Monster Cookie Granola Bars

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It happens like clockwork.  Every day around 3:45 my stomach starts to hint at me… it needs a snack.  It doesn’t matter if I had a late lunch or an early lunch, big lunch or small lunch.  Once that clock hits 3:45 it’s snack time!  A snack staple in our household are the always delicious granola bars.  We have at least 2 types in our pantry at all times, and a few squirreled away in the cars for emergency snacks.  (Which have definitely come in handy at times!)  I finally decided it was time for me to stop buying granola bars and start making them from scratch.. and Oh My Goodness homemade granola bars are so yummy and EASY!  One of my favorite types to make combine the best of both worlds: cookies and granola bars.  My Monster Cookie Granola Bars are perfectly chewy peanut butter oat bars, loaded with semi-sweet chocolate chips and colorful M&M’s.  Snacking on these you will definitely feel like you are indulging in a delicious Monster Cookie.  These are a favorite in my household and I hope they become a favorite snack for your family too!

In a small sauce pot, place your salted butter, light brown sugar, creamy peanut butter, and honey.  Melt everything together over medium heat until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally.  Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 3 minutes.  Continue stirring occasionally just to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of your pot.

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While your deliciously sticky mixture is cooking, mix together the oats, rice cereal, and ground flax seeds in a large bowl.  I like to add the ground flax seeds into the granola bars for an extra health factor.  If you don’t like flax seeds or would prefer not to use them, you don’t have to add them.  After the 3 minutes of simmering, turn your heat off and stir in the vanilla extract.  Pour the hot (VERY hot so be careful) mixture over your oat blend and stir together until all the dry ingredients are covered.

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Once all the dry ingredients have been thoroughly smothered with our honey mixture, stir in the semi-sweet chocolate chips and rainbow M&M’s.  Kids will love the bright colored M&M’s and the fact that they get to enjoy some yummy chocolate candy in their afternoon (or anytime) snack!  🙂

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Line a 9″ x 13″ cake pan with wax paper.  Pour your sticky-sweet mixture into the pan and press down gently to make sure everything is flat and even in thickness.  Sprinkle additional chocolate chips and M&M’s on top for a little extra yum factor!  Yumm!!

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Let your granola bars cool and set up on your counter top for 2 to 3 hours.  If your home is on the warmer side and you notice the chocolate is still melty after a couple of hours, you can pop them into the refrigerator for a few minutes to help them set up.  Once cooled, cut your bars into even rectangles.  You can use a ruler to make them all uniform in size or eyeball it, up to you!  I cut mine into 15 even rectangles (about the size of grocery store granola bars).

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To store, keep your granola bars wrapped up/bagged/in containers at room temperature.  The amazing Monster Cookie flavor combo of peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips, and M&M’s is something everyone will enjoy!  These Monster Cookie Granola Bars will make snack time seem like dessert and hopefully bring a smile to your face (and tummy)!  🙂

Monster Cookie Granola Bars

Yields: 15 Bars

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cool Time: 2 to 3 Hours

Ingredients

1/4 Cup Salted Butter

1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter

1/4 Cup Honey

1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar (Packed)

1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

2 Cups Oats (Quick-Cooking)

1 Cup Rice Cereal

1/2 Tbsp Ground Flax Seeds

1/3 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (plus extra for topping)

1/3 Cup M&M’s (plus extra for topping)

To Make Monster Cookie Granola Bars

In a small sauce pot, place your butter, light brown sugar, peanut butter, and honey.  Melt everything together over medium heat until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally.  Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 3 minutes.  Continue stirring occasionally.  While your mixture is cooking, mix together the oats, rice cereal, and ground flax seeds in a large bowl.  After the 3 minutes of simmering, turn your heat off and stir in the vanilla extract.  Pour the hot (VERY hot so be careful) mixture over your oat blend and stir together until all the dry ingredients are covered.  Next, stir in the semi-sweet chocolate chips and rainbow M&M’s.  Line a 9″ x 13″ cake pan with wax paper.  Pour your mixture into the pan and press down gently to make sure everything is flat and even in thickness.  Sprinkle additional chocolate chips and M&M’s on top.  Let your granola bars cool and set up on your counter top for 2 to 3 hours.  Once cooled, cut your bars into even rectangles.  To store, keep your granola bars wrapped up/bagged/in containers at room temperature.

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Enjoying the view while we enjoy our afternoon snack on the porch! 🙂

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