I feel like I’ve been holding out on you guys. I’ve been making homemade granola bars for my boys’ lunches since school started in August. A regular box of popular brand granola bars in our part of Alaska can run right about $5 for 10 bars (gasp, I know), occasionally less. Although a great many of my readers can get granola bars for much less, there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with making them at home and knowing exactly what goes into these favorite lunchtime snacks.

When I determined to start making them at home, I was overwhelmed by how many granola bar recipes are out there. I’ve tried several with many different ingredient variations and cooking methods- some we liked and some went in the trash. Some were too dry, others too complicated, some fell apart when removed from the pan, still others tasted like bird food.

These are the ones. I held out until I found and tweaked a recipe I could be proud of and put my name to. They are chewy and sweet and hold together nicely. On top of that, they are no-bake and only take about 5 minutes to put together, which is a huge bonus considering I make them every other week or so. The kids love them- especially the s’mores version – and so do I. I even catch Pastor Alaska snacking on them, too.

Chewy S’mores Granola Bars

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Adapted from [Rachael Ray|http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/no-recipe-zone-recipes/no-bake-chewy-granola-bars]

Yields: 10 granola bars

  • 1/4c butter
  • 1/4c brown sugar
  • 1/4c honey
  • 1/2t vanilla
  • 2c quick oats (rolled oats cannot be substituted)
  • 1c crispy rice cereal
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4c mini marshmallows
  • 3T mini chocolate chips

Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add butter, brown sugar, and honey. Cook until melted and sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes at a low simmer. Stir in vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine oats, cereal, and salt. Stir. Pour hot butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until well combined. Fold in marshmallows.

Pour into an 8x8 non-stick pan. Press down firmly. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top and press them down firmly.

Place pan in refrigerator for 30-45 minutes, until set but not hard. Using a knife, make a cut directly down the center, then slice into 10 bars. Remove bars from pan and wrap in plastic or place in snack-size zipper bags. Store at room temperature for up to a week.

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