Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

recipe | how I make homemade cheese crackers

These are delicious. Seriously, they are. Make them. Eat them. Resistance is futile.

cheese crackers, mild vs. spicy - yum.. spicy YUM

Delectable (customizable!) Homemade Cheese Crackers

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar* cheese, packed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
2 teaspoons seasoning of choice*
4 tablespoons cold butter, sliced 
2-3 tablespoons cold water

* These crackers are great because you can really customize them to your tastes so easily! You can switch up the cheese - cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, or a mixture! For seasoning I like red pepper, garlic powder, cajun seasoning, pepper, paprika.  

Every time I made cheesey crackers I make them a little different. In the example photo above, the lighter crackers had a cheese combo of parmesan, Sharp Cheddar, and a Mexican blend of cheese and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder (along with the stated mustard and salt).  The darker crackers were all Sharp Cheddar and 2 teaspoons of cajun spice (along with the stated mustard and salt). 


1. Combine the flour, cheese, seasoning, salt, and mustard in a bowl.
-- or dump these in a food processor and pulse it once or twice. :)

2. Add the butter and work it in with two forks or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
-- in a food processor, pulse a few times until the butter is combined.

3. Add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, and continue working with your hands until the contents come together to form a smooth dough.
-- in a food processor, pulse a few times after each tablespoon of water is added. Continue to pulse until the dough flops into a big ball (technical term). :)  

4. Press the dough into a flat round, cover with plastic wrap or put in large zip-top bag, and put in the refrigerator until well chilled (minimum of 30 minutes - maximum 24 hours).

5. Preheat oven to 350.

6. Unwrap the dough, put on a  lightly floured surface, sprinkle the dough lightly with flour. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough to 1/8 inch.
-- or, skip all that flour mess and use your handy dandy pasta roller on its thickest setting to roll out the dough. :)

7. Cut the dough in whatever shape you like using small cookie cutters, or use a pizza or ravioli cutter. Gather up the leftover dough scraps, form them into a ball with damp hands, roll out as instructed in step 7, and cut into more shapes. Repeat until all the dough has been used up!

8. place shapes on cookie sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Check after 12 minutes and remove when edges turn golden. 

9. Remove from baking trays and cool on wire racks.

10. Try not to gobble them all up at once. :)

Store crackers in an airtight container. I recommend glass jars (I use a couple wide mouth canning jars), or stainless steel canisters. Sometimes plastic containers don't hold in the crunch as well.  The crackers should last at least two weeks. Probably longer, but we eat them up pretty quick.
Okay, that was the short version. Here's the wordier version, with visuals. :)  
And some bonus notes about consistency and mustard. :)

Here are pictures of the process I use to make these crackers. Now, I USED to do them all by hand. It's definitely doable, but it does take a lot longer and it gives your hands quite a work-out! Since I have gotten a large food processor, cracker making is so easy. So, so easy. And fast. The longest part is having to wait for the dough to chill. But the prep and all that? Effortless!

This is what the first step looks like, combining the flour, cheese, seasonings and giving it a whirl around with two presses of the pulse button:
Step 3: pulse to combine butter

Add the butter pieces and let it whirl around a couple more times. Pulse. Pulse. Pulse.
Step 2: add butter

This is what it looks like with the butter mixed in. It looks a lot like it did in the first step:
Step 1: combine dry flour, cheese, seasoning

The next step is adding the cold water. This is what my mixture looked like after 2 tablespoons of water. It's still very loose, but it suddenly looks all cheesy. At this point SMELL IT! How does it smell? Is it delicious? If so, then continue on.... but if the aroma is not making you drool yet, then it's a good time to add some more seasoning. A few dashes of garlic, pepper, curry, cumin, whatever tickles your fancy - now's your opportunity to tinker with the taste:
Step 4: add water

This is what my mixture looked like after I added one more tablespoon of cold water and a couple more pulses. It's starting to come together, but has not reached proper dough ball status...but it's close:
Step 5: still needs more water

I dribbled in a half tablespoon of water more, pulse, pulse, - BOOM. We have a dough ball. It's like magic, only yummy.
Step 6: Boom. Dough ball is formed.

NOTE: The amount of water it requres for your dough to come together can vary based on several factors, including what sort of cheese you are using (some cheeses are very moist, some are very dry). This batch of crackers I used a lot of parmesan, which is a very dry cheese. Other cheeses would likely take less water (like mozzarella, it's a much moister, gooier cheese). Also, the more dry seasoning you add can affect how much water you need.

Another note: if you do not have dry mustard, you CAN substitute regular bottle mustard, but use a bit more (like a hefty squirt or two), and if you are using wet mustard you will probably be able to get away with using less water. It's all about the dough ball. When your dough globs together, you're ready for the next step.

Flatten to a disk, cover and chill - I like to use a zip top bag for this because nothing else allows you to get all the air out and seal up quite as well:
Step 7: seal and chill

I am completely incompetent with a rolling pin. Seriously, me + rolling pin = disaster level worthy of SNL or Informercial mockery. The rolling-the-dough-out step was the worst one for me, by far, back when I used to do this all by hand. But now I'm all fancy pants with my handy pasta roller. I just crank the dough through like a queen.
Step 8: roll out dough

So that's where I stopped taking pictures. The next step is the fun one - cutting the dough into shapes. I made mostly puzzle pieces because it's Autism Awareness Month. :)  But a few animals worked their way in too, along with some hearts, stars, trucks, boats....  As your remaining dough dwindles and dwindles, you can use smaller cutters to make the most of every last scrap. 

ENJOY!  :)

Homemade cheese crackers - spicy cheddar puzzle pieces
Supplies used to make these crackers:

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Recipe | Flavor Packed Macaroni & Cheese

I was completely thrilled to be asked by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing board to participate again in their annual 30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni & Cheese blog. Every year, for the last four years, they ask 30 bloggers to create a recipe of their own creation, highlighting the deliciousness of Wisconsin Cheese. Each day for thirty days a new mac & cheese recipe is posted.  It's the dream blog of macaroni & cheese lovers everywhere!

For this year's assignment they added a bit of a twist: create a macaroni and cheese recipe that is inspired by a classic dish. I chose to go with a loaded baked potato inspired mac & cheese. And I'm so glad I did. Because this is now my all time favorite macaroni and cheese. For real.  If you like to indulge every once in awhile with a baked potato topped with sour cream, cheddar, and bacon...and if you like a decadent macaroni and cheese every now and then... well, then I think you're going to like this too. A lot. 

It's devine. 

It's delicious. 

It's drool-worthy. 

Fully Loaded Macaroni and Cheese

Flavor Packed Macaroni & Cheese, Fully Loaded Baked Potato Style
Serves 8 - 10

1 pound center cut bacon
1 (16 ounce) box of elbow macaroni
1 Cup of milk
3 eggs
2 Cups (16 oz) of sour cream
2 Cups Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup Wisconsin Jack Cheese
1 teaspoon of garlic salt
1 teaspoon of white pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoons chives or green onion, chopped (optional)


Fry bacon until crisp; drain and crumble. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350.

Cook pasta according to the al dente package directions. Drain well.

In a large bowl combine milk, eggs, sour cream, and seasonings. Whisk together until mixed well. Stir in the cooked pasta and Wisconsin cheeses, reserving 1 Cup of Cheddar.

Pour into a deep baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Wisconsin Cheddar evenly over the top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove when edges become golden.

Allow the baking dish to set for 10 minutes. Garnish with crumbled bacon and chopped chives or green onion.


You can check out my recipe on the 30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni & Cheese blog here, and take a look at all the other fabulous mac & cheese recipes!

I was provided a recipe stipend for groceries and supplies by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. 
The allowance in no way swayed my view on macaroni and cheese in general. I have always enjoyed a good mac & cheese and that was just bonus. My glowing reports on the deliciousness of this particular recipe were not bribed, it's just really that damn good.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

California Ripe Olives - lunchbox recipe & fab giveaway

I was contacted recently by the California Olive Committee to promote yummy delectable California Ripe Olives.

Being a former Californian who relished the rich agriculture of the Golden State more than its shore lines, I jumped at the opportunity. :)

To read more, see a bento-friendly olive "recipe", and check out a truly fabulous giveaway (really, it's a great one!)  CLICK HERE.  


*** This giveaway is now closed. Thank you again, California Olives!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

recipe: Crunchy Cheese Crusted Stovetop Mac n' Cheese

Mmmm, have I got a treat in store for the macaroni and cheese lovers out there! I'm sharing a super yummy recipe I created for a delicious mac n' cheese. It's good. Real good. 

yummy mac and cheese recipe

The recipe is right over HERE, click to pop on over and drool read all about it. :)
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Laptop Lunches bento & rosemary bread recipe

This is a momentous event, this bento lunch of Ethan's today! 

Laptop Lunches lunch

Packed in a Laptop Lunches box:
- carrots and grapes
- granola bar
- turkey and cheddar cheese 
- homemade rosemary bread

First of all, I think it's the first time he's ever taken a Laptop Lunches box to school. Which is funny because I bought this box before he started Kindergarten thinking it would be his main bento container. Then he turned out to be a light eater at school and the box was just too big for his appetite.

Secondly, I think this is the cutest cheese, ever!  It's just the usual cheddar cheese I always use (bought in big blocks from Costco and sliced at home), but I used cutie patootie little bento cutters to make that adorable bear face. Squeee!  I am eternally grateful that my ten-year-old boy still thinks things like this are really cute too. :)

Thirdly, did you see that there is BREAD in this box?!! Bread, folks! My kid is eating bread! This is my child that has only eaten bread if it is toasted or grilled and comprised of sourdough. Period.  But I made some homemade rosemary bread several days ago and he flipped for it, gobbling it up just as fast as I could cut it. I made a second batch yesterday and this small piece is all that was left. He saved it asking it to go in his lunch for today.  Yay! 

The rosemary bread is devine. If you are familiar with the bread from Macaroni Grill, you'll love this too because it tastes exactly like it. YUM!
homemade rosemary bread
(sorry for the goofy picture. I took it with my camera phone.)

Rosemary Bread Recipe

1 C. warm water
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. yeast

Combine these three ingredients in a glass bowl and leave it alone until the yeast gets all happy, bubbly and foamy. This can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on how fresh the yeast is and the temperature of the water and the room.
When everything is puffing up and looking weird add:

2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Mix it all up. When you are getting close to everything being all incorporated add the rosemary. I used dried crushed rosemary, but fresh would surely be lovely too. I'll be doing that when our herb garden is up and growing this summer! For full strength rosemary bread add 2 Tablespoons of rosemary (this is the right amount for Macaroni Grill knock-off bread), use less if you like a more subtle rosemary flavor.

Continue to mix, add flour if needed until the dough is not longer sticky, and you can knead the dough into a soft round. Knead for ten minutes, got to get that gluten going!

Oil a large bowl with extra virgin olive oil. I use the same bowl I mixed the dough in, to save myself from washing extra dishes. ;-)
Put the dough in the oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place for it to rise for one hour, until doubled in size. (I leave mine in the oven, turned off, but with the oven light on).

After an hour of rising, punch down the inflated dough and divide in half, then in halves again. This will leave you with four small rounds of dough. Allow the dough to rest for five minutes.

While dough is resting prepare your baking sheet. Wipe with extra virgin olive oil, or use parchment.
Place dough on baking sheet, allowing several inches of space between.
Brush or spray (I use this  oil sprayer filled with EVOO) each dough round with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Allow to rise again for 45 minutes, until doubled again.

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. For a more golden and crunchy crust, pull out half-way through baking and brush/spray with EVOO again.

This will yield 4 loaves of bread that are about 7" round. 
I crunched the numbers for nutritional breakdown.
For a half-loaf (making this recipe yield 8 servings):
calories: 193
fat: 5.2 grams
carbs: 29 grams
fiber: .8 grams
protein: 5 grams

I hope you enjoy! We sure are! :)

Supplies used to make this lunch:

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

ghostly bento snack & crouton recipe

OoooOOoooo! {creepy (but not too creepy) ghost howls}

BOO! Ghostly snack bento for my little girl:
ghostly bento boo!

- Homemade ghost-shaped croutons
- the Evil Eye (yummy foil wrapped chocolate)
- bologna roll-ups
- colby jack cheese cubes
- raspberries

Some people asked for my crouton recipe. I don't really have a crouton "recipe". Most of my "recipes", if you haven't already discovered, are mainly me coming up with something that seems to work fairly decently. But are not to be taken too seriously. "Recipe" sounds serious. Me? I am not serious. I just find stuff to eat and ramble about how it happened to come together. ;-)

With that in mind, this is how I make croutons.

1. cut your bread.

Any bread will do, but older starting-to-get-too-hard bread works great. I used old sandwich rolls/hoagie rolls for this batch.

You can use cookie cutters or just cut with a knife into cubes. Whatever suits you.

2. put stuff on the bread.

I put a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a ramekin, add in some dashes of garlic powder and garlic salt and put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds. And then I stir it around and zap it again for about 15 seconds. And I let it sit awhile....however long...until it seems the oil is diffused with the garlicky yumminess.

3. place bread pieces on baking sheet.

4. using a silicone brush, "paint" the garlic oil all over the bread pieces.

Alternatively, you can just jumble everything into a big tupperware type container and shake it all around. But then you have a really oily bowl to wash out.

You can also drizzle the oil mixture over the bread if you want. Whatever works for you!

Add whatever seasoning you like. Sometimes I add fresh cracked pepper and parmesan. Yum! But garlic is a must. Garlic = deliciousness.

5. put in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

6. check, keep checking, to make sure you pull them out when you get the desired level of crispiness.

7. When done pull from oven and cool on racks.

When completely cool, store in airtight container. Preferably not a tupperware container because they won't stay crispy in those. A metal one works best. A ziploc works better than tupperware too. I don't know why, but it's true. They get soft and squishy in tupperware.

I pulled my Halloween batch out of the oven too soon. These should have been left in to bake another minute or two. Still yummy though. :)
frightfully good croutons

And the business about scraps. Well, for goodness sakes, bake those ones up too. They are perfect for salads.
crouton scraps

The scrap batch turned out perfectly.


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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

recipe: fresh homemade salsa

There were a lot of requests for my salsa recipe and here it is... a month later. Oops. Sorry about that. I'm rarely punctual (one of my less charming qualities). :p

4 medium tomatoes (or thereabouts)
1 small white onion
2-3 diced green onions
1 bunch of cilantro
2 jalapenos
3 cloves garlic, diced
the juice of one lime
garlic salt
red pepper flakes

Alrighty now. Please note, I am not a professional recipe writer-upper, and I will ramble to get my point across (one of my more charming qualities). :)

When I call this a "recipe" what I really mean is a "guideline". And for the record, my husband makes this for the family, I just stand by with my bag of corn chips in hand ready to strike.

As far as the tomatoes go, the redder the better. With our last batch we had two nice tomatoes left over from our last trip to the local farmers market and when I went to the grocery store to pick up a couple more the best looking ones were roma tomatoes, so that's what we used. I don't think it matters that much. I am by no means a tomato expert.

If you like more "bite" to your salsa, use more onion. I personally prefer more green onion flavor in the salsa than "regular onion" flavor, but that's just me. You may be different.

One full bunch of cilantro. This is a must! There is no such thing in my world as "too much cilantro". Pile it on and pile it on now, please.
It goes without saying here that you need to rinse it well and then use the leaves only - discard the stems. (I actually have a TO DIE FOR baked chicken recipe that requires cilantro stems, but that's another post. I'll tell you about it next month. (LOL) Get it, next month? Ha ha...nevermind.)

With the jalapenos you need to slice them down the middle and remove the membrane and seeds. If you like hot spicy salsa you can include the membrane. If you want a milder salsa discard the membrane and seeds. We use 1/2 of the membrane from one of the jalapenos because the kids eat this too. If it were just me and my husband eating it we would use the membrane of one whole jalapeno.
Word of caution!: if you are inexperienced dealing with jalapenos please be aware that you need to be careful with the insides. Handling the membrane and seeds can really hurt your fingers, burning them and causing soreness that can last for days. I suggest you wear latex gloves or just be really careful to not handle them too much with your bare hands.

Garlic, mmmmm yummy yummy garlic. So, my husband says he uses 3 cloves, but I'd say it's closer to 4. He may make the salsa in this house, but I may add in more garlic when he's not looking. Just sayin'. ;-)

Toss in a few shakes of red pepper flakes. I suggest you start with one shake and then increase if you want more heat.

Salt and pepper to taste. We use regular salt and garlic salt pretty interchangeably in our family, and we really love garlic, so we tend to use more garlic salt in the salsa. If you aren't a huge garlic fan then you might just stick to regular salt to do the final seasoning tinkering. If you are a fellow garlic lover (or leery of vampires) just use garlic salt at this point.

Sometimes we (and by "we" I mean "my husband") will make this all by hand - dicing and chopping all the ingredients. That makes for a chunky and pretty salsa, as seen here:
MTM - mexy meal
"Muffin Tin Monday - meximeal"

Sometimes we just toss this all into the food processor and push the pulse button a few times. That makes for a very soupy salsa. Less visually appealing, but we think it tastes better. All the ingredients really get mixed up super well and get to know each other better.
EasyLuncbox Fiesta
"EasyLunchbox fiesta!"

The great thing about making something like salsa is that you can just add a little more of this or that until you get it to taste just the way you want. In that second photo we obviously added more green onion after the food processing. "We" probably added more garlic too. Just sayin'. ;-)

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week or so. This salsa tastes WAY better the next day. I really recommend letting it sit in the refridgerator overnight before you dive in. It will also get spicier the older it is. By the end of the week it is spicy. Ay, caramba!

Hope you enjoy!! Oh, and don't forget the corn chips!! :)

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Monday, May 31, 2010

recipe | fruitalicious fruit-tastic homemade popsicles

This is not a bento box friendly recipe. ;-)

It is a sweet summer treat and soooo super easy.

Yesterday I found we had a big batch of strawberries end up in a super cold spot of the refrigerator and they partially froze. Partially frozen strawberries become very soggy squishy strawberries. We had to act fast to re-purpose them.

Into the blender they went. Now what? The kids weren't hungry for smoothies, so on to plan B: popsicles.

Along with the strawberries I added just enough orange juice to get everything blending along. Then into popsicle molds and into the freezer they went.

And today they came out of the freezer...
I have a lot of different popsicle molds. These ones are vintage Tupperware, if you're curious. :)

And they were a very big hit with the whole crowd.
strawberry oj pops

Summer yum! We often use watermelon and a splash of orange juice for popsicles, too. I like that they come out as bright and shiny and pretty as the boxed varieties, but are so healthy there is no reason to say no when your child asks to have another one (or two). We go through a LOT of popsicles in the summertime. ;-)

What are some of your favorite popsicle blends?

  Some of my favorite popsicle making molds:

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

recipe: chocolate chip granola bites & granola bars

Granola Bites

Some of my best peeps (that's you!) have been asking for the recipe for the granola bites that are often in the bentos for my kids. This recipe has evolved and been tweaked quite a bit and I'm pretty happy with it now. My challenge in finding a granola recipe was to find one that doesn't use peanut butter (because my main granola-eating kid doesn't like peanut butter) (he's nuts!), and one without coconut (I don't like that, blech!) and one that holds together after being cut into bars. Along the way I have tried a lot of recipes that tasted great, but they would crumble to pieces as soon as it removed from the pan. Crumbles don't pack well in a bento box. ;-)

Gathering the goods:
ready the supplies
also needed but didn't make it in the picture (because I am just that scatterbrained)...vanilla, brown sugar, and ground flax seed and/or wheat germ (optional).

For granola bars you will need a baking pan and for the little "granola bites", as I call them, you will need mini silicone cups. This recipe will yield an 8x8 pan of granola bars plus about six mini-granola bites. You can make all granola bites if you like, or all granola bars. I wouldn't try making more than 6 of the bites if you are also doing the bars, because you may end up with not enough granola in the pan for enough depth to keep the bars intact once cut apart.
baking pan, baking cups
I've also found through a lot of trial and error that the bars stay together better in a truly square pan, like this one, rather than a glass baking dish with rounded corners and edges.
I use a piece of parchment to help get the bars out of the pan. I use the paperclips to keep the sides of parchment from flopping into the middle. I remove the paperclips after the pan is filled and ready to bake.

2 1/2 C. quick oats
1/2 C. crisp rice cereal
1/2 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. canola oil
1/4 C. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
* optional: ground flax seed and/or wheat germ (I use 3 heaping Tbs. or so of each).

Mix all ingredients (except for the chocolate chips - keep those out for now) really, really, really well. I start with a wooden spoon and then usually end up using my hands too. Take your time to make sure everything is really blended. Taking your time also allows the wet ingredients to sort of soak into the dry components. If your mixture seems dry after mixing then you may need to add a little more oil and/or honey - a teaspoon at a time - until it starts to clump up a little.
It may be hard to tell, but can you see how some of the granola mixture is starting to cling and ball up a little here?
granola, looking for clumpiness

When your granola mixture gets to this point, not too wet, not too dry, then stir in the chocolate chips.

Holding the mini muffin cups, scoop the granola mixture in and form the mound compactly. I use a rounded tablespoon to help form them, a small cookie scoop would work too. You need to use both hands to press the granola and support the muffin cup at the same time. Line them up on a baking sheet to place in the oven.
chocolate chip granola - ready to bake

Press the remaining granola into your baking pan (if you are making bars). Make sure your baking pan has been sprayed well with non-stick spray!  Press mixture firmly, compacting it as well as you can.

350 degrees.
Granola bites: 12-15 minutes.
Granola bars: 17-22 minutes (keep an eye on them!).
They are ready to remove from oven when the tops are golden.  If they don't cook long enough they may not hold their shape. If they cook too long they will get too dry (not to mention they can burn) and may not hold their shape.  (I've found granola bars to be finicky.)

Let the granola bites cool completely. Just leave 'em alone for a few hours so they can set. Then, they are done! So easy.
Granola Bites

You can remove them from the silicone cups, if you want, they hold their shape great.
just granola yumminess

The bars are a little more work.

MOST IMPORTANTLY - do not even attempt to touch them at all after they are done baking. You must let them set and gel and have alone time.  Overnight. I mean it. If you don't leave them alone overnight you'll be sorry! Take my word for it. I speak from experience.
It doesn't matter if they seem cool to the touch and it doesn't matter if they "look fine". They really do need that time to come together and fully set or they will just fall apart.

So, the next morning, you will need a long knife. It's a lot easier if you can cut them apart in one big motion. My longest knife is *just* barely long enough.
granola bars done and set

Turn the pan over on a cutting board. Sometimes I get lucky and the whole granola slab plops out without further prodding. Sometimes it needs to be prodded. This is where having that parchment in there is a big asset. Just gently pull on the flaps of parchment hanging out and the whole thing will pop onto the cutting board.
removing granola bars from pan

Next, using that long sharp knife cut into bars. I get 12 out of an 8x8" pan.
cut into bars

Lastly, you should wrap them up. While they hold together well enough to eat with your hands, they are "delicate" and will fall apart if they are messed with too much. Warmer weather also seems to make them more prone to falling apart.
I use wax paper. I cut into pieces approximately 7" by 3" or so (I'm not very precise or concerned about it) and wrap them individually. If I have space to twist the ends closed I'll do that (easy!). If I've cut too short then I fold the ends in and seal shut with a sticker (cute!).
granola bars all wrapped up & ready to go

Store in an airtight container.
granola bars nice & cozy

Some random notes:

  • Like I said before, these are pretty finicky. I make them the same way every time but my results still vary. It may depend on the weather. (Seriously). They are less dense now that we have warm weather. Also, it seems the ingredients require more moisture sometimes to get to that clumpy stage while mixing and other times it needs less.

    It's important to use the Quick Oats and not the regular ones. Regular oats will NOT gel together and you'll end up with a tasty granola crumble instead of handy granola bars.

    You can use regular Rice Krispies for the crisp rice cereal. But if you do that you should cut back on the brown sugar or they will end up being overly sweet. I use the organic brown rice cereal because we are trying to cut out all HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and Rice Krispies have HFCS (and other sugars too, but it's the HFCS I have the biggest issue with). The organic brown rice cereal is not sweetened, so the whole 1/2 cup of brown sugar is needed.

    Substituting mini semi-sweet baking M&M's  for the chocolate chips is fun way to change it up.

    You can add a little peanut butter to this if you like. Sometimes I'll add a big heaping spoonful in hopes of acclimating my son to the taste of it. ;-) As long as he doesn't know it's in there and I don't over-do it he doesn't notice. Sometimes he notices but doesn't complain too much.

    The flax and wheat germ are totally optional. I usually use it, but sometimes forget. It's a great way to bump up fiber and omega 3's and a bunch of other good stuff. :)

  • You can use butter instead of the canola oil if you prefer. I use the canola because it's a healthier oil/fat, but butter works just fine with the recipe too.

    I hope you enjoy!! :)

    Supplies used to make these granola bites:

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