Microwave Granola Bars

In high school I think I made friends in some of my classes based solely off the fact that I had a seemingly constant supply of granola bars and Fruit by the Foot in my bag.

My parents frequented Costco, so we had boxes of the Fruit by the Foot and granola bars so big we had to keep them on top of our fridge instead of in the pantry. Each day I grabbed two granola bars and two Fruit by the Foot. I didn’t always need both, so I would let them accumulate in my purse until I was put into a group and I offered the treats to my classmates. Or sometimes someone would mention that they couldn’t wait for lunch, and I pulled out my supply of Fruit by the Foot and asked whether they wanted Strawberry or Color By The Foot.

I could pretend the reason they approached me was because I was charming or interesting or funny, but I think they mostly started talking to me because I was willing to share my snacks. And that is okay with me.

I let that habit die once I went to college, but lately I’ve been eating a lot of granola bars again. Every Tuesday I have class from 9:30 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon with no time to eat lunch. I value sleep too much to get up to eat a healthy breakfast before class, so I have become reliant on granola bars. They are relatively cheap, easy to grab and bring to class with me, and I enjoy eating them. They don’t have a distinct smell that would make everyone around me hate me. They aren’t particularly loud. They are perfect to eat in a lecture.

And, apparently, they are easy enough to make in a dorm. This recipe from Bakerita requires more equipment (read: basic items such as bowls, spoons, and measuring cups) than most students have in their dorm, but it is entirely doable. Even if you still only have non-microwaveable bowls. I honestly have no idea what those bowls could be doing to me. Every time I use them I expect to open the microwave to a bowl that has cracked in half. Since that hasn’t happened yet, I’m going to continue to use them until I can sneak one of my parent’s old bowls back to school with me.

Homemade Granola Bars
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Stir the cereal and cooking oats together in a bowl

In a microwave safe dish, stir together butter, honey, and brown sugar. Microwave for 3 minutes. The bowl will be HOT and the mixture should be bubbling.

Add the vanilla–this will cause the mixture to bubble up again. This worried me at first, but it ended up fine. Stir in the peanut butter until the mixture is smooth and fully combined.

Mix the dry ingredients and the peanut butter mixture together. Pour it onto whatever plate or pan you have and pat down until it is one even sheet– I put mine in a disposable serving tray I had leftover from when I made taco dip.

Finish by refrigerating for half an hour or let sit at room temperature for about two hours.

I really enjoyed this recipe. To be honest, I really did not want to deal with cleaning out a honey or peanut butter filled measuring cup in my tiny dorm sink, so I just guessed how much to put in. I am not a huge fan of honey, so I put more peanut butter than I did honey. The results are absolutely delicious.

The Hy Vee brand granola bars (right) I have are easier to take to class and they are much more solid. The homemade granola bars fall apart relatively easily, but I much prefer the taste. They are chewier than the other bars. I will definitely be making this recipe again.