First of all, I’m a horrible breakfast eater. It’s just too much first thing in the morning. I remember there was a time when I was little (in like kindergarten) when the only thing I wanted to eat were these peanut butter/chocolate breakfast bars that my mom had. In high school the only thing I could force down at 6:45 in the morning was a Carnation instant breakfast (chocolate flavor of course). In college I would generally go to my first morning class before I was even hungry, and then I would pull out a baggie of oatmeal square cereal that I had packed for my break between classes.
I tend to go through phases of sole devotion to one particular breakfast food, and right now it’s Cheerios. The only problem with my perpetually small breakfasts, is that about 2 hours late I’m absolutely starving for lunch and cannot concentrate on anything else until I get some food in my stomach. Luckily this isn’t really a problem, because I can usually eat lunch whenever I want to. But in high school, man it was rough sometimes as I sat in class and stared at my little peanut butter sandwich waiting for me in my backpack.
So yeah, breakfast. I really can’t do eggs and bacon and grits and all that first thing in the morning. But a little something sweet? That, I can get behind. And (bonus points!) it’s kind of healthy, too. And I’ve actually made it healthier, because the original recipe had a whole stick of butter and I cut it down to 3 tablespoons. You’re welcome. I love love love these granola bars. They are sweet without being too indulgent. They are chewy without being too sticky, and the flavor combination of peanut butter with almonds and chocolate chips is perfect, as no one ingredient overpowers the rest. They are sitting on my counter right now in a little plastic container and I keep sneaking in there for just one little bite after a meal or in the middle of the afternoon, which kind of negates the whole being kind of healthy thing when you’re just adding calories you wouldn’t normally eat. Oops. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go eat lunch.
Also, some housekeeping: The recipe page is really growing (uh, duh) and so now everything is in alphabetical order (not sure why I wasn’t thinking ahead on that one). So things should be easy to find. Also, just FYI, when I feel that things fit into more than one category (for instance, these granola bars: breakfast and snack. I have eaten them for both occasions in the past week), the recipe will go under both categories. So there are going to be some repeats on the recipe page, but hopefully this will make it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Wait Time: 1 hour
Makes about 12 bars
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 egg white
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Toast the almonds by placing them in an even layer in a dry saute pan over medium heat. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until they are lightly browned, turning them often for even toasting. Alternately, you can toast them in the oven by arranging them in a single layer on a baking sheet and baking them for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
3. While the almonds are toasting, spray a 7 x 11 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Lay a piece of parchment paper in the baking pan, letting the excess hang over the sides for easy removal later. Spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.
4. In a medium bowl, beat the egg white with a whisk until it is white and frothy. Use a spatula to stir in the peanut butter, brown sugar, honey. Then add the butter, oats, chocolate chips, and toasted almonds stirring until combined.
5. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges and top are both beginning to brown lightly.
7. Remove from oven and allow the bars to cool completely, at least 1 hour, before cutting them into pieces (cooling them will ensure that they don’t fall apart quite so much).