Granola Bars

I have always loved granola bars! They are delicious, as a kid I especially loved Quaker Oats bars, but now that I’ve grown older the bars that I eat don’t have to be completely sugar. I found this recipe on the blog smitten kitchen (which food blog I love), they in turn found from King Arthur Flour. I did some experiments of my own and the first time, let me just say was a dismal failure. Why then am I posting this recipe? Because I believe that the failure was connected with the use of a cheap waxed paper, it stuck to the bars and was impossible to remove, and even though my husband and even some of his coworkers insisted that the bars were very good I was disheartened. After a couple of months and some pleading on my husband’s part I got up the courage to try to make them again, this time using Reynolds’ Genuine Parchment Paper, NOT their Cut-Rite Wax Paper. The result was perfect and delicious bars. I enjoyed them very much, and all of my friends who tried them liked them as well. It is such an easy recipe too, and can be manipulated to yours, and your families tastes, allergies, or diet.

Let me just say that I am posting the recipe as I like it, and also state some changes that could be made, but I am not posting the original from the King Arthur Flour website, nor am I posting what Smitten Kitchen posted. So in summation this recipe has gone through three changes, some great some small, but for your own recipe you can look at the other previous posts to do your own version as well, if you feel so necessary.

Chewy Granola Bars

1-2/3 c quick rolled oats

2/3 c granulated sugar

1/3 c oat flour (or 1/3 c oats, processed until finely ground in a food processor or blender)

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

2-3 c dried fruits and nuts*

My Mix: 1/4 c wheat germ

3/4 c white and semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 c peanuts, processed in a food processor until the size of a rice grain

1/4 c cashews, processed in a food processor until the size of a rice grain

1/4 c walnuts, processed in a food processor until the size of a rice grain

1/4 c dried cranberries

1/3 c chunky peanut butter or another nut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 tbsp melted butter

1/4 c honey

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tbsp water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish, 8 x 8 or 7 x 11, with wax paper, allowing it to go up on the sides, then coat with non-stick spray.

2. Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, honey, maple syrup and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry, including the peanut butter, until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing down firmly to mold the bars to the pan.

3. Bake the bars for 30-40 minutes until they’re brown around the edges. They will still seem soft when you press in the center of the pan, but they will set completely when cool. Cool the bars in their pan on a cooling rack. Once cool use a serrated knife or bench knife to cut the bars into sizes that you think would be a good snack size. If the bars are crumbling, stick them in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to allow them to set and then continue cutting them. To store them, wrap the bars individually in plastic or place them in an airtight container. In humid weather, it’s best to store the bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

*Suggestions: Dried cranberries, apricots, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, walnuts, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried cherries, or  dried apples.


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