No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Since getting everyone back in the school groove this week, I have been looking at and trying recipes for quick breakfasts, snacks, and lunch boxes.  I  love bars that are easy and no-bake this time of year, too.

While these granola bars are not exactly “health food”, they are in my opinion a much better choice than the ones from the grocery store.  They have only ingredients that you recognize and can pronounce, (always a good sign).  They have no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavorings.  They also just taste fresher and more delicious than those little packages.  The oats, peanut butter, and rice cereal also raise the redeeming qualities of these yummy little bars!  You can make a single or double batch (in a 9×13 pan) and wrap them individually for the freezer so they’ll be ready at a moment’s notice.  With all that said, they are super delicious and easy to make.   So, GO make some….Now!

Cookie Bars 009

cabbage back to school 025

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
3/4 cup pretzels, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Cut out an 8 x 8 inch square of parchment paper and place in the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.

In a large sauce pan, add butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter.

Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble.

Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes while stirring.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Stir in the oats, crispy cereal, and pretzels, stirring until well coated.

Pour into the prepared pan, pressing the mixture down evenly.

Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top and gently press into the granola bars.

Place the bars in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into bars and serve.

Note:  Bars can be kept fresh in the refrigerator or frozen if not eaten right away.

Adapted from Rachael Ray