I’m not sure why I decided today was a fine day to hunt down a recipe for my first attempt at making granola bars, but I did. So I did. And, hey! Success!
My Pinterest search was fruitful, but I was low on ingredients (some of those recipes get crazy. On Pinterest. THAT NEVER HAPPENS.), so I chose a basic recipe and made some changes based on my pantry.
Soft and Chewy Granola BarsFrom Inspired TasteCreated By: Joanne and Adam GallagherYield: 12
- 2 1/2 cups (230 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) whole almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup (113 grams) honey
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (67 grams) mini chocolate chipsMethodPrepare Oven and Pan
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.Toast Oats and Nuts
- Add oats and almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.Prepare Granola Bars
- Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.
- Pour butter mixture in to bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add cranberries and a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
- Transfer oat mixture to lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan.
- Scatter remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.
- Store bars in an airtight container for up to one week. For the softest bars, keep at room temperature. For slightly harder bars, store in the fridge.
The original recipe wanted dried cranberries. The best match I had were whole, pitted prunes (thank you, toddler bathroom woes). The recipe wanted plain almonds. I had salted, roasted almonds. And hey, what’s that? Some salted, shelled sunflower seeds? Throw those in, too! Probably about 1/4 cup. Ooh. Ground flax seed would probably work in granola bars, right? Sure. Two tablespoons sounds good. No mini chocolate chips, so the regular chips would just have to do. I decided to add them all in rather than top with those big guys.
I followed the instructions but only toasted the oats because my almonds were already roasted. Meanwhile, I chopped about 10 prunes into bite-sized pieces and put my food processor to work on the whole almonds. With the oats ready, I mixed all the dry ingredients by hand to be sure no prune pieces stuck together. Stir in the melted butter/sugar/honey/vanilla mixture and … oh. All of my chocolate melted. Oh, well. Into the pan, then into the freezer for about an hour. After that, I moved them to the refrigerator, then I cut into small squares rather than bars – better for little hands to hold.
Verdict: Toby, Eleanor and Callista kept asking for more. The bars didn’t fall apart, but because my chocolate melted throughout the entire bar, the outside left behind a chocolatey mess. I could do without that to clean up after, but ETC sort of took care of it by sticking their fingers in their mouths. Whatever works, right?
If you’re keeping count, Taste: Success! Durability: Success! Cleanliness: Just teach them to lick their hands. They washed before eating, right? Mother of the year, folks!