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Three Many Cooks: Granola Bars
Three Many Cooks: Granola Bars: Three Many Cooks share a recipe for scrumptious grandola bars.
Homemade Granola Bars containing rolled oats, dried cranberries, almonds and chocolate chips. / David Baratz/USA WEEKEND

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School’s already back in session for many kids, which means it’s time to stock up on lunch box treats and after-school snacks. If granola bars are one of your regulars, check out our recipe. It’s so simple that once the pan is prepared, most school-age children could make them with little or no supervision. Best of all: All the kids I’ve shared them with give big thumbs up!

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
½ cup wheat germ
1 cup sliced almonds
½ cup of semi- or bitter-sweet chips or chunks (about 3 ounces)
½ cup dried cranberries or cherries
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-square-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. For bars’ easy removal, line pan bottom up the two sides with a 9- by 18-inch strip of heavy-duty foil. Grease foil with vegetable cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Turn into prepared pan and pat down until firmly packed. Bake until golden brown about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature and put pan in freezer.

When firm, use foil handles to remove bars from pan. Remove foil and use a long, sharp knife to cut bar into 16 1- by 4-inch bars. Can be stored in an airtight container up to 1 week or frozen.

Gluten free variation:

Follow recipe above, substituting ½ cup rolled oats that have been finely ground in a food processor for the wheat germ.

Yield:
16 servings

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Meet Pam Anderson and her daughters, Maggy and Sharon, together known as Three Many Cooks. Pam and the girls are contributing editors who write our CookSmart column. Check out their blog threemanycooks.com.