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. You know, 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. Like, for the rest of your life. That is, if you’re “into” chewy granola bars.
And to be honest, the ingredient lists for this chewy breakfast bar recipe and the previous crunchy breakfast bar recipes I’ve made aren’t so different. However, they are vastly different from any box of store-bought granola bars since they don’t contain preservatives.
Homemade Granola Breakfast Bar Add-ins
These breakfast bars have more wholesome ingredients than many of the store-bought bars you can buy.
Just like any homemade 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 in the pantry. So that’s what we tossed into our bars.
I also added some ground flax for a boost of healthy fat and soluble fiber and some peanut butter for a bit of extra flavor.
Nut Free Breakfast Bars
For those with nut allergies, this bar recipe is such a great nut-free option! Depending on your needs for food allergies, you can make the recipe exactly as you need it to be.
If you’re baking for someone with a tree nut allergy and/or a peanut allergy, simply skip the tree nuts and/or peanuts.
Kyle has a tree nut allergy so I didn’t add any of those. However, he can eat peanuts so I did add some peanut butter to the granola batter.
Since you’re making these nut-free granola bars at home and not relying on an ingredient list on a package, you completely control the ingredients you add!
Added Sugar Free Breakfast Bars
I should also add here that while the recipe calls for up to ¾ cup of granulated sugar, I didn’t add any sugar at all.
Well, actually, I forgot to add the sugar. Oops!
But since my add-ins were sweet on their own, Kyle and I both felt the additional white sugar would have ruined these bars.
I’m keeping it in the recipe as it was written but please, read the note included and judge accordingly when you make them.
About These Granola Breakfast Bars
I think the major difference is that this homemade granola bar recipe is baked in a smaller pan than many of the other recipes I’ve made. This prohibits the bars from drying out too much in the middle and keeps them nice and chewy. They end up being thick granola bars, just as the recipe name suggests!
And I hope you will make them because they’re a grab-and-go breakfast (or snack) treat that’s just too great to pass up!
- 1 ⅔ cups oats (quick-cooking or old fashioned)
- ½ to ¾ 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)
- ⅓ cup oat flour (or ⅓ cup oats, processed until finely ground in a food processor or blender)
- 2 tbsp finely ground flax seed (optional)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 to 3 cups dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, coconut, seeds, etc. (total of 10 to 15 oz)
- ⅓ cup peanut butter or another nut butter (optional but recommended)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup (light or Lyle's Golden)
- Preheat oven to 350° 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 for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into 2-inch square pieces. 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.
STORAGE: 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.
adapted from adapted from King Arthur Flour via Smitten Kitchen
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