These bars are so bad-for-you-good that I had to research to see if I could still classify them as ‘granola’. If you are of the belief that granola is just oats and honey mixed with an additive of your choice: nuts, berries, … chocolate, peanut butter, sugar…. raisins, dates, etc. then we are in the clear. Who said they had to be healthy?
Although, that was my original intent. I had a ton of oats left over from my Christmas Cookies that I needed to use and I figured coming off the New Year people might still be on that diet kick. If you are, you might not want to read any further because these “granola bars” will most certainly make you fall off the wagon. Unless you’re a rationalizer like I am, in which case, continue on. I mean, the main ingredient here is oats, and oats are full of fiber and are said to lower cholesterol and the risk for heart disease, right? That alone practically makes these downright good for you! I can rationalize just about anything. Next time you need someone to
talk you into justify that $200 pair of shoes, or extra brownie after dinner, just give me a call. (And please, pass the brownies!)
I searched for granola recipes but didn’t really find one I loved. (And good grief, has Martha Stewart done everything? Any time I need a recipe she is the first to pop up!) Hers called for an egg white, as did many others I found, but I didn’t want to do that. So I basically took out anything that was good for you (berries, dates, dried fruit) and replaced it with everything bad for you (brown sugar, chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk).
Here’s the recipe:
3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
¼ cup honey
Toast the oats in the oven for 7-10 minutes at 350 degrees. In a small saucepan combine the honey, brown sugar, and peanut butter stirring constantly over medium-low heat until smooth and creamy. Add the oats and peanut butter/chocolate chips to a large mixing bowl and pour the peanut butter mixture over the warm oats. (This did melt the chips some, so if you are looking to have whole chips in your bars then you may need to wait until the oats have cooled). Next add the sweetened condensed milk and mix well before spreading into a 13×9 pan. (Line the pan with parchment paper and these will pop right out with no mess. Use a smaller pan if you would like a thicker bar). Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. (Less=chewy, more=crispy)
Rarely is anything complete without icing, so I made a quick drizzle out of white almond bark and a spoonful of peanut butter—just enough to give it that gorgeous honey brown color. These paired perfectly with a tall glass of milk. Would be fun to add cinnamon or use mini chocolate chips next time. What do you think, are these too sinful to be considered granola?