Yesterday I saw these delicious Caramel Apple Bars on Inside BruCrew Life and thought they sounded good enough to try. After reading through the recipe a couple of times and thinking about it, I decided that Peanut Butter would be a great addition to these bars as well as swapping out the chocolate chips for butterscotch ones just so that I can eat them. I will be honest when I first brought them out of the oven last night and tried one I thought I had ruined them. Then I added a caramel topping to a piece and altered my mind slightly...but trying it again this morning after hearing my family rave about them last night...I have decided I actually really like them. This has inspired me to be more adventurous with my cooking and baking more often. I am in fact hoping that my purchase of a year's worth of cooking classes from Top Chef University the other day on Groupon will help me do just that. I figured since my son whom I homeschool, is going in to grade 10 and chose as his elective; Foods 10 that we could progress through online culinary school together. I am looking forward to it.
...but you are not here to listen to me go on about schooling; you want the goods so back to what we are really here for...
Peanut Butter, Caramel, Marshmallow (and anything else you want to throw in) Granola Bars
1/4 Cup Butter (or be bad like me and use Margarine...need to change that habit I suppose) 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil ( I used Canola) 1/4 Cup Peanut Butter (or go over like I did by a bit...we LOVE Peanut Butter) 2 Eggs 2 tsp Caramel Ice Cream Topper (I used what I had to get that Caramel Flavor and it worked) 1.5 Cups Flour 2.5 Cups Quick Oats 1/2 tsp Salt 1.5 tsp Cinnamon Mini Marshmallows or Cut up Large Marshmallows to taste Chocolate Chips to taste (or butterscotch chips...I think the peanut butter chips would be great too) Candy Melts 1/2 tsp Shortening
Start by creaming together your Peanut Butter, vegetable oil and margarine butter. Add in your 2 eggs and Caramel topper and cream them all together. Once you have a nice smooth, buttery consistency on your hands it is time to add in the flour, salt, cinnamon and the quick oats one ingredient at a time, making sure to mix well between each new addition. Now that you have a very stiff dough you will need to either toss in some mini marshmallows or like me cut up some large ones and stir them in to the mix along with your half small bag of chipits in whatever flavor you choose.
Now comes time to grease your 9x13 pan and press in your sweet, delicious creation until evenly flat all over.
Bake your bars in a 350 degree oven for 20-22 minutes... I got distracted by The X Factor so I am not sure how long mine were in exactly but they came out just right, so I must have been close to my target time. Cool them completely...Please be patient unlike me who cut them right away and mangled the bars slightly...
Oh well it is not like they are trying to win a contest and they taste the same no matter how they are cut I suppose...but if pretty is what you are going for then definitely wait. While you are waiting you can set up your mini double boiler and melt your chocolate and shortening together (I just eyeballed both ingredients) and top all your bars with chocolate...or caramel topper...Oh go for it be indulgent and have both, you know you want to!
DELICIOUS!!! PapaBear loved the way they crunched...and the younger Bears just plain old LOVED them...Thank you for the inspiration BruCrew.
Now Go Indulge Yourself and make some Healthy Granola Bars...we all need a little sweet in our lives.