Homemade Peanut Butter and Cranberry Granola Bars
A few months ago when my girls, mom, and I had our girls’ getaway to the Ranch at Laguna Beach, we all fell in love with the homemade granola bars. You can check out our adventure here. I love sharing travel posts. After our long drive from Santa Barbara down to Laguna Beach, it was so nice to find homemade granola bars and fresh fruit waiting for us in our big beautiful cottage suite. At first my mom said, “Hmmm… I don’t really like white chocolate.” And I agreed with, “I don’t either.” We’re dark chocolate girls. But when we tasted these homemade granola bars from The Ranch, our minds were changed and on the drive home my mom was asking if I could possibly get the recipe. These bars are peanut buttery, creamy with a little crunch from crisp rice cereal, sweet but not too sweet, and so beautiful. The white chocolate adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the peanut butter bars. And the white drizzle makes them look extra fancy. These homemade granola bars are so lovely I thought they would make excellent DIY holiday gifs. Don’t you think they could be a refreshing change from Christmas cookies?
Ben’s Pantry is one of my favorite spots at The Ranch at Laguna Beach. It’s a charming little coffee shop in the morning and the best spot for a cocktail overlooking the golf course at night. If you’re in Orange County, a stop at the new restaurant, Harvest, or Ben’s Pantry is a must. Aside from the tasty bars, I adore the decor, which was designed by my favorite Laguna Beach home shop, Tuvalu. I seriously want all of their gorgeous rustic, beachy decor.
I was so excited when The Ranch agreed to share the recipe for their famous energy bars with us. I was surprised to find the recipe is incredibly simple and easy to transform from a restaurant sized batch to a home sized batch. The recipe from the Ranch called for cherries or blueberries for the dried fruit, but cranberries are my favorite, so that’s what I’ve used here.These homemade energy bars are great for after school snacks for kids, taking on a hike, packing in picnics, midnight snacks, or snacks on the go. To make them, we need a few simple ingredients. The “dough” gets pressed firmly into the bottom of baking dish and then allowed to set overnight. The Ranch cuts their bars into 4″ x 1 1/2″ rectangles, but you could cut them to any size. I even cut some into smaller bite-sized squares. I am so happy to have these bars in the fridge for when I need a quick snack on the go, or crave a sweet bite.Bye Christmas cookies, I’m giving these this year! I think these bars with red cranberries and white chocolate drizzle are just perfect for giving for the holidays.
|Image courtesy of The Ranch at Laguna Beach|
- 2 1/2 cups dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, blueberries)
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups rice krispie cereal
- 1 3/4 cups smooth peanut butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 (12 oz.) bag white chocolate chips
- Line 9x13" baking dish with parchment. Pulse dried fruit and macadamia nuts until thoroughly chopped. Place the fruit and nuts into a large bowl. Add the oats and cereal and stir to combine.
- In a saucepan over low heat, melt the peanut butter, molasses, and honey. It won't get "melty" but should all come together into a thick dough like ball. Transfer the peanut butter mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with your hands until fully incorporated.
- Press firmly into the pan with parchment. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Cut the bars and dip into the melted white chocolate. Set on wax paper. Use a fork to drizzle more white chocolate over the top. Store bars in the refrigerator.
*VEGAN OPTION: Use maple syrup instead of honey, use non-dairy chocolate*GLUTEN FREE OPTION: Use gf oats and cereal
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 174mg Carbohydrates: 44g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 24g Protein: 10g