As you read this I am on the road heading north to Cape Breton. I made these last weekend in preparation for our trip. I wanted something homemade to snack on in the car that was pretty healthy. Nevermind the sugar, chocolate and pretzels… oats, rice cereal and almonds are healthy okay. The day that I made them it was 94 degrees and I was in no mood for baking and heating up the house even more. The “No-Bake” portion of the title of these appealed to me immediately. My son was on board with this recipe since he loves granola bars. I liked that they had pretzels in them since we both love any chocolate/pretzel combination. He was happy that I offered all the crumbled pieces to him to sample and he gobbled them right up. Next time I make these I’m going to sneak in some raisins or dried cherries.

Easy No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

(adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray)

  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 light corn syrup (or 1/4 cup honey) – I used corn syrup because my kids don’t like the taste of honey.
  • 2 cups Quaker oats
  • 1 cup rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup raisins – I used chopped chocolate covered almonds.
  • 1/2 cup thin pretzel sticks (about 1 1/2 bags of the 100 calorie packs of pretzels)
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the corn syrup (or honey) and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

The butter, syrup and sugar mixture will fluff up as it simmers.

Add the granola, rice cereal, raisins and pretzels to the saucepan and fold the ingredients to evenly coat with the sauce. Transfer the granola mixture to a 9-by-13-inch ungreased baking pan and press firmly to evenly fill. Gently press the chocolate chips onto the top of the granola. Let the granola mixture set in the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes, then cut into 2 1/4-by 3-inch bars. (Because I added the chocolate covered almonds and they melted when I was mixing them I chilled the bars for 45 minutes before cutting them. They need to be fairly firm before you cut so they stay together.)

This is what they will look like before you cut them.

Wrap the individual bars in parchment or wax paper and keep them chilled until serving. Unless you make these on a cold day, then chilling is probably not necessary. My son was sneaking them out of fridge so I know that he liked them.