Cake Batter Granola Bars

I've been wanting to make my own granola/protein bars for a while now.  I just haven't had the motivation to make regular granola bars (especially since NES and I don't eat all that many plain granola bars -- usually the protein bars are a post-swim/run snack) and I really don't want to invest in a giant amount of protein powder (something most of the protein bars call for), then make one batch of bars and give up.

What I managed to find was something vaguely in between, complete with sprinkles!  I just had to make them.  Especially since half of my end-of-the-semester present from mom and dad was a GIANT bottle of sprinkles.

I decided I'd add some chia seeds to the mix in the hopes that it'd make them a little more filling and a more energizing snack.
I used homemade almond butter instead of the cashew butter, first since I had some on hand, and second because I am not a huge cashew fan.  I thought it still tasted pretty good.

I ate some of the edges that weren't-quite-bar-sized for lunch, and my only complaint is that they are very, very sweet.  The honey does cut through the rest of the flavors, but I think it's essential for the stickiness factor.  Maybe next time I'll try and switch out a little honey for more almond butter.

I also think I didn't use a heavy enough object to push them into the pan.  Mine were definitely still kinda like crispy granola bars.  I happened to have a large can of soup laying around, so I used that.  Maybe next time I'll find something heavier.

Also, I doubled the recipe expecting to make 12 bars, but ended up with closer to 18!  I guess they'll keep us full for a while!
Be aware, their texture is better out of the fridge or freezer.  It seems like they would be very goupy at room temperature!

But regardless, what isn't good with sprinkles?

Cake Batter Energy Bars
slightly adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

1 cup rice krispies
1/2 cup oat flour, packed (you can make your own by grinding old fashioned oats in the food processor until they turn into flour.  Measure after grinding, not before.)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. almond butter
5 tbsp. honey
sprinkles to taste

Combine the cereal, flour, sprinkles and salt and mix well.

In a large bowl, combine the vanilla, almond butter and honey.  Stir until they form a smooth, thick paste.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Stir until evenly coated.  I find that when mixing sticky and dry ingredients, pulling the spoon across the mixture helps.

Line a baking dish with a large piece parchment or waxed paper.  Pour, then press the mixture into the dish.  Fold the excess paper over the flatten mixture and press as flat and hard as possible!  Use something heavy to press it down.  Any size pan will do, but it fills a 7x5 pan completely.

Put the flattened mixture into the fridge to harden before cutting into 6 bars.

Store in the fridge or freezer.


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