I feel like this sort of recipe warrants the stamp of "mom approved." But saying that makes me feel really matronly so I will forego such usage. (If you use "mom approved" I'm sure you do it in only the most acceptable ways).
But the thing is - it is mom approved. As in - I am a mom and I feel very comfortable eating these delicious little bars under the category of 'snack' and not 'treat.' This means that I can also feed them to my little guy during snack time and not feel guilty about it. They have oats and rice krispies (an iron fortified cereal!) and therefore are basically little morsels of whole grain goodness with only the most moderate addition of brown sugar and honey. And anyway, I feel that anything homemade is good for you. Imagine a chewy granola bar from the store, injected with preservatives and other mystery ingredients. Now imagine making your own granola bars in a matter of minutes and you will feel oh so wholesome. See what I mean?
No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats (make sure they are actually quick cooking and not just rolled oats!)
1 cup rice krispies cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate chips or dried fruit for topping
1. Grease a 9x11 inch pan with cooking spray. I don't have a 9x11 so used a 9x13 and just packed the granola into a smaller portion of the pan, which worked great.
2. Combine butter, honey and brown sugar in medium a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture is slightly simmering, about 2 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent the butter from burning. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
3. Add the oats and rice krispies and stir until combined.
4. Press the mixture into the pan and press down very firmly to ensure that the bars don't crumble. Sprinkle the chocolate chips or fruit on top.
5. Let the bars cool for 2 hours at room temperature or about 30 minutes in the fridge. Cut into rectangles.
Recipe source: melskitchencafe.com via Rachel Ray