!), sunflower seeds, raisins, and craisins - not all over the place, mind you. The cool part of this recipe is you get to mix and match flavors on certain areas of the bars. So some were all nutty, some were seedy (bad adjective), some were fruity, some were a mix.
These are really, really good. Sweet - but also salty if you choose slightly salty toppings like the sunflower seeds - with a great chewy texture. They were all devoured by us quickly. The next time I make them, I will definitely make a double batch. By the way, we found that keeping them in the fridge kept them from semi-melting into a giant granola bar. Just a helpful hint :)
chewy granola bars
From Fresh Mama
1/2 stick of butter