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. 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. They end up being thick granola bars, just as the recipe name suggests!
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 for a bit of extra flavor.
I should also add here that while the recipe calls for up to ¾ cup of sugar, I didn’t add any sugar at all.
Well, actually, I forgot to add it. Oops!
But with the amount of sugar my add-ins contained, Kyle and I 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!
Thick and Chewy Granola Breakfast Bars
- Prep Time: 20min + 30min to chill
- Cook Time: 30-40min
- Yield: 16 2-inch bars
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)
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)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 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)
1/3 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.
adapted from King Arthur Flour via Smitten Kitchen
I love granola bars and I’m happy that you found a go to recipe with these treats!
These sound lovely!
i absolutely love that you put dates in these granola bars! i’ll have to try that out- i love dates but always forget to use them in things. 🙂
these look so great!! I can’t wait to make them, thanks for sharing!
I have been on the hunt for a really good, reliable granola bar recipe. This one sounds like the perfect answer!!
It’s a great recipe, Regan. I love how cutting out the white sugar doesn’t affect the taste!
I MAKE THE BEST VARIATION OF THIS BAR. THE LESS TIME U COOK YOUR INGREDIENTS THE MORE NATURAL PROPERTIES AND HEALTH U HOLD INTO THE INGREDIENTS U USE!
INSTEAD OF COOKING THE BARS A LONG TIME I COOK THE: BUTTER, CORN SYRUP AND HONEY LIKE I DO WHEN I MAKE ALMOND ROCCA. I COOK IT TO “SOFT CRACK” TEMPERATURE ON A CANDY THERMOMETER SO THAT IT IS NICE AND GOOEY, WHILE I AM COOKING THIS I MIX THE PEANUT BUTTER AND VANILLA INTO ONE ANOTHER ADD THE SALT, DIREGARD THE SUGAR AND ADD THIS MIXTURE TO A MIX OF MY NUTS AND FRUIT AND OATS
WHEN THE CANDY MIXTURE IS COMPLETE I POUR IT OVERTOP THE DRY MIX UNTIL THOUROUGHLY COATED AND THAN BAKE A T A LOW TEMP FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME AND THAN REFRIGERATE TO SET! THE BARS TURN OUT
[…] Adapted from Smells Like Home and Smitten Kitchen; originally from King Arthur […]
These look amazing!
I can’t wait to make these.
I was wondering if there would be a way to add pumpkin and make one for in the Fall.
Please let me know. Thanks
Thank you! I haven’t tried pumpkin in this recipe but in my experience, pumpkin makes baked recipes very soft. Instead of canned pumpkin, you could always add a 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to give the granola bars a fall vibe. Hope you enjoy them!
What can I use instead of corn syrup? Thank you.
Hi Lil, I haven’t tried a corn syrup substitute for this recipe but I think honey or agave syrup would work ok. I would reduce the amount of honey/syrup. Hope that helps!