Let’s talk granola bars.
Crunchy or chewy?
I love all kinds, but I prefer chewy. Granola bars are such a perfect, quick, compact, portable snack. And I eat them pretty regularly. There may be a few decent store brands out there, but there is nothing like homemade. And these are the BEST, soft, chewy granola bars I have ever tasted (if I do say so, myself!). As a matter of fact, when I first posted these on my previous baking blog, they were featured as a Delicious Link on theKitchn!
Always start with good ingredients. These are made with a flavorful combination of oats, almond meal, cranberries, apricots, almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, dark chocolate chips, and wild berry honey.
These are easy to put together and really hold their shape well.
When I first made these, I was given a free sample of a product I had not tried before. It is Honey Melt Organic; a spread made with a perfect blend of fruit and plant based oils. It looks and performs just like butter, and I use it often now.
These baked like a dream.
Cool them, cut them, wrap them, EAT THEM!
I always seem to have a granola bar on me at all times; in my purse or the glove compartment of my car. I eat them on the fly for breakfast, as a sweet treat with my lunch, as an anytime snack, or crumbled on some ice cream for dessert.
This is a pretty versatile granola bar recipe. So feel free to change up the fruit and nuts. Switch up the chocolate bits. Or omit the coconut if you are not a fan. (But really, how can you NOT be a fan of coconut?) So give these a try, and come back and tell me what you put in your granola bars!
“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” Lucille Ball
- 1⅔ cups of quick rolled oats
- ½ cup of loosely packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup of almond meal
- ½ of a teaspoon of salt
- ¼ of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- *Fruits and Nuts, etc. (Feel free to use what you like. These are the exact amounts for this recipe. I would not suggest using more than 10-11 ounces combined. Keep the pieces small. The larger the quantity and size, the more likely the bars won't hold together well).
- 2 ounces of sliced almonds
- 2 ounces of pumpkin seeds
- 2 ounces of dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
- 2 ounces of dried cranberries
- 2 ounces of shredded coconut (I used sweetened)
- 1 ounce of mini dark chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup of almond butter
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- 6 Tablespoons of Honey Melt® Organic, melted
- ¼ of wild berry honey
- 2 Tablespoons of light corn syrup
- 1 Tablespoon of water
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Line the pan with a rectangular piece of parchment, letting the paper overhang 2 sides to make it easy to lift out when they are done.
- Spray the parchment with cooking spray as well.
- Stir together all the dry ingredients: the oats, brown sugar, almond meal, salt, cinnamon, fruits, nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips.
- In a separate bowl, combine the melted Honey Melt® Organic, vanilla, honey, corn syrup and water.
- Toss the wet and dry ingredients together, adding the almond butter.
- Pat the mixture into your prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- I used a piece of saran to help press the mixture into the pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the top takes on a golden color.
- Cool completely on a rack.
- I put these into the refrigerator for about an hour before cutting.
- Use the sides of the parchment paper to remove the granola from the pan.
- Slice in half, and then cut each half into 6 small bars.
You can’t buy happiness but you can buy local, and that’s kind of the same thing.