Sunday Servings: Chewy Granola Bars

Memorial Day weekend is the official kickoff of summer for those of us in the US.

For me, it's been four years since the last weekend in May meant cookouts and camping and swimming and all those summery things. And I'm thinking of my friends in South Africa, heading into winter, wrapped up from head to toe with space heaters and hot cups of tea.

If I could, I'd wrap up a box of summer sun and send it across the sea.

It's an unfortunate part of becoming an adult that the magic of summer gets trapped in the hazy, yellowed photographs of childhood.

No more climbing trees and imagining enchanted kingdoms in their canopies. No more sprinting down the street at the sound of the ice cream truck's tinny melodies. No more dancing in the sprinkler and launching overfilled water balloons at the boys across the street.

Grown-ups live a much milder version of the summer magic. Barbecues and dinners alfresco. Gardening and home projects. Camping trips on long weekends and if your lucky a week or two of vacation.


A bit less magical, a bit more practical.

It's the onset of summer that makes me lament adulthood with all of its practical reality.

I miss the magical.

But I'm glad I have the opportunity to see the magic again as Benjamin discovers it--even though he cried on the last day of school, so sad his first year of school was over--and hopefully will see Hannah discover the magic next summer as she adjusts to opposite seasons and a school year slightly off kilter from the rest of the year.

This week, I wanted to make something with a little bit of summer magic. Something sweet and fun and perfect for being out and about this summer. So I sought out a kid-friendly granola bar recipe and rediscovered a bit of magic with the first bite.

These granola bars are the perfect combination of sweet and salty and are great for road trips or picnics or hiking or a simple summer snack.

I hope, as your summer kicks off, you rediscover a bit of summer magic, and your summer is one of adventure and imagination.

If you have a favorite summer recipe, share it with us in the comments section below.


Chewy Granola Bars

Check out the original recipe by Marie LeBaron on
www.MakesandTakes.com

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup puffed rice cereal (I used white rice, but brown would work just as well and would make for a slightly healthier option.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms (The original recipe calls for M&M minis, but I used regular and it turned out just fine.)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (not melted)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Add all of ingredients and mix together until combined.
  3. Press mixture into a square 8x8in (20x20cm) pan. For thinner bars, press mix into a 9x13in (23x33cm) pan.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before scoring into bars. Let it set completely and then cut into bars.

Notes


  • Spray a bit of non-stick cooking spray into the measuring cup before you add the honey. This little trick will make any sticky substance slide out of your measuring cup with ease.
  • You can be as creative as you want with your topping. Instead of using M&Ms, consider chocolate chips, Reese's Pieces, mini marshmallows or your favorite.