Over the past 2 years, I’ve made probably 4 different granola bar recipes. But I just can’t seem to get behind any of them…to love them enough to share them here. So today, my friends, I bring you a special treat: the one and only granola bar recipe you’ll ever need. For the rest of your life. That is, if you’re “into” chewy granola bars.
And to be honest, the ingredient lists between this chewy recipe and the previous crunchy recipes I’ve made aren’t so different, though majorly different from any box of granola bars. I think the major difference is that this recipe is baked in a smaller pan which prohibits the bars from drying out too much in the middle. In any event, just like any granola bar recipe, what you add in is completely up to you and the possibilities are endless. We always have sweetened shredded coconut, some type of dried fruit (dates this time), and chocolate chips in one form or another on hand so that’s what we tossed into our bars. I also added some ground flax for a boost of healthy fats and some peanut butter.
I should also add here that while the recipe calls for up to 3/4 cup of sugar, I didn’t add it. Well, actually, I forgot to add it but what with the amount of sugar my add-ins contained, we both felt the additional sugar would have ruined these bars. I’m keeping it in the recipe as it was written but please, judge accordingly when you make them. And I hope you will make them because they’re a grab-and-go breakfast (or snack) treat that’s just too freaking great to pass up!
To cleanly cut these bars, refrigerate the uncut bars for about 30 minutes once they’ve cooled – otherwise, they will be a little crumbly. Once cut, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in the fridge. This is not for food safety reasons because they will be fine at room temperature, but difficult to eat. The cold breakfast bars will stick together better and will be easier to eat on the go.
- 1 2/3 cups oats (quick-cooking or old fashioned)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use more for a sweetness akin to most purchased bars; use less for a mildly sweet bar; omit altogether if your add-ins are super sweet)
- 1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
- 2 tbsp finely ground flax seed (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 to 3 cups dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, coconut, seeds, etc. (total of 10 to 15 ounces)
- 1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter (optional but recommended)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup (light or Lyle’s Golden)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper leaving the ends of the paper to hang up and over the two opposite sides of the pan. Lightly grease the paper and the exposed sides of the pan.
- In a large bowl, stir the oats, sugar (if using), oat flour, flax, salt, cinnamon, and your dry add-ins together. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the peanut butter, vanilla, butter, honey/maple syrup, and corn syrup together until will combined and smooth. Immediately pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and with a rubber spatula, mix everything together until the oats are well-coated and sort of crumbly.
- Transfer the granola mixture to the pan, pressing it down firmly and evenly into the pan. Make sure the granola is tucked into the corners and sits tightly up against the sides of the pan – this will help when cutting them. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes then transfer the uncut bars on the parchment paper from the pan to the rack to cool completely. Once they’ve cooled, transfer them to the fridge to set up well before cutting. Cut into 2-inch square pieces.
Yields: 16 2-inch granola breakfast bars