I know, I know, I just talked up granola bars last September. Waxing on about granola bars twice in six months is just weird, right? I can’t help it, I honestly don’t remember last September. I was 37 weeks pregnant. I was as big as a house. I had a baby two weeks later, which I barely remember either, though that’s probably for the best. I forgot about the granola bars in my freezer too, until at least December and when I unearthed them they were so crisp I had to crumble them over yogurt. With a mallet. Then two weeks ago I bought a house-made granola bar at Whole Foods, sunk my teeth into it’s thicky, chewy, ingredient-laden madness and was consumed with envy; why haven’t I made granola bars that taste like that? (Minus about half the sugar; they’re crazy sweet. )
So I got back to the drawing board which quickly led me to a recipe on the King Arthur Flour website. I’ve been warm to their recipes since they led me to the best whole wheat muffin I’ve ever eaten and this one did not disappoint. With a few tweaks — reducing the sugar significantly and putting it in a smaller pan in an attempt to make them as thick as those from Whole Foods — these were exactly what I had been pining for.
(And seriously, can you imagine a better food gift to bring to new parents? Trust me, few things are more welcome than delicious nutrient-rich food in compact/one-hand-eating-friendly packages.)
Mostly, however, I’m hoping these will fill a void in my own diet these days: breakfast. Ever since we brought in a lovely lady to watch Jacob in the mornings so I could get some of this wild thing called “work” done, I’ve discovered what a mean boss I am. To me, that is! I mean to me! (The only thing the nanny has to suffer through is all of the cooking samples she wants to take home, lingering stenches of bubbling cheese and toasting granola and wiping the drool off this gummy grin.) I cannot bring myself to spend a second of this precious work time to eat breakfast. Time is money, Deb! And by the time she leaves, I am so hungry I am forced to eat the baby. Again. If these granola bars don’t become part of my morning routine, quickly, the poor kid is only going to have one arm and half a cheek by the time he starts preschool. And I’ll have so much explaining to do.
Fortunately for Jacob’s remaining cheek, these granola bars have so far exceeded our expectations that the hardest thing will be getting them to last until Monday morning’s breakfast.
One year ago: Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (apparently, mid-February gets thick and chewy on my brain)
Two years ago: Escarole and Orzo Soup with Meatballs
Three years ago: Vegetable Dumplings
Thick, Chewy Granola Bars
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
This is probably the most flexible recipe I’ve posted. When it comes to granola, what you’re looking for is a basic proportion of chunky (nuts, dried fruit) to sticky (syrups, sugar, butter or oils) and from there, you can really go to town. The vanilla is optional. The cinnamon is optional. You can use no dried fruit or you can use all dried fruit in your 2 to 3 cup mix. You can toss in things like puffed rice cereal or flax seeds. In the comments, I’d love to hear what mix you came up with and how you liked it. I can only imagine the possibilities.
Of note: The original recipe calls for something called “sticky bun sugar” which can be made at home with sugar, butter and corn syrup. It is for this reason that corn syrup is listed within one ingredient but also separately, and I used all butter rather than two different fats. Whether the corn syrup can be entirely replaced with honey or maple syrup or the butter can be entirely replaced with a healthier oil is worth auditioning, I just didn’t. Yet. I can tell you this: as is, this is the best granola bar I’ve ever eaten.
1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats (if gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free oats)
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use more for a sweetness akin to most purchased bars; use less for a mildly sweet bar)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (total of 10 to 15 ounces)*
1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter (I used almond butter) (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, namely because I was not convinced that the flavor came through)
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (see Note above)
1 tablespoon water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.
Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap can help with this, as you press down on the back of it.)
Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. (Alternately, after about 20 minutes you can use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars, and place them in their paper on the rack to cool the rest of the way. This can speed the process up.)
Once cool, a serrated knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars into squares. [Updating to note, as many had crumbling issues:] If bars seem crumbly, chill the pan of them further in the fridge for 30 minutes which will fully set the “glue”, then cut them cold. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container. In humid weather, it’s best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.
*Suggestions: Dried cranberries, apricots, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, walnuts, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried pples or even chocolate chips. My mix: 1/2 cup wheat germ, 1 cup dried cherries, 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes. Because my pieces were all pretty coarse, I pulsed them in the food processor a few times to break it up a little, though this isn’t necessary if you don’t mind yours chunkier.
1,051 comments on thick, chewy granola bars
I’m thinking that it must be quite a treat to be Jacob’s nanny! These sumptuous granola bars look incredible!
I’ve been looking a chewy granola bar recipe and this fits the bill perfect.
I’m going to have to give these a try. I’ve been looking for a recipe for a good afternoon snack instead of packaged bars for my 3 year old. She can certainly help and if they freeze well she wont get bored of them either.
I’ve always held firm that the co-workers – and nannies, obviously – of food bloggers (and their children) are the best-fed folks in all the land! These look great; I’d love to have a breakfast-y bar – heavy on the cereal – to share with my little one!
These are exactly what I have been craving! hanks
This time of year, I always start craving cherries. I think it has something to do with cherry blossom season. At least that’s my story. Dried cherries, here I come!
ohh it looks soooo good!
Hooray for granola bars that don’t taste like candy! I’ll definately be giving these a try soon, once I amass some dried fruit. Question: I’ve always wondered about this, concerning baked goods: what are QUICK rolled oats? Do they have to be a the quick cooking kind, or will regular oats work just as well? I’m not very educated when it comes to oats, and I have only what I presume is a regular tin of oats in my pantry…
Shanti — They’re thinner, lighter. They cook faster. In this case, they’ll “glue” a bit better. If you only have old-fashioned or slow-cooking ones, pulse them a little in the blender so the oats break up a little.
Breakfast is so important, so I am glad that you decided to do something about the void in your eating routine. Maybe with some delicious food in your tummy you will stop being such a mean boss to yourself. Give yourself a break? You deserve only the best, I mean, look at the food you make!! Look at your awesome writing ability!! Be nice to yourself. You deserve it.
I like a few chocolate chips too. :)
oh, i am so going to make these ASAP! they look divine!
i loved the other crispy ones too! no such things as too much granola!
These look fantastic! I’ve been looking for a good “breakfast bar” recipe after having some fantastic ones at Blue Fog Market in SF (made by Batter Bakery, I believe). Can’t wait to try it.
I’m SUCH a big fan of your blog, ever since I’ve started reading it I’ve been cooking dinner for my family at least once a week, something that has never ever happened before haha. I can’t wait to try this out :)
Love granola bars but never tried making them because it seems like a lot of work. Maybe I’ll try sometime.
I haven’t sifted through all the comments to see if this was addressed yet, but I have used coconut oil instead of butter and it works fine. Now having to go dairy and soy-free for a second time while breastfeeding a baby with a milk/soy protein intolerance, these are a great go-to breakfast or snack that can be made dairy and soy-free. Since they freeze so well I usually make multiple batches at once. I use organic peanut butter, an allergen-free chocolate chip I just found, and macadamia nuts. Usually I’d add dried cherries with the macadamia nuts but I just saw mine may be laced with milk so they’re not going in this time!
My favorite dairy-filled version is by no means on the healthier side. That said: peanut butter, peanut butter chips, peanuts, and chocolate chips. They are decadent and could even be a dessert, so good! I like to double the recipe and make in a 9×13 for thicker bars.
Ahh thank you for writing this – was looking to see if anyone had tried coconut oil!! In the same boat with my baby, but also going to try to sub sun butter for the peanut butter since tree nuts are out for us, too. Hope your babe grows out of those intolerances soon 🙏🏼🤞🏻
I’m curious to hear how the sun butter sun goes, since I wrote my original comment I’ve had to eliminate eggs, peanuts and tree nuts too! Don’t love sun butter on its own but if it works well in these that’d be great! Good luck to you, too 😊
I’m so excited to try this! I have been looking for a good granola bar recipe for a long time and this one sounds just perfect! Thank you!!
i have to say, i love your blog, and read it up. however, gestational diabetes makes it painful!! but i have a list of things you have recently posted to make immediately after (or for friends to make for me immediately after), and this is on the top of that list. oh my god these are making me tear up! maybe i’ll make these to win over some nurses…
Yes! I made these around the same time last year and JUST looked up the recipe and bought ingredients this morning to make them- perfect timing. I agree with your tweaks.. they were overly sweet to me and not thick enough as written.
Um, and: if it weren’t somewhat creepy and if it wouldn’t require a 14-hour commute, I would beg to be your nanny. Jacob is one of the most beautiful babies I’ve seen.
These sound fantastic. I’ve been wanting to make granola bars lately. Looks like I’ve got a recipe to try. Thanks!
Your son is adorable :D
oh, forgot to add: in the bars I made last year, I used slightly broken almonds, dried raspberries and mini semisweet chocolate chips. HEAVEN.
These look great! Mine I would do coconut, almonds, pepitas, chocolate chips and eat it slightly warmed with milk poured over it. There is a great restaurant in Salt Lake City, One World, and they would make “everything cookies” and put tons of seeds, nuts, and whatever they had leftover that day + chocolate, keep it warm, cut you a a square, and I would always eat it in a bowl with soy milk.
aaaaand forgot another thing: I sprinkled mine with kosher salt. The salty/sweet/chocolate combo was what created the “HEAVEN” effect for me.
Okay, that’s it, I promise.
I LOVE the thickness of these bars!! Ive saving this one!
Thanks for this! I can’t wait to make them on my next day off.
Your website is my favorite place to come for inspiration and every single recipe of yours I’ve made has turned out fantastically! You rock.
Since my children have boycotted the last homemade version I was making, I am going to try these…I have tried 5 or 6 different organic packaged brands to replace the original stupid Quaker chocolate/peanut butter ones I bought 2 years ago, but they want none of them. I will hope hope HOPE that maybe these do the trick. I’ve been slowly but surely replacing much of our packaged foods with homemade or organic versions, and this is one of the last areas I’ve been unable to conquer.
I love this flexible recipe! I’m dreaming of a bar with maple syrup, coconut, and peanut butter. Yum!
Thanks Deb! This exactly what I was looking for!!
These look amazing. I have never been inspired to make my own granola bars since I am very amateur in the kitchen but I think I will give these a try!
I have been looking for a chewy granola bar recipe for a while for my 20 month old who has too few teeth to eat a crunchier one. Can’t wait to try it this week!
I’ve never actually made granola bars because it seems like they require way too many ingredients that I just don’t keep around (flax seed, wheat germ, oats, etc). But I must admit, I love the combo of raisins, dark chocolate and honey in my store-bought granola.
But with the excellent review you gave this recipe, I might just have to make some!
Liza — Funny enough, that intimidated me too. I mean, you can use granola bars to stuff all sorts of health food store bin goodness like flax and germs and brans and seeds, etc. But you can also just use oats, nuts and dried fruit. Oh, and coconut. Even if you’re making it for someone who swears they hate coconut, they never do in granola/granola bars.
I know those Whole Foods granola bars! They are sink-your-teeth-in, wholesome amazingness. And way too sweet, you’re right. This recipe makes me SO happy. I think the sesame seeds in the Whole Foods bars are pretty key, if people are looking for nut/seed choices.
Ohhh these look so amazing!!!
God, I could care less about new parents or babies. This sounds like a yummy recipe, though.
oooh I have been on a homemade muesli bar kick lately too – the only problem is that they don’t last long enough!!! Even the hubby likes them!
I love your recipes! I’m going to have to try this out as a healthy alternative to sweets from time to time… I was wondering where you purchased the tan/kraft parchment paper? I’ve been looking for a bit and haven’t found any. Thanks!
My bars turned out delicious, but sadly they are a crumbly mess! I was hoping for a hand held breastfeeding snack, but I’ll be eating these with a spoon at best. I even tried chilling before cutting as you suggested. They are still quite sweet, even with the reduced sugar as you suggested. I would cut back even more.
I agree. the beauty in granola bars is how darn travel friendly they are, and I’ve always bought premade ones in store. gotta start learning how to make my own lol. thanks for the great recipe!
I don’t know why I bother with other blogs, I can’t remember the last time you made something I didn’t want to bust out immediately. And you’re very funny on the Mom level…lol.
This post has made me realize that 1) I also have a breakfast void in my life (without the excuse of a baby, too), and 2) this might be the perfect way to fix it. I make your pepita granola regularly, and I love it, but a bowl of yoghurt and granola is an awkward load on the bus in the mornings.
Deb, these look dee-lish. The only problem I have when making granola bars is that I cannot stop sneaking bites of the melted butter/peanut butter/ applesauce combination that I use to hold it all together! Heaven. I’ll have to try this recipe too…
Just last week I was looking at the package of oats in my cupboard and thinking I should make granola bars if I come across the right recipe. What a coincidence! Though because I’m allergic to tree nuts, I’ll soon be making a nut-free version that will hopefully be as good as the versions that include nuts!
Wow! Those look so good, and I love granola bars. And of course I love King Arthur flour so it looks like I need to make these…and soon! Thanks for the great recipe!
i bet lyle’s golden syrup or some steen’s cane syrup would be good replacements for the corn syrup.
Those look so delicious, will be making a note to try them out myself. :)
I think this may be the first time I have ever drooled over granola bars.
These look amazing! I love granola bars and have been wanting to make my own…am definitely saving this recipe! My hubby mountain bikes and he is always looking for bars to take with im and we end up buying from the stores…homemade would be much better, and more economical I think!
Your little one is beyong adorable :)
I meant beyond adorable…heehee!
As soon as I saw your post and the pic of your bars I *had* to get in the kitchen and make my own!
I used dried cranberries, sunflower kernels, cashews, Rice Krispies, and Multi-Grain Cheerios. Of course, I blogged about it, you, and your amazing blog . . . check it out – http://laineodle.blogspot.com/2010/02/homemade-granola-bars.html
Thanks, Deb – you’re amazing!
Have you tried Cook’s Illustrated’s Classic Granola? The granola has a ratio of 3.5 cups oats to 3 cups nuts & seeds to 0.5 cups sticky wet–but it’s still thick and chewy…
Science, do your thing!
lovely recipes and your photographs are just great.
I wonder if granola bars are what they call “flapjacks” in the UK. It’s all a bit confusing, in the US are flapjacks not a type of pancake?
I just tried your previous granola bar recipe when I saw this one. The previous one tastes really nice but it was really hard to cut, it just sort of fell apart. I’m having it as breakfast cereal this morning instead!
I might try this one next, it looks like it holds better. And for me the peanut butter is definitely not optional :D
My younger brother eats those super sweet chocolate chip chewy bars all the time and I really wish he’d eat something healthier, I’m glad you posted this recipe! I want to make some for my family (especially my little brother) and this seems like the perfect recipe to try out :)
I have so far managed the chew factor in my own recipe by adding some extra moisture in the form of grated apple,
but this idea sounds and looks delicious and I will definately be giving it a try. If it’s of any interest, which it probably isn’t, we do tend to call them cereal bars in the UK, although we know what you mean as granola is available as a breakfast cereal in a packet to pour milk over. Flapjacks are our traditional version, heavy on the sugar and fat, so not really an ideal healthy breakfast, more a tea time treat. Thanks for all these lovely recipes, entertainingly written.
Wow! These look phenomenal and totally the sort of thing I’ve been looking for. I also seem to be missing out on the all-essential breakfast and these look ideal.
Just made these for my daughter in law to eat while she is nursing. A doubles batch was gone in a week. I made them as stated and put them in the fridge before cutting them. Only used 1/4 c of sugar and the maple syrup and they were sweet enough.
Yum! I have never made granola bars but these look delish! I bet my husband would gobble up the whole pan in a matter of two days!
in bj’s yesterday perusing the many brands of granola bars & just could not bring myself to buy.
so glad to see this post…
took the plunge & purchased the f dick serrated knife (after revisiting “build your own sk”).
These sound amazing. I am wondering if I could add some coconut butter, too. ALl of those flavors would taste fabulous!
Amazing! Me and my 3 yr old just made these using pecan, appricots, dried cranberry and dried blueberry and our favorite, peanut butter!
I have a problem with granola bars, especially as they start to load aisles of some supermarkets these days. If you eat it for breakfast, that’s OK. If you eat them as a snack (esp. for children), they become your worst friend. They are loaded with sugar and calories..and most of us don’t realize that.
I am SO MAKING THESE … ASAP! I have some stuff that I could toss in there. Thank you for so many substitutes and suggestions. Does make life so much easier!
Sold! What a flexible recipe…… no excuse not to try!
This post comes quite handy after the recent recall of granola bars due to a possible Salmonella contamination…
amazing that even foods that we consider at the top as far as “healthy goodies” are concerned, mass production takes its toll
This is great! With the start of Little League this week, I’ve been looking for healthy snacks to bring for my turn on the snack calendar. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
P.S. Don’t worry, the cheeks, toes, fingers, and knees grow back! ;)
Sounds like the perfect granola bar! I’ve been looking for a good recipe, and I think this one looks like the one to try!
i will always try a chewy granola bar..a few chocolate chips essential..thank goodness you saved Jacobs cheek!!
So funny you should mention granola bars and pregnancy – I am just finishing my first trimester and all I wanted yesterday, after seeing some shredded coconut in my cupboard, was a granola bar. I will be making these tonight (and probably many more times over the coming months) :-)
Can you use whole wheat flour? or spelt? I never made granola bars. But I never pinched the cheek of a certain well dressed little guy either.
Oat flour? Oh dear. Purchasing that would bring my total number of flours in my tiny kitchen to…. 6. Oh dear.
Epicurette — There is no reason to buy oat flour. You can pulse oats in the food processor or a blender, as the recipe suggests.
b — It might make them a little gluey and more cake/cookie-like. Granola is usually just seeds and nuts and chunkier ingredients, “glued” together.
shev — Were they totally cool? Did you press them in tightly? And, curiously, did you use the high or low amount of sugar? I made another batch last night, this time with a lower amount of sugar and noticed it slightly slightly more crumbly… But my bars still hold together.
I was thinking about homemade granola bars as I drove into work this morning. And you’ve already got me covered! Definitely making this with some GF oats!
I just made these, and they are … well, ya know. YUM squared.
But, a teeny tiny problem: they made the most delicious and scrumptious and over the top I’m-so-happy granola in the world, but they didn’t bar. They became, when sliced, organised piles of the World’s Greatest Crumble Topping.
I have two culprits that I think are most likely: 1. not enough oats? Maybe the mixture is too moist; and 2. not enough baking? (though the edges are brown and crusty and the middle is cooked)
This is my first granola bar attempt in my life; hopefully one day I will be the Granola Bar Maven, but till then, I would love some advice!
ok, ok, maybe they are the best (won’t argue, though, about Jacob being the best!). but we are kinda partial to these: 4 cups quick oats, 1 stick melted butter, 1 can cocnut-pecan frosting, 1/2 cup sugar (optional). mix together with spoon or hand and press into 13×9-inch pan. bake at 350 for 20 minutes. melt 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter together and spread over warm bars. refrigerate and cut into squares. try these – they are out of this world!
I have a batch in the oven right now! I used cashew butter (for the nut butter and to replace all but 1 T of the butter) and agave nectar for the honey/corn syrup. Smells great!
This is just like a flapjack, yes?
A friend of mine in another state is expecting a baby any day now. Do you think these granola bars would ship well? How would you package them — individually or stacked in an air-tight container?
mmm yummy, sounds delicious!
Those look delicious, I love a good healthy chewy granola bar. I must try these.
DON’T EAT THE BABY. Trader Joe’s has “French Village” yogurt that is deliciously creamy and flavorful and has enough room at the top of the cup for a handful of almonds, and there, you’re done, and the baby’s extremities are safe for another day.
On a practical/serious note, two questions: one, I assume the pb goes in as a dry ingredient, since you didn’t include it in the wet? And two, it’s two additional tblsps of corn syrup, in addition to the 1/4 cup syrup/honey mix? I’ll be making these tomorrow – I, too, have been wanting to bake granola bars for awhile, so thanks so much for this fun, flexible recipe.
genius. this is what i need to make on sunday evenings to have ready to grab and go during the week. i keep trying to fool myself into believing i can actually get up and cook a hot breakfast every morning, but the sad reality is that i hit snooze until the last possible moment, lurch out of bed cursing, stumble to work, and pay too much money for something lousy at the bakery next to my office. sigh.
Thanks for sharing Jacob with us (not to mention your great blog and recipes.)
Years ago when I was studying psychology in grad school, amid all the dry, soulless theories about child psych I came across something by D W Winnicott to effect that the twinkle in a baby’s eyes is a reflection of his mother’s love.:-)
I love homemade granola bars, and once you start making them, you’ll never buy them again!
Thank you! I’ve been wanting a recipe to recreate those Whole Foods granola bars for years! A less-sweet version sounds perfect too…
I’ve made your last granola recipe a couple of times and I love it even though it never sticks together, I remember people have said that tiny bits of stuff like the wheat germ helps with the crumbling issue so im thinking of using the leftover oat flour that’s been in my pantry for god knows how long and ill use golden raisins cause ive been craving them for a while now :D
I wonder if one could use molasses instead of some of the corn syrup? Would that add some nice flavor, or am I just crazy? I can’t wait to try this recipe!
Evelyn — Definitely try it, let us know how it goes. Maybe just swap a couple tablespoons? Love molasses but the taste is very strong.
Heather — Your husband. My husband. I suspect half the husbands out there all want to know about a peanut butter and chocolate-only version. I’m envisioning peanuts instead of other nuts, some rice krispies for crunch, peanut butter and chocolate chips… maybe raisins if you want a dried fruit in there.
Travels4Food — I explain why corn syrup shows up twice in the head notes.
Lindsay — I’d wrap them individually and then put them in an airtight container just to play it safe. Maybe even freeze them before you mail them, just to buy an extra day’s freshness as they defrost?
These look so delicious!!! I wonder how they would taste with peanut butter chips and chocolate chips (as my husband is picky and only likes the Quaker ones). I however would love coconut, banana chips, and dried apricot – and maybe macadamia nuts (can you tell I’m jonesing for Summer??)
Can’t wait to make these – especially heading into the worst work week of the year!
I have made the other ones, found them kind of crumbly, but way healthier than Nigella’s breakfast bars, which, though delicious, are very sweet. (It stands to reason though – with their entire can of sweetened condensed milk. Have you ever read the nutrition info on sweetened condensed milk? I am by no means a health nut and I was blindsided.)
As a new Mom of a 6 week old (who also loves his overalls) I can attest to the importance of one-handed foods. I made these this morning with the little guy sleeping in his carrier, and then ate 4. Yep, 4.
I used dried apricots, cranberries (unsweetened) and plums, and some cashews. I also used mostly honey with a tiny bit of molasses thrown in (a TINY bit) and they are awesome.
I LOVE the King Arthur site. I discovered this granola recipe last year and made a batch to take to work. I used dried blueberries, walnuts, pecans and white chocolate chips. The tangy blueberries and white chocolate were fabulous together. My co-workers devoured these and even the guys were asking me for the recipe!
Can I ask, what type of camera do you use? Your pictures always look amazing!
Kim — Thanks. I use a 40D, a 50mm lens and natural light from the kitchen window. More about food photos over here, though I don’t use flash much these days because I work in the daytime.
These look great! My husband and I were just discussing ways that we could lower the amount of pre-packaged snacks that our 3-year old eats. She has a pretty healthy diet, but it is so easy to reach for the cheddar bunnies, or the fruit roll ups, or give her what she wants when she asks for a “treat” (i.e. a muffin or a cookie). Then she misses out on fiber, protein and good fats. Since we are trying to re-frame what a “treat” is, I will be making these this afternoon while she’s at preschool and we’ll see how it goes over! Thanks for cooking!
I’ve always made granola by mixing the nuts, seeds, oats in a bowl with NO FAT, but 1/2 can of unfrozen apple concentrate, that is it. It toasts up crunchy and sweet, with no other added sugars, and no fat… Yum.
Oh awesome! First there was gluten free granola and now gluten free granola bars, I’m emailing these over to my friend right now.
I have a no-bake granola bar recipe I have been making for a couple years that always get ooohs and aaahs, but I am tempted to try these anyway. None of your recipes have ever dissapointed!
Just made these and had to cut into them and eat a row before they were fully cooled. I could not wait. I used just honey (no corn syrup), and light muscovado sugar instead of white (as I didn’t have any). Added pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, raisins, dates, apricots, creamed coconut and crunchy peanut butter. Amazing. I usually don’t have the patience to make a recipe with more than about 5 ingredients but this was so worth it.
just finished making these on a snowy morning in michigan. they are wonderful and i made them without the corn syrup …subed with honey…also did sprinkly a little sea salt on top and that makes a great taste on the palate. thanks for such a great idea..i love that you can kind of mix and match.
Oh, awesome! Thanks for linking me to this post. Like many of your followers, I love your blog and look forward to every post! You’ve got quite an operation here :)
Lol, I was eating a Quaker granola bar this morning that my teenage sister left half a box of when she came to visit, and thinking that I’d have to make some granola bars for my kids again- one of mine is allergic to corn, so almost everything he eats has to be homemade. I made granola bars regularly last winter using only honey as the sweetener/sticky part. They always turned out great! Will definitely try this recipe in the next couple days. I’ll probably put in chocolate chips, nuts, craisins, and roughly chopped dried apricots in mine.
You just saved me time in the morning and may have rescued us from the prepackaged oatmeal hell my husband has been mired in for the last five years. Thank you!
I was on the phone while I made these, and I *forgot* to put the sugar in, and they are still delicious!
Deb you read my mind! I just made your September recipe granola bars over the weekend, but wanted something a bit different- I’ll try these out this week!
If you omit the 1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter, which you indicated as optional, do you add or increase something else to compensate?
If you say they are good I know that they are. I have been looking for a good recipe for granola bars and this is it. I have the same camera that you do. Maybe one day I will be able to take pictures half as well as you. Jacob is too cute!
I just popped mine in the oven. And I of course licked the spoon and they taste great already. I used coconut, almonds, golden raisins and chocolate chips!
For the purpose of trying to figure out the calorie count of whatever combo I come up with, how many squares did you cut your bars into? (We’ve been thoroughly enjoying the recipe for granola bars that you posted last fall, but I’m willing to be persuaded!)
Patty — It will depend on whether you eat them as snacks or a quick breakfast. I cut mine into 16 squares, but I wanted something hearty. For snacking, I’d cut them in half again.
You’ve done it again! Do you somehow have some sort of ‘blog psychic’ thing going? I see I’m not the only one who was just thinking I needed to find a ‘granola bar’ recipe, and here you are with one!
I went through my ‘baking cupboard’. Swapped out whole wheat flour for the oat flour. Used dried cranberries, dark chocolate chips and smashed up pecans. Maple syrup in place of the corn syrup.
They smell sooooo good!
Now.. I didn’t read through all the comments, so you may have answered this already. But I didn’t see in the instructions what to do with the PB. I just added it into the melted butter. Everything is holding together.. so I think that was the right thing to do. (Maybe it was supposed to be PB OR Butter?! I do things like that.. )
Anyway.. thanks again for another winner!
Peanut butter goes in at the same time as the wet ingredients. Nothing needs to be changed if you don’t use it. I will update the recipe to clarify this.
Yum!!! I love granola bars, too. My favorite combos are dried cherries and almonds, and dried apples and raisins (especially when there is peanut butter involved). Mmmmm…. I clearly need to make these this weekend!
I habitually replace corn syrup in recipes with Lundberg’s brown rice syrup, and the results have always been good.
How did you read my mind?! I was just looking on your site yesterday for a recipe for chewy granola bars! I can’t wait to try these. Btw, it made me laugh to hear others comment about their husbands’ interest in the PB & chocolate variety, mine is the same way! I wish all of you luck as you sneak in some healthy ingredients.
Great timing! I too have started realizing I’m skipping breakfast to save time and get to work so I can get back to baby as soon as possible!
I made the power bars from Heidi Swanson’s book and they are excellent and I love how easy it will be adapt the recipe. Her recipe calls for Brown Rice Syrup (you mix in a bit of sugar and vanilla) and it is excellent.
I’ll be making these now too (I’ll use the Brown rice syrup). I LOVE idea of having a bin of assorted home made granola bars to pick from.
I too am confused about the two listings of corn syrup. I have read the recipe and the head notes about 4 times and I am still confused. You mention “sticky bun syrup” in the head note as a combination of sugar, butter and corn syrup. Do you add the 1/4-1/2 cup of corn syrup together and then consider them a wet or dry ingredient? Do you add the 2 tbsp corn syrup to the granulated sugar and the 6 tbsp butter, and at what point? I think there is something missing from the head note. Thanks, I am dying to make these.
I’ve been looking for a good granola recipe. I went through a crunchy/crispy phase, and now all I crave are chewy ones. I’m going to go home this afternoon and make these, i’ll use walnuts, coconut, and dark chocolate! Yumm!
I stumbled upon your site, and now i’m a regular lurker, er…reader. I love it!!
Came in from shoveling snow and made these bars. Yummy and perfect for a snow day. I used almond butter, sesame oil instead of the butter and almond extract instead of the vanilla, lots of sliced almonds with the other fruits and nuts.Half brown sugar with the white and dark corn syrup with honey. Lovely almond flavor. This recipe is a keeper.
My husband and I were just talking about making granola bars. What auspicious timing!
These look sooooooo good! I love thick and chewy! Do you think oat bran would work instead of the oat flour?
I love chewy granola bars! These look great, I need to make them. I love yogurt with granola on top for my afternoon snack at work.
These sound great and I happen to have all the ingredients on hand!! ~LeslieMichele
oh, yay! I have been playing with the recipe from last fall which is wicked tasty, but I long for a bar that holds together a little more. I think this one will do the trick. Gonna try almonds, dried cherries and dried apricots. YUM.
I can see why you would want to re-experience the granola bars. Yours looks divine.
Deb, these sounds FABULOUS and I can’t wait to try them, though I’d probably cut them smaller and use as a healthy afternoon snack instead of breakfast (which is currently a toss-up between your whole wheat apple muffins and the oatmeal blueberry muffins from Joy the Baker.) In any case, just a query about the corn syrup/maple syrup etc. – do you think it would work to swap the additional two tablespoons of corn syrup for agave nectar?
These look delicious!
Another fab recipe. I would like to make nut free. What would be your suggestion as a replacement for the nut butter?
Robyn — The nut butter is optional.
Shari — I am not familiar with oat bran. The idea of the flour is that you want one finely ground ingredient to help “glue” the others together. If it can be finely ground, in theory, it should work.
Linda — You add the corn syrup with the other liquid sweetener you use, whether it is honey or maple syrup or more corn syrup. I’ll try to clarify that.
Wow— these are not cheap ingredients but yummy! I used coconut oil for my dairy free grandson and looking forward to sending them for a quick, tasty breakfast/snack!
Wow, I had no idea how to make granola bars chewy. I just tried making the normal crunchy kind last week at home (which, by the way, taste sooo much better than any store bought kind). Thanks for the tip! Maybe this will be my next endeavor. :)
these do look great, and extra chewy. plus, the fact that peanut butter is in there is enough to make me try them for my weekly granola bar batch. i usually make these, which is a version i came up with to include MOLASSES (!!) which is counterbalanced by agave nectar. found it to be the perfect liquid sweetener combo. will let you know how it turns out in your version!
Yummy! the last batch of granola bars I spread out too thinly, and they were too crisp…didn’t want to gamble on a broken tooth…so, we smashed that recipe, and cooked them with milk in the mornings for hot breakfast.
didn’t occur to me to try a smaller pan. DUH.
thank you!! i have been looking for a recipe like this for ages.
These are AWESOME!!!!!!!! I made them with chocolate chips, coconut and Macadamian nuts. They are like a kicked up ultimate oatmeal cookie but in bar form. I love them!!!!! They make this Sugar Daddy very happy!!
I buy a ton of granola bars! I’ve toyed with the idea of making my own just to save money and I’m sure it’s way more healthy. This seems like a good basic recipe to start from.
Thanks Deb! Keep it up with the gluten-free tags as I am a fanatical bread baker but we have just learned that my MIL has celiac. Looking forward to trying these!
Thank you! I have a 7 week old baby and need one hand meals in a bad way! Now to find the time to shop/cook.
I couldn’t get my oatmeal and mixing bowls out fast enough. I have a huge problem finding good granola bars because anything that’s healthy is full of dried fruit, which I hate, and if it doesn’t have dried fruit there’s no chocolate, a must have for me. And if it does have chocolate, it’s full of sugar, too sweet, too crunchy and just yuck. The flexibility of this recipe is wonderful. For my add-ins I used 1 cup toasted wheat germ, 1/2 cup each toasted almonds, roasted unsalted peanuts and dark chocolate, pulsed to a small enough size to ensure a taste in every bite. The texture was wonderful, very chewy, and I used the minimum amount of sugar and didn’t miss any of the sweetness. Peanut butter is a must, and the amount for this recipe is spot-on; it’s a presence but not overpowering like with commercial varieties. I’ll be making this again and again, looking forward to my next batch with maple syrup.
I sometimes purchase granola bars to snack on at work, and I don’t like the level of sweetness of most. I can’t wait to try these out as a replacement for those things!
Thanks for the recipe, Deb. We are leaving for a 5 week trip to India on Wednesday, and a batch of these might be the perfect thing to shove into the duffel. And one last cooking fix before I leave.
BTW, I made your chana masala recipe last week, to get into the spirit of things, and it was tasty and fast. I hope food in India can compare! I’m just a little worried about it.
Question: I was looking over the King Arthur version, and they call for 1cup+2T sticky bun syrup, and your replacement for that is just 2T corn syrup…Is this a typo or does the 2T compensate for that due to the different type of syrup? Just want to make sure I have it right before I try it!
Mine are cooling, used all honey, brown sugar, cranberries, golden raisens, walnuts, doubled the vanilla (I use vanilla bean paste)… whew, they smell AMAZING.
This looks pretty good. I made granola a couple of weeks ago in the crock pot, but it would have been eaten faster if it was in the form of bars!
Although I am mostly wary of the dictatorial nature of most of the food advice in “What to Expect….” (you know who I mean), I modified a recipe for breakfast bars that I found in their book when I was pregnant with my son. Almost 3 years later, I make them still, and have yet to share them with someone who didn’t love them. Check the book, if you have it- the recipe is a good one. The liquid sweetener they use is grape juice concentrate (not hard to find- i get mine at Pathmark) which works really well.
Oh my goodness! I have had the very ones from Whole Foods you are talking about & love, love, love them!! Thank you for this, can’t wait to try them at home as we have no Whole Foods where I live.
These are in the oven RIGHT NOW. My nut/fruit ratio: 1/2 each of mixed dry berries, chocolate chips, sliced almonds, wheat germ, and dried apples. I can’t wait to try them, they look awesome– and very little mess. One bowl cleanup if I hadn’t chopped up the dry apples to go inside it, too. (I eyeballed all of the liquid ingredients like honey and corn syrup and vanilla.) I was very surprised to discover we had oat flour in the freezer; I was prepared to make my own. :-D
I may have to try it with some instant coffee mix and chocolate chips if this version ends up tasting lovely.
I saw this and promptly made them this afternoon. I had all the ingredients (which never happens) and it seriously took me about 4 minutes from the time I started to the time I plopped it in the oven. Brilliant Deb!!
you don’t know how ridiculously happy you just made me with this post. I am always on the lookout for granola/granola bar recipes (especially ones that aren’t overly sweet). made one from the l.a. times which was for an almond-cherry-coconut granola that was totally delish. but had yet to encounter a bar recipe that came close to cutting it. I cannot WAIT to make these!! thank you!!
I never eat breakfast either (mainly because i’m always late to wherever i’m going) but I love chewy granola bars and these would be the perfect thing to eat on the way to the subway! I think i’ll try these with almond butter, maple syrup and dried wild blueberries!
I have been lurking and baking from your site for a while now and I am completely addicted!! Everything I have made from your instructions (and even with a little ad lib, we don’t have all the ingredients you have here in New Zealand) has worked perfectly and I always get asked for the recipe. So I of course send them your way and share the love. Great site, great recipes, great food, great pics, great work. Keep it up!!
yum! made these this afternoon with my 2 1/2 year old son…big hit! we used the maple syrup, no nut butters, wheat germ instead of oat flour….and a 2 cup combo of raisins, dried cherries, coconut and graham crumbs. oh boy! thesewon’t last!!
Maybe this is what I need to get myself to start making my own granola bars. I am going to force myself to do it this week!
Thanks for this! I’m always looking for interesting snack alternatives for my kids. My 4 year old is allergic to tree nuts, but I made a batch for him which included dried cherries, flax seed, mini chocolate chips and organic puffed brown rice. Delish!
holy cow…i just made these and they are amazafreakalicious!!! i pulsed up the nuts (almonds and pecan) in the processor and used cane syrup instead of the corn syrup and used honey instead of the light corn syrup….ssoooo good – thanks for the recipe!
My mom got me the King Arthur baking book a few years ago and I LOVE it! It is a very practical book for beginning bakers. Not only does it have great sections for troubleshooting baking fiascos, but it has measurements in volume and weight. Can’t wait to try out these granola bars!
Just made my batch: I have a feeling that mine may not hold up when cut into bars, but they are oh so delicious. I used pecans, pepitas, dried cranberries, raisins, a few dried cherries, and coconut, and buckwheat flour in place of the oat flour. For the liquids, I used about 2 Tbsp each of maple syrup, molasses, and cane syrup because that was what I had on hand. I was a bit skeptical of the peanut butter-maple syrup intersection but it ended up tasting very much like peanut butter and honey. Which I love. Yum.
Mary — So, the KA original recipe calls for 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons “Sticky Bun Sugar” but they say you can use 3/4 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons light corn syrup + 2 tablespoons melted butter instead. (Not sure why the “swap” volumes are different but all that matters is that they work.) In addition, the original recipe has 1/3 cup of granulated sugar. I ditched the 1/3 cup sugar and just used the 3/4 cup (in my first batch, in my second I learned that I like the 1/2 cup sugar amount better). I kept the 2 tablespoons corn syrup as a separate addition, just in case honey or maple syrup wouldn’t do the trick for the whole amount. (The odds of this are slim, but I figured I’d play it safe.) And I added the 2 tablespoons butter to the 4 already in the recipe. Hope that explains the changes.
I used brown rice syrup instead of honey or corn syrup, and it worked very well for these. Good for gluten-sensitive diets (and be careful where you get the oats from). I used dried cranberries, sliced almonds, crushed walnuts, dried apricots, salted sunflower seeds, and regular sugar. Turned out great.
Hi Deb! I’ve never actually commented before as I’m slightly intimidated by your awesomeness :) (though I’ve seriously thought about it, especially after falling madly in love with such glorious recipes as your chicken meatballs, sour cream cinnamon chocolate chip cake, roasted carrot and avocado salad… swoon!), but I find myself delurking to ask a quick question… As usual, everything looks amazing and delish so I decided to print this recipe and make for my co-workers tomorrow (they’re thrilled :)); however, when I hit the print link beneath the recipe, I was taken to a page that was sadly without any beautiful photography. Is this something new? I know in the past when I’ve printed recipes they’ve been accompanied by one of your lovely cook-inspiring pictures… (I’m hoping it’s just my browser/computer, but thought I’d check…). Regardless, I’m glad I finally wrote in and can now thank you for all the wonderful food you’ve helped me to cook! (My husband thanks you too :))
Robin — The print template right now is just the recipe, which is the main thing I figure people like printing. For a few months, I had it with the top photo too and was barraged with complaints that it took up too much toner, space, etc. Now I removed the photo and … you know. One day I’ll be fancy enough to give people “with photo” and “without photo” options. Alas, not today. ;)
wow! just made these with cranberries, apricots and pistachios. I also subbed a few Tbs of pumpkin for some of the syrup and they were so yummy!
They’re in the oven right now. I used all honey, normal oats (which I toasted a little), almonds, raisins, cranberries, and a Meduri fruit mix which was too sweet for eating straight. Also, I threw in some puffed millet! I’m really excited about this. Yossy, the pumpkin sounds excellent…puts me in a savory-granola-bar kind of mindset…!
So I just made these and they are wonderful! Well, ok, as I usually do, I totally messed with the recipe – but this recipe is perfect for me becaue it just screams to be played with. Anyway, I used tahini instead of nut butter, used all honey instead of corn syrup, and replaced half the butter with apple sauce. For the fruit, I used golden raisins and dried cherries. So yummy! They will be the perfect afternoon snack.
these look delicious! i’ve been looking for a chewy granola bar recipe for the last week and this seems like it’s just what i’m looking for. i can’t wait to give it a try!
wow, these look perfect! gorgeous photos as always!
Ah! I’ve been wanting to make granola bars AND I always have a hard time thinking of something to bring new parents. And I’m in school which means cooking/baking time is at a premium and so is nutrition. AWESOME!
must it be quick rolled oats? I prefer old fashioned.
These came out very crumbly…maybe I overbaked them a little? But totally delicious. Connie, I used old fashioned oats and it was just fine.
Thank you Deb! These are a HUGE hit with my one year old. She adores granola bars but she developed an allergy to egg whites and can’t eat the store-bought ones anymore. :( Why they have to use egg white as a binder, I don’t know…
This is in the oven right now :) My mix ins: chopped walnuts, sliced almonds, roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and blueberries, flaked coconut. Can’t wait to pop them out of the pan! Thanks for the recipe :)
I know . This is probably the wrong place to bring this up. I just made your Russian black bread.Everyone LOVED it.My only problem was when you said ” Now sprinkle remaining seed on top of bread” What remaining seeds? How much was I suppose to save for the top? Of course no one noticed but,I’d like to do it right 2nd time around.
I am thinking I might try agave nectar instead of the corn syrup. Any concerns that this won’t work? I’ve never used it before!
I seriously want to drive from Maryland to New York and become your new nanny. What an adorable baby. Will work for quiche, granola bars, and chocolate baked in any form! Oh yeah, and I’ll have to bake those delicious looking granola bars, in case the gig doesn’t work out and I’ll have to administer to my granola bar needs myself.
this year, oats have been one of my favorite foods! can’t wait to make, eat, and add these to it’s repertoire. thanks!
I just want to tell you, Deb, and I’m sure a lot of commenters agree with me, is that one of my favorite things about your recipes is your commitment to sticking around in the comments endzone and answering all these questions. I often scan the comments for your answers before trying one of your recipes because I know how dedicated you are to us.
Thick, chewy granola looks right up my alley. However, instead of sugar I’d rather use honey to make it even more nutritious.
Oookaaayyy, like everyone else in the comments, this is totally cosmic because my husband and I have ALSO been talking about finding a fab granola bar recipe (which, until today, I couldn’t). So thanks! I’m totally trying these tomorrow.
Delicious! :) I substituted wheat bran for the oat flour and used dried apples, craisins and coconut flakes as fruit as well as chopped-up mixed nuts. May try a naughty version with macadamias, apricots and little marzipan pieces also.
Looks yummy…Hubby will love! thanks
These bars look fantastic – I might just have to make them today. I was briefly wondering if I could make those and give one of them to my daughter as a snack for Kita (German daycare, kids have to bring their own snacks), but then saw the close up picture of the nuts and raisins…not such a great idea, my baby is just 21 months old and I get frequently told to avoid nuts, raisins and the likes for a while yet. Is there any chance you have snack recipes suitable for small children? Or would that be too particular? I am forever looking for things to make for my little one, sweet and savory.
I made these last night because I actually had everything on hand. My mixture was 1/2 cup each of the following: chocolate chips, coconut, dried cherries, and one cup of pecans that I toasted in the oven. I also used 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter and I used a combination of honey and corn syrup for the liquid (I would have used my boyfriend’s homemade maple syrup if he had been around to ask…). They were delicious, and I had no problem with them being crumbly like other people wrote. They were moist and held together perfectly, and most important they were quick, easy and tasted awesome. Thanks for a great recipe!!
This sounds yummy! Any idea how to figure out the nutritional value? Specifically looking for carbs and iron. Thanks for any tips.
Alisa — This site is a good resource for analyzing whole recipes.
Kassie — It is definitely worth playing with. Do let us know how your adjustments go because I do agree that even with the reduced amount there is potential to make it less sweet.
Krissa — Thanks. I try to never miss a comment.
Denise — Whoops. I’ll go back and fix that in the recipe. I sometimes edit recipes down so much from the original, obvious things get lost.
In other news: Wow, it’s really time for me to hire another editor!
I tried these last night. Mine came out crumbly too – but MAN were the crumbs delicious!!! I remolded everything into little square bars and stuck them in the refrigerator, and this morning they’re holding shape much better.
So here is my question. They were a little too sweet for me – is it possible to leave out the sugar entirely (and just use the honey measurement)? Here is what I did: 2.5 cups of pecans, cranberries, apricots, raisins, and a handful of chocolate chips, the cinnamon but not the nut butter. I used honey, and fresh rolled oats and fresh ground oat flour (which my husband suspects was the cause of the crumbliness since fresh ground wheat flour absorbs liquids differently when baking bread). What do you think? Can I ditch the granulated sugar all together? Would there ever be any hope of it congealing to make a bar? Also, do you think adding more oat flour would help?
i agree they are too sweet still. I think next time I am going to leave out the sugar entirely and use ground chia seeds instead of flour to up the protein content and encourage adhesion
I’m wondering if the crumbliness that people are experiencing came from not using a nut butter?
Lynnie: I used peanut butter and my bars were still very crumbly. I’m wondering if it’s the different syrups I used; I’m not sure if the molasses/maple syrup combo was as sticky as honey would have been.
My hunch, but hey, I’m wrong all of the time, is that it’s not nut butter since they’re in essence ground nuts and oil and wouldn’t be very “gluey”. And I’m not sure if it syrup choice either, because in the end, all of these invert sugars should caramelize a bit and help adhere ingredients. However, the sugar level (lower versus higher) might play a role.
However, sugar level aside, the best way to assure bar adhesion is to press it very very firmly into the pan (you can use a piece of plastic wrap to help with this), bake it longer than it should seem necessary (mine are quite brown at the edges, slightly beige on top) and to make sure it is 100% cool before you cut into it (this took hours in my overly warm kitchen). I’ll update the recipe to make sure these tips are loud and clear.
Also, I have read Fox in Socks so many times in the last two months that just the word “gluey” sets off a chain of “gluey glue and gooey goo for chewy chewing, that’s what that Goo-Goose is doing…” in my Seuss-scrambled brain. Send help.
Deb, I just wanted to say thanks for all of your hard work on this site! I love visiting it to perk up my boring work day, and I’m completely inspired by your recipes.
I can’t imagine how you juggle it all, but BRAVO!
Another thought – would decreasing the amount of butter help with the crumbliness too? Mine were pretty moist… Oh, and I used 5/8 c of sugar originally.
Hmmm…I think “Fox in Socks” is better going through your head than “pants on the ground, pants on the ground” which was going through my head lately…
I made these last night, with cherries, chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut, walnuts and pecans. And, wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I shut the oven door I saw the almond butter sitting forlornly on the counter — I had forgotten to add it. Doh! But they still came out fantastic… dense and chewy; my beau ate half the pan for breakfast this morning. Looking forward to trying them again, this time remembering all the ingredients. :) Thanks for posting this!!
I made these last night and they are DELICIOUS!!! I used a mix of creamy peanut butter and chunky, chopped hazelnuts, pepitas, seseame seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, dried cherries and crasins. I used butter, honey, and light corn syrup. I followed the wet ingredients to a T and added 3 cups of the above dry ingredients. I cooked them for 38 minutes, let them cool for 3 hours and then cut them. They are perfect. At first the recipe intimidated me, but I printed up all the instructions and my 3 year old helped. Success! Thanks Deb!!
these are amazing! I couldn’t sleep last night and got up at 3am to make them. :) my combo was: all butter, a mix of pure maple syrup and honey, slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, chopped apricots, craisins, flax seed, coconut and a handful of mini choco chips. soooo yummy! I used 1/2 cup sugar and still, they’re a bit sweet. I’d probably cut it even more next time.
I have tried this KAF recipe and always found it WAY too sweet, so I am glad to see your version with the much-reduced sugar and will have to try it, although since I tried the Ina Garten recipe you posted last fall they have been my favorite! I do have to say, though, that I am a coconut-hater and completely disagree that coconut-haters will not taste the coconut. I can ALWAYS taste the coconut, and I have tried it fresh, toasted, and mixed with myriad ingredients to “hide” the flavor. No matter what, I can always detect the flavor and do not enjoy it in the least. Very sad for my husband, who loves it, since I don’t use it at all!
oh, and I used a couple of heaping tablespoons (not measuring spoons) of sunflower butter too! :)
I made these last night and they are great!
I reduced the sugar to 1/3, used almond butter, sub’ed honey for the corn syrup, and used pecans, slivered almonds, sesame seeds, cherries, and raisins for the “nuts and fruit.” They turned out a little soft, but possibly because I cut and wrapped them before they were completely cool.
I think I’m going to increase the sugar a bit and not worry about the extra honey/corn syrup next time, which should lead to a firmer bar. I’m also going to try apple butter instead of peanut or almond.
I used all agave nectar instead of corn syrup, honey, etc. and it worked fine! Reading through the comments I was very confused because comment 170 is also from a Meg and about agave nectar! I wondered if i had somehow posted the question in my sleep or something.
I also used dried cranberries, dried cherries, almonds, pecans, coconut, almond butter, and ground flax and used about 1/3 cup of brown sugar in place of the granulated sugar. I think I have to make more already; they disappeared so quickly!
I totally went straight home for work to gather up some more oats and dried fruit for this recipe.
My mix was pretty similar to the recipe listed except to the dry ingredients I mixed in oat bran and ground flax, I subbed the butter for half canola oil/half mashed banana, I didn’t add any of the refined sugar, but did add the maple syrup topped off with agave nectar, I added the almond butter and my fruit/nut mix was made of: dried bing cherries, chopped dates, unsweetened coconut, flax seed and walnuts.
They are delicious, just the right amount of sweet for me and TOTALLY FILLING! I love these little buggers. Such a forgiving recipe too. THANKS!
I made these last night, they’re wonderful! I used coconut, wheat germ, and chopped dates for mine. They came out a little sweet for my taste, but I blame the dates (I used unsweetened coconut). The texture was amazing though! Next time I’ll try it with almond butter, the peanut butter stands out a little too much for my taste. Next time I’m going to try to press them into a muffin tin too (so I don’t have to cut them later!).
Thanks for the great recipe, my sister had to use explicatives to describe how much she loves this granola ;)
Deb, these are soooo crazy delicious. They cooled late last night after the kids and my husband went to bed and then I ate one. Then another. Then another just to be sure it was real. Then my honey woke up and said he had to have one. Then we ate more. Too many. Oh, what did the kids have for breakfast? Yup, the few remaining morsels. I’m just gonna have to make more and maybe nobody will have to know this time except my thighs. Thank YOU!!!!
Coincidentally, in the latest issue of Bon Appetite, Orangette wrote an article about the British Flapjack. Sounds like a cross between cookie and granola bar. :)
I have to say, store bought granola is not my thing, but this looks so good I absolutely have to try it. Thank you! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been inspired to try something new because you wrote about it here- both the pictures and the writing really make it easy for me to follow and be less intimidated.
I promised to make my husband granola bars. looks like this is the recipe I will go with. thanks
Also, as I was reading this during lunch I realized that I had your granola bars (Sept version – delish! a staple for me, but now I want to try these too) for breakfast and am currently eating your chana masala for lunch. Thank you for all of your great recipes!
I made these last night with no nut butter and with the addition of chocolate chips, and those two things together seem to have made them not want to adhere as much as I wanted them to, so I ended up with a crumbly mess. A DELICIOUS crumbly mess, but a mess all the same. Next time I’ll be sure to include some nut butter for binding purposes, and I’d skip the chocolate.
I made these last night and they taste wonderful. My fruit/nut combination was 1/4 c walnuts, 1/2 c almonds, 1/4 c sunflower seeds, 1/3 cup raisins, 2/3 c apricots, 1/4 c unsweetened coconut. I used only 1/2 c sugar, and reduced the corn syrup by just a half a tablespoon (1.5 T total). Mine turned out chewy, yet it doesn’t hold together well. It falls apart if not cradled. Should I have used the full 2T corn syrup? I read your comment about holding better when more sugar is used. I thought the bars were plenty sweet the way I did them, though. Also, I used regular (but small) oats, instead of quick cooking oats. Any suggestions for getting them to stick better?
I’ve been attempting to pack garbage-free lunches (both free of wrappers and garbage food!) and making my own granola bars would be a perfect fit. Great recipe, I am hyped to try it. Thanks!
These look great. I will try them. I have a 9 year old who is active in Ballet and needs healthy snacks. Plus I need a one hand breakfast for myself because I also have a very demanding 17 month old boy. Breakfast has become an after thought for me.
One major difference between us as cooks is that I cannot stop tasting whatever I make: if it won’t give me salmonella, it’s going in my mouth. Which is to say, even the raw batter for this was addictively tasty. The hardest thing about this recipe was getting the f%^*ing parchment to stay in the pan in order to grease it – how do you do this? At any rate, the bars are not getting any cooler by my snacking on the corners and watching the pan intently, but even warm and sticky it’s phenomenal. Whomever suggested a sprinkle of sea salt is a genius: that sweet/salty balance I find so appealing. I used all honey, double the vanilla, almond butter, flax seed meal, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pepitas, the latter two of which were already roasted and salted. They’re outrageous – thank you so much.
Travels4Food — I grease it on the counter, then put it in the pan.
I made these last night with the following substitutions.
I omitted the sugar, instead used 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup maple syrup in total for sweeterner. Then used 3 cups nuts and fruits, almonds, coconut, blueberries, mango and apricot. Substituted chickpea flour for the oat flour, because thats what I had, and used a mix of peanut butter and Tahini.
They were delicious, thanks so much for the recipe.
like many others have said, so far every recipe I have tried from this site has been AMAZING! I will be trying this one soon, since I too, have a huge void in my life where breakfast in concerned…
almost as if you read my mind,this weekend, i was complaining to a friend (who introduced me to smitten kitchen) that i needed a good granola bar recipe. and as if by magic, this recipe appeared. me and my 3 year old are about to make them, and here’s hoping they’re awesome!
Mmmm Granola. Talking about it more than once in a year is fine by me. :D Also, I think Jacob out-cutes my nephew, which is saying a lot, because he is freakin’ adorable.
just made these with a combo of coconut, pecans, almonds, apricots, and dried figs and they are VERY good. for me it was all about the peanut butter. thanks deb!
These aren’t really like flapjacks, they’re way healthier. A flapjack is basically oats suspended in chewy, greasy caramel.
I’m a big fan of the crispy granola bars from last September — I had a baby a week after Jacob, and I’ve been making them weekly to have as breakfast. Now I’ve got these in the oven and they are going to be so good! I know this because I ate some raw and it was awesome! My mix: 1 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup wheat germ, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, 1/2 cup mixed dried berries from Trader Joes, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (the wheat germ cancels out the chocolate, nutritionally speaking!). I used peanut butter, and they are smelling amazing. 2 minutes to go!
Also, Travels4Food — I had the same problem, so I just sprayed the parchment while it was sitting on top of the pan. Then I just glopped the mixture on it and the weight of it made it go into the pan nicely. I just saw your sea salt suggestion, and I’m going to try it right now!
I made the granola bars last night. I omitted the peanut butter, reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup, kept the vanilla, used dried cranberries, cherries, golden raisins and almonds. I also added some Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs (just for fun). I have to say that my bars were not very moist once they had cooled. They crumbled so much in fact that I went with it and just made granola. I broke up the whole batch, put it in a 350 oven for another 40 minutes turning after 20. It tastes great but I will try the original recipe again.
Another fabu recipe Deb! I am in the group of coconut FANATICS, and was wondering if I could add either unsweetened coconut milk or coconut cream to the mix without compromising the moist chewy consistency of the bars? Or would it overpower the other flavors? My additions list include: mini choc chips, flaxseed, cranberries, apricots, mangos, pumpkin seeds, and maybe banana chips.
After reading so many posts about them being crumbly, here’s what I did, (it didn’t help!), I melted the butter in a small saucepan, removed it from the heat and stirred in maple syrup, peanut butter, 2 tsp. of vanilla, the corn syrup, water, salt, cinnamon and 1/2 cup of sugar. My thinking was that having a well mixed, moist base to add would help it all stick together. (My additions were dried blueberries, craisins, dried apricots, pepitas, sliced almonds and unsweetened coconut.) I baked them for 35 min., the edges getting quite brown and crispy. After cooling them completely, cutting them was a challenge; they would not hold together. Sooo, I scooped the (almost) squares into a greased muffin tin, packed them down well, and baked for an additional 15 min. (I use a muffin tin for your adaptation of Ina’s recipe, and it works beautifully.) They were still to crumbly to remove from the pan, so I popped into the freezer for 20 min. Finally, success! Next time, I will start with the muffin tin and see what happens…I’m not giving up on something that tastes so good!
I made these last night. They are great! I love your first granola bar posting as well – but this is more in line with store bought, sweet gooey bars. I used all honey – no corn syrup (that’s actually the reason I make them to avoid this) and it worked great-they stuck together well. Included roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, almonds, chia seeds (these might help them stick together as well) and coconut. I might even use less than 1/2 a cup of sugar next time as it is pretty sweet. Thanks so much – now I have two great granola bar options.
“…few things are more welcome than delicious nutrient-rich food in compact/one-hand-eating-friendly packages.” Love this…so true! Your cocoa brownies were my previous go-to for my new mom friends (and for myself…I made a big batch and froze them before my little one arrived and they got me through more than a few long nights…albeit, they were of no help whatsoever with losing the baby weight.) I’ll definitely be adding these to my care packages.
Wow, those look so different from the ones I make. I really like how they come out when unbaked. Hmmm….who knew there were so many variations?!
MMMN. These are currently sitting on the cooling rack, filling our home with heavenly scents. I used rolled oats, walnuts, almonds, dark raisins, dried cranberry, dried pineapple chunks (would be nice with coconut, maybe next time!) pepita, sunflower seeds. No oil, only the melted butter. Suspecting a sensitivity to peanuts, they were omitted , and almond butter was used. As a sweetener I used the least amount of granulated sugar as possible, which was pulsed along with the dry ingredients in the food processor. The liquid sweetener was maple syrup and agave. Seems my husband is allergic to corn… so no corn syrup. Even with these deviations from your original recipe, I can’t imagine these’ll be any less than wonderful and decadent. Your website is a joy and inspiration; thank you for it.
I have a really similar recipe for granola bars (in terms of chunky and oat-y quantities) but it uses just 1 cup of peanut putter and 1/2 cup of honey and you just press them into a pan and chill. They hold together amazingly well, although I admit it probably helps to love peanut butter a lot. I use natural chunky, if that matters. Oh, also, you melt the peanut butter and honey together before stirring it into the dry ingredients, and since it goes without saying that my dry ingredients contain chocolate chips, those kind of melt as well.
Reading what I just wrote, I realized that mine are nothing like yours, except that they contain nuts and are square.
Meaghan — Heh. They sound really interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Me, not 2 hours ago: “I NEED to great granola bar recipe!” You’re wicked fast.
My “kitchen sink” bars are now baking, and I’m pretty sure they’re going to rock. Will post tomorrow with my ingredient list and results.
yummy. can’t wait to try this recipe!
It just makes me happy to know that you’re over there on the far coast, alternately dreaming of food and snacking on your precious baby. Even in the throes of new motherhood you manage good cheer, and all of us are the better for it. Thank you! Thanks, too for the always stunning photos.
To the granola bars, I added flax seed!
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. looks delish. I’ve never tried to make granola bars at home, but they must taste infinitely better than the processed stuff! yumm!
oh my- these made an appearance as a weeknight baking project. Deliciously worth it!
This week I have pretty much survived on these bars and your chana masala. When my husband is out of town, I’m less inspired to cook and food disappears more slowly- but really, why fix it if it’s not broken? Chana masala and granola bars it is!
I made these tonight and they are very tasty! A bit on the crumbly side, but I think I may have underbaked them — I pulled them out of the oven after 25 minutes because the edges were really brown, but next time I’ll let them bake for even longer so the middle sticks a bit better. I used honey and maple syrup, whole wheat flour instead of oat, 1/4 cup of sugar (but next time I might go without entirely), and natural crunchy PB. For the fruit and nut mix I used raisins, walnuts, dried apples and unsweetened coconut. Thanks, Deb!
finally got home to post my thoughts – i ended up going for the higher amount of sugar, and these bad boys are SWEET. will definitely use less sugar next time. also forgot to throw in the flaxseed and whole wheat flour i had initially planned to use when reading the recipe. i used 2C of dried mixed fruit (blueberries, cranberries, apples, raisins both golden and regular, and apricots) and 1C whole almonds, and used the peanut butter.
however, caveats aside, you have just solved the granola bar problem in my house by providing this recipe. no more going to the store and buying granola for ridiculous prices with dubious ingredients. however, the new problem might be them disappearing.
My March issue of Health magazine came in the mail yesterday, and if you haven’t heard, Kerri Russell mentions SK as her favorite website!! Kudos!!
Made these and my husband, also, stated that these were the best granola bars ever! I added the high amount of sugar and will cut back a bit next time. I used odds and ends that I had at home (dried fruit, chocolate, flax seed, sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, etc.) I also used old fashioned oats (it is what I had) and there were just fine – I did as Deb suggested and grinded them a bit.
I love your website, but am often intimidated by you and your awesome skill. But I made your ginger fried rice and LOVED it (says the 1/2 chinese girl…) and knew I had to make these. I used dried apricots, pecans, coconut and peanut butter. Good thing I threw the ones to send my bedrest Sis in law straight into the freezer… the husband would have devoured the rest with a bit of help from me, if I was fast enough. The texture is great, a little crumbly, but sticky delicious crumbs are the best part after the bar!
just made these, and they are delicious!!! am bringing them to a girlfriend who is newly pregnant and needs to eat a little all the time to feign off morning sickness. i thought these would be the perfect thing to keep in her purse. mine were super moist, and they “mainly” held together, but not completely — a bit crumbly. i used the lesser amount of sugar, added the peanut butter, used ground oats in place of oat flour, and added 1 cup mixed dried fruit (cherries, peaches, nectarines), 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut and 1.5 c. pecans/walnuts. i definitely pressed them into the pan well. i baked them for about 40 minutes, but now that I look at the photo of yours, mine weren’t quite as dark. do you think underbaking them could be the source of mine not totally sticking together? can’t wait to make these again!
Yet another hit – my husband ate 1/3 of the pan before I could even get them cut up! These are delicious! I used dried cherries, coconut, almonds, and pecans – with peanut butter. I did have troubles with them crumbling apart even though I thought I packed them in tightly enough and baked them until the edges were on the verge of being over-toasty. I’m wondering if ‘natural’ peanut butter might be the culprit – it is such a different texture than your traditional Skippy/Jif variety, I’m thinking it could make a difference.
michelle — Bummed to hear that you (and others) are having issue with crumbly-ness. I used a natural (well, jarred natural) almond butter and mine held together so I don’t think that is the culprit… wish I could figure out what is.
Rebecca — You didn’t, by chance, have a “natural” parchment paper, did you? I bought one (accidentally) from Whole Foods once and am on a vendetta against it because it’s not not not parchment paper, it does not have its nonstick properties and actually absorbs oil and gets greasy. Harrumph. (I’m kind of a nut about misleading labels on packaging anyway, but this for me was right up there with “fruit” juices…)
oh my. i love, love, loved these whole foods bars when i lived on the east coast. i would eat them for dinner, or any meal, every chance i got. i haven’t spotted them since arriving in ca, so this is one dangerous addition to my recipe collection – with the likelihood of high consumption (hopefully) surpassed by my current laziness in the kitchen.
I am a bit obsessed with homemade granola bars and these look amazing! I can’t wait to try them out, but maybe a trip to whole foods is in order until I get around to it ;)
I just made these last night and subbed 1/4 c. olive oil for the 6 T butter and used 2 T of brown rice syrup for the corn syrup. Worked like a charm, although I had to wait until completely cool to cut them. I’m putting down parchment paper next time to help prevent the edge from sticking and to help soak up any additional moisture, but these are great.
Mine turned out crumbly, and I used peanut butter. Disappointing.
I have been wanting to make granola bars for a while now, so I made these last night. I used a random mix of whatever dried fruits and nuts I had: raisins (dark and golden), dried cherries, coconut (sweetened), slivered almonds, flax seed, pecan chips and chocolate chips. I used the peanut butter (natural unsweetened) too, 1/3 cup sugar, and left the wet ingredients as listed in the recipe. I like them, but I think the combination of chocolate chips, peanut butter and sweetened coconut made them taste a little too cookie-like for my taste – very good, but more like a cookie than a breakfast food. So, next time I will use unsweetened coconut, skip the chocolate chips, and dried fruit that’s on the tart side: dried cranberries, dried sour cherries, etc.
This is so so fortuitous – I literally woke up this morning thinking about your other granola bar experiment, and then landed on this! Oh, Deb, how much you rock you will never know. I’m such a huge fan of the WF granola bars but can rarely bring myself to justify the expense, so this is absolutely a lifesaver. I’m going for almonds, flax seeds and cranberries, with perhaps some coconut and dark chocolate thrown in. And as a new mom to a little one who also has very yummy cheeks, I thank you for saving her from the same fate as Jacob. Breakfast and motherhood don’t seem to mix – but maybe they’ll get along better now!
After reading the comments — and maybe it’s easy for me to say this, since I’ve made granola bars a few times and granola many times — I think that some folks might be happier if they just unclenched a bit, trusted their instincts about swapping ingredients and cook times and such, and decided to enjoy whatever ensued when the pan was pulled from the oven. There are SO very many combinations of ingredients, moisture levels, and flavors, and not all of them are going to yield a cohesive, awesome, “perfect” bar. To me, this is part of the joy of kitchen-work: the experimentation, the lessons learned, and the tasty creative-ness of it all.
So what did I use? What DIDN’T I use? I saw this as an opportunity to use up odds and ends in a formulation different from my usual recipe (which comes from my local food co-op). Dry ingredients: rolled oats, whole wheat flour, coconut, sesame and poppy seeds, flaxseed, dried cranberries, cinnamon, walnuts, tamari almonds, homemade candied ginger (which I made from a David Leibovitz recipe over a year ago and have had tucked away in the fridge). Wet ingredients: orange juice concentrate, butter, fresh lemon juice, natural peanut butter, and the last six caramels I made (thanks to Michael Ruhlman’s book, Ratio) back in November, pulsed to a paste in the processor. The OJ turned out to be a twangy mistake; its flavor was out of place, though it did assist in adding additional moisture and sugar.
The end result was a springy, slightly crumbly bar; most of the 16 squares held together, though not completely. This gave me a smallish jar full of granola for yogurt and such, a jar I have stashed in my desk drawer. And, as I noted, the OJ was out of place, though the other flavors meshed well into an especially nutty, just-sweet-enough mix.
Thanks, Deb, for encouraging us to experiment by modeling it yourself. I wish you many delicious one-handed-that-soon-turn-to-two-handed breakfasts!
These are fabulous. My mix-ins were wheat germ, coconut, walnuts, slivered almonds,sesame seeds, dried apricots, cherries and cranberries. I used Lyle’s syrup for the corn syrp, all butter, and a little more than the minimum amount of sugar. They are to die for. They hold together well-just a tiny bit crumbly. The perfect portable breakfast recipe. Thank you so very much for another fantastic recipe. And that baby is completely yummy.
I made these using raspberry flavored cranberries, some toasted pecans with a few walnuts thrown in, the coconut, some chocolate chips, and some of the peanut butter. I used the melted butter, honey, and included the cinnamon and the vanilla (used a little less). The only problem I had was that they adhered to the parchment wickedly. I did spray it with Pam generously.. but maybe I did something wrong in the baking or cooling. They held together well, but crumbled a lot trying to get the bits of paper off. I had slipped them out of the pan after about 45 minutes, but left them to cool overnight on the paper, wrapped in foil. Seems like no one else had this problem; I’ll just have to try them again, during the day next time- and pay more attention during the cooling process:) They tasted brilliantly, and we ravished every crumb!
Thank you for yet another fantastic recipe. I absolutely love your website! I used what I had on hand: chopped up dried figs that I had presoaked, toasted hazelnuts, pecans, coconut and flax meal, 1/2 C dark brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon for the dry mix; almond butter, a mix of coconut and olive oil and maple syrup for the gooey mix. They were a little bit crumbly, but all the better to sprinkle on some yogurt. The figs made them extra chewy and lush. YUM!!
This recipe is very timely for me, because I have been experimenting making granola bars for the past 3 weeks. It is my new Sunday evening ritual to make bars, wrap them individually, and grab one in the morning on my way to work. It may be considered blasphemous when it comes to granola bars, but I’ve been putting 2 eggs into the mix, which helps hold them together.
A question about crumbling! (I can’t stop thinking about it.) When’s it happening? When you cut them, right? Is anyone having more luck cutting straight down with a very sharp bread knife? I mean, I can see the potential for crumbling in my test batches, but that’s also the quality that keeps them soft and chewy. Mine stayed together in both batches, save of course some crumbs that would be expected when cutting up a baked good.
Due to a tree nut allergy I used 1 cup of wheat germ, 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of pb chips – with peanut butter too (unmeasured, but about 1/3 cup). I used the granulated sugar and corn syrup as called for (using 1/2 cup sugar) and agave nectar for the wet sweetener.
They are definitely soft – maybe even a bit too soft. I might try honey next time instead of agave for a bit more sticky.
Combos that will work for me (w/o tree nuts)….
apple and cinnamon (dried apples), cinnamon raisin, chocolate a pretzel bits, dark chocolate and cherry.
I forgot to say that I think a key to reduce crumbling is to put a lot of pressure on the bars to pack them tightly into the pan. I used a square of wax paper and pushed w/my palm.
It’s going to be tough to wait until hiking/camping season to try these. Maybe by then we’ll have figured out the crumbling. They sound great, crumble or not.
Deb, a corner of the uncut bars pulled away in a crumbly way when I lifted them out of the pan, using the parchment as handles. (I ate the broken corner immediately, of course.) Then, once the bars were cool, I cut them with my chef’s knife, rocking back and forth gently in order to chop the bigger pieces of almond and ginger. They crumbled in a springy way then, too, but not falling-apart crumb-y — moist-ly crumb-y.
Ugh. My English teachers would be cringing. Anyhow, I have a theory about why some bars are crumbling: you know how you have to let bread cool completely to allow the crumb to finish gelatinizing, to form completely unmolested? I think some of us may need to allow our bars to sit several hours after they’re completely cool in a related way. I think the moisture may need to redistribute and settle in some cases.
Plus, it’s winter, which means cold for many of your readers — which also means that grains will probably absorb more moisture than a recipe calls for. So, I would guess that some of these crumbling problems will dissipate when summer’s humidity returns.
Also (last time, I promise), skimping on fat and sugar makes sense nutritionally, but darn it, these bars need a good whack of each to hold together. There’s just no getting around it, and it takes experimentation to find the balance.
I have mine cooling on the counter right now! I used honey, almond butter, dried cherries, slivered almonds, raw sunflower seeds, Kashi puffed cereal, and dark chocolate. I can’t wait to try them! My one thought would be to make TWO pans next time.:-)
Haven’t tried yet (but will soon!); on the crumbling issue I agree that you need to press together VERY well before baking. What I do for similar situation (crumb crusts) is cover crust w/plastic wrap, then take a pan that is slightly smaller and press down on top really well (put some muscle into it!). And also, let cool completely. Has anyone tried cutting in the pan using a bench scraper when hot (kind of pre-cutting), then letting cool completely, then breaking apart on the “score” lines?
Um, YUM. Amazing. I made these last night using only natural sweeteners and fats, and they turned out great.
I used thick-rolled oats, and they didn’t present a problem. Next time I’ll pulse them like you suggest in the comments.
I used 2/3 cup of sucanat and will use less next time. I used honey for the liquid sweetener, and instead of the corn syrup I just upped my fats by 2 T. For those, I used 4 T. EV coconut oil and 4 T. butter.
For my mix-ins, I used walnuts, almonds, cranberries, apricots, and sunflower seeds. I used hazelnut butter since I was making nutella anyway.
If I wanted to make more at a time (I have 4 kids!), could I double the recipe and try a 10×13 or would I need separate 8×8’s?
Okay, so I have an evil friend that regularly posts links to your blog and naturally, I saw this one last night and had to try it. I’m not a granola bar fan, but after making these — OMG!!! I don’t think I’ll ever buy another bar from the store ever again and I’m quite sure I’ll be making these for years to come – they were so easy.
My batch mix-ins were dried cranberries, golden raisins, slivered almonds, chocolate chips and dry roasted peanuts (basically whatever fell out of my pantry). I used creamy peanut butter and maple syrup and old fashioned oats. I was out of parchment paper, so just greased the heck out of the pan, which may be why some crumbled when I took them out, but most came out in one piece. My husband put them away in the fridge and they seem to have set some more, so maybe that’s the key. The crumbles I used for breakfast mixed in w/ greek style yogurt and a spoonful of homemade strawberry jam.
I think this is just a recipe that requires some experimentation. Our humidity here in Houston (even in winter) right now is approaching 80%. My crumbly bits were very moist and just as yummy as the bars, so I can’t complain.
Rebecca, I have good success with doubling 8×8 pan recipes for a 9×13 pan.
Rebecca — Seconding what Kathy said. I made a second batch of these (already!) and doubled it in a 9×13 pan.
I’ve been visiting, admiring and making the wonderful recipes from your site for a while now and I am always happy to have to convert the measurements because everything turns out so well! I have to admit that I have been looking for the perfect home made granola bars – but have been a bit intimidated to make them – until today. I followed the recipe and chose a mix of dried cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds and pecans. WOW! Even my hungry husband and his basketball watching buddies could not resist. Thank you for yet another great recipe I am sure to revisit.
I too am having some breakfast issues…The coffee in the morning makes me not want to eat anything but maybe a scone or a muffin, but I don’t eat them everyday…although I could but my waist, hips and thighs would not be happy ;)
But these nutritious and looking oh so delicious could be just the thing to have along side my coffee!!
and I just have to say I think every other meal I have made this last week or so had come from here and every one of them is on the list to be made again…and basically on the list for our standby meals. Seriously you rock!!!
Hmmm, I drink breakfast (coffee, lots of it)… but these sound fun. I think I will try to make them with my kiddos. If they make them, perhaps they will eat them!
I made these this morning, with dried cherries, almond slivers, roasted pecans, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, white chocolate, almond butter, with honey and agave as the liquid sweetners. Delicious!
One note about the crumbliness: I don’t know if it was a lucky combo of ingredients, but, instead of just stirring everything together, I put it in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment on “3” for about 60 seconds. At first it was all crumbly, but then as it mixed more thoroughly, it became more like a very stiff batter. My bars did not crumble when cut. Just a thought.
Thanks so much for this recipe. I made it the other night using dried Michigan cherries (easily obtained from Amazon), dried apricots,2 chopped dates, almonds, walnuts, almond butter and a mix of maple syrup and honey. Everything else, except the corn syrup which I omitted, as you wrote and recommended. Doubled the cinnamon because I always do.
They were and are wonderful. Never made these before and will add this to the regular repertoire.
Thank you for pointing out the parchment issue! That must be it.. My parchment is from Peru (used to live there) and it has a real ‘papery’ kind of feel to it, kind of stiff also. It behaved like how you described. Never knew there was a such thing as ‘natural’ parchment.. I’ll keep my eye out for it and avoid it, thanks!
I am a frequent visitor but have never posted before….no, not even for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake that made grown men weep. Maybe because these come at a time when I sorely needed a good granola bar, but WOW are they good, made two varieties, blueberry and almond and cherry and hazelnut. The almond flavor wins hands down and I really think it would be great with less sugar ( I used the 1/2 cup).
I so appreciate this website. So many of us don’t have the time, talent or inclination to experiment and share. Thank you Deb from the bottom of my sticky, granola bar infested heart!
So waaaay back in September…I bought a packaged of mixed, dried tropical fruit fully intending to make your granola bars. However, in the ensuing chaos of TWO moves and the birth of baby #4, all cooking dreams fell by the wayside. And THEN, oh then! I opened your blog to a new granola recipe and the pack of dried fruit was still in my pantry.
I made the bars! My combo was 1 cup of mixed, dried tropical fruit, 1 cup toasted walnuts, 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1/2 cup dried cranberries. I used brown sugar instead of white, honey & molasses instead of corn syrup. Old fashioned oats instead of instant, wheat bran instead of oat flour. The results were DELISH and much appreciated by all members of my family.
Okay, so they were a little crumbly when I cut them. This was resolved by scooping them individually onto pieces of plastic wrap, wrapping them and then kinda compressing each one. Also – we just ate the last one two days after I pulled them out of the oven and they seem to be holding together better. So maybe with a little age…
made these last night and treated them as a pantry purge! everything but the kitchen sink went in–what a GREAT way to use up all those odds and ends (pepitas? yep. choc chips? heck yeah. the last of the oatmeal and cashews and PB? ohh yeah.)…. blogged about it on re-nest.com too.
no crumbling happening in my world. i used all-natural PB, honey, corn syrup, etc. didn’t have quick-cook oats, but i pulsed them in the processor like you suggested. before they cooled all the way they fell apart a bit, but by morning they were perfect as store-bought granola bars. two friends said, “best granola bar i’ve ever had.” but i’d love to experiment with a lower-sugar version and eliminate the corn syrup as well.
These were so good! So good. The edges and corners are the best….where the syrups and such bubbled up and caramelized. I am thinking about making them in a muffin tin so each one will be all edges, might take some tweaking with the timing, though. I used maple syrup and the corn syrup – and I didn’t skimp on the butter like I usually do with recipes – I had almost no crumbling. Thanks!
What if you don’t have oat flour? I live in Tokyo, and if I can find it, it’d probably be about $10 for 100 grams. Can I use a mix of unbleached and whole wheat?
These are awesome! I used 3/4 C chopped almonds, 1/4 C chopped pecans, 1/2 C coconut, 1/2 C dried cherries and 1/2 C dried cranberries. I thought about chocolate chips but resisted because I knew my husband would prefer them without chocolate, sigh. They are chewy and not crumbly at all. The only switch I made was to use 12 grain flour (from KA) instead of the oat flour which I was out of and too lazy to deal with the food processor. :-) The only complaint is that they took FOREVER to cool and it was killing me! Husband wants more coconut next time which is an easy fix. Oh, and thanks for making me feel like a pig by commenting that you cut them into 16 bars. I, gulp, cut them into nine.
These look so yummy. I may just try making these. The only thing that could top this off is to add some chocolate chips in it. Thanks for the recipe.
Yum! I made a half batch today with a scant cup of quick oats, no oat flour, olive oil instead of butter and honey instead of corn syrup. Also no peanut butter, since I can’t have it in the house (peanut butter = eating it with a spoon). Turned out terrific with a cup of trail mix for my mix-in. My half batch was pretty much done at 25 mins (I baked it in a loaf pan) – mine were just a tad bit crumbly – nothing that more patience couldn’t solve. Hearty, chewy and less crazy sweet than all the commercial granola bars. I’m already thinking about making another batch…
These looked delicious so I had to give them a try. For fruit, I used a mix of dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries and dates. Instead of the whole amount of sugar, I used some agave nectar thinking that this might help with everything sticking together. For the 1/4 cup of corn syrup, I used equal amounts of honey, corn syrup, maple syrup to equal 1/4 cup of liquid. Instead of peanut butter, I found a product called “Naturally More” which is basically like peanut butter on steroids (peanuts, wheat germ, flax seed, cane sugar, egg whites, honey and flaxseed oil are the ingredients). The bars are baking away in the oven right now and I can’t wait to taste them. I’ll be sure and report how they turned out.
What a great versatile recipe! I had one teensy problem: after baking for about 35 minutes, my bars were slightly brown on the top and edges, very slightly crumbly (not a problem – just small treats for the baker while cutting) but the bottom was really brown, verging on burnt. Any thoughts?
These are deeeelicious. I made them with dried cranberries, desiccated coconut and a crumbled weetabix, used peanutbutter and used rice bran oil for the butter. AMAZING!
Oh my goodness! These are outstanding! I made them with peanut butter and all honey. They were perfect. For the mix, I used your ratios but used almonds instead of the pecans, a mixture of dried cranberries and raisins in place of the cherries, and I also added 2 T. chopped chocolate and a teaspoon of instant espresso powder. Next time I think I’ll add some flax seeds too. Thank you for the recipe! I’ll certainly never buy pre-made granola bars again.
I am so excited about this recipe! Thank you so much for posting it! I made them with peanut butter, honey, maple syrup swapped for the corn, dried cherries, walnuts, almonds, raisins, and dried apricots. I left the almonds whole and just halved the apricots. They turned out great! They held together beautifully. I haven’t been able to taste them as my pregnancy stomach says no (and cutting them was a huge challenge that almost sent me to the toilet), my husband assures me that they are delicious and surprise…wants me to add chocolate next time.
I made these last night and they are awesome!
I really, really pressed down on the mix in the pan and compressed it well so the bars were dense and chewy and great.
My mixins were peanut butter and chocolate chips as I had nothin healthy at my house. Instead of honey I used Lyle’s Golden syrup which was perfect for this recipe, super sticky and buttery flavored. I also used the cinnamon and instead of wasting the ‘good’ vanilla I used a larger of amount of imitation vanilla and it melded well with the golden syrup. Golden syrup, while not locally availabe (thanks Amazon!) is not very expensive so I hope it doesn’t count as a fussy ingredient :)
I’m new to your site and I just love it, thanks so much for all the time and effort you put in to it. The fact that you enjoy what you do is very apparent!!
Alrighty – I did make these and as I mentioned, waaaaayyy up there closer to comment in the early 100’s, I used molasses and agave nectar as the liquid, like i did with my usual granola bars. i also used flax seeds, pecans, and raisins, and whole foods peanut butter. the taste is great, but mine were crumbly too. i wonder if the different sugars have something to do with that, as i’ve noticed some seem to coat more and some less. the sugar contect probably affects it too, since it’s a “wet” ingredient. maybe next time i’ll use less and see what happens? nonetheless, the molasses is a great addition!
My jaw hurts. But in an oh-so-chewy-chewing way. The only down side? the pan is too small =). next time I am going to have to double the recipe…I was reading your comment above. I sorta forgot the ___nutbutter but it didnt miss it. There wasn’t any crumbling, my bars were nice and firm, chewy, sticky (sorta) and this awesome crunchy chewy edge and bottom that :sigh:…thank you! (I see everyone posted what they used. All I had was almonds and dried cranberries. My salad will suffer…)
I have been on a quest for the perfect granola bar for a couple years. This one — and the recipe from Barefoot Contessa’s most recent book — are my favorites. Unlike many other recipes, these two actually HOLD TOGETHER (I don’t understand the point of all the ones that don’t — what’s the purpose of a granola bar that crumbles?!?!) and, as a bonus, my kids LOVE them! I do think the original recipe is wicked sweet — I will try dialing down the sugar too.
Meridith — I’ve made those before but I found them to be very crunchy. (I mentioned this in the post too..) This recipe is for people who want a thicker, chewier bar.
I saw this, and happened to have all the ingredients onhand, so went right to work. My combination/changes were:
1 1/2 tsp vanilla (love it too much)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
all corn syrup
handful peanuts, almonds and cashews
chopped up bittersweet chocolate
ooops..forgot to add water, had no adverse results
I thought this would make enough bars to last the week…snacks for my hubby at work, etc. but NOPE….they were gone last nite. This is already put in my “favorites” binder. Can’t wait to experiment with: stevia, honey, etc.
I used 2c quick oats, no oat flour. I also used olive oil in place of butter, and homemade peach jam, natural peanut butter, brown sugar and unsweetened applesauce for stickiness. For fruit/nut etc combo, I used unsweetened coconut, pecans chopped, almonds and hazelnuts chopped, dried cherries, raisins, cranberries and blueberries. I also chopped up 4 oz of 72% cocoa squares. These were the most delicious, moist, decadent bars. They are a new favorite, thank you!
Oh, and sunflower seeds and sprinkled the top with coarse sea salt. Yum!
So, I looked in the freezer and discovered a little coconut, some slivered almonds and then the tail end of a bag of hazelnuts (which I toasted), and some chocolate chips….which made me think of a cross between an Almond Joy and Baci. That, I’m almost ashamed to admit, led to substituting Nutella for nut butter. See what happened?? These things have NOTHING to do with healthy, but good lordy are they tasty. (And, really, I’ve been shoveling! That’s hard work!!)
absolutely delish! I just finished cooling my batch and dug right in. I used 1c dried cherries, 1c pumpkin seeds, 1/2c coconut and 1/3 sesame seeds. I also used all corn syrup but I think I’ll throw a little maple in there next time instead. Thanks for all of your recipes, lately every one of them has been hitting the spot! xo
I didn’t have any corn syrup, honey or maple syrup – I used just butter and pancake syrup (shame, shame), mixed in coconut/chocolate chips/dates/prunes/dried apricots, and these came out PERFECT, i can’t stop eating them. Held together beautifully, super chewy, PB adds just enough saltiness – LOVE them!
Deb, I used the oat bran with great success! Oat bran has about the same coarse consistency as wheat germ, and from what I understand quite nutritious. I used the same dry mix that you did, except of course the oat bran instead of the oat flour, and they were sublime. The best granola bars I’ve ever tasted. I have some malted barley flour that I’ve been trying to incorporate into something as I’ve heard that it helps keep baked good moist longer, but I was afraid of messing with perfection. Do you use malted barley flour for anything? I’ve also seen it listed as an ingredient on packaged baked goods, so I’m assuming it’s there to keep in the moisture, or maybe it adds “something” to the flavor? If you ever have a spare minute, (which is doubtful since you have the cutest baby ever), I would love to hear your thoughts.
I made these just today and they had trouble holding together even after cooling. I used 1/2 cup of sugar and then my mix ins were 1 cup walnuts, 1 cup cherries, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/3 cup wheatgerm, and 1/3 cup apricots. I used 3 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 6 tbsp of honey. The bars came out too sweet for me, I wonder if it was the honey but the flavor of the olive oil didn’t come through which was good because extra virgin is quite strong. I would love to replace the granulated sugar with something like honey or agave nectar, any ideas on how to adjust the ratio of dry ingredients? Is it as simple as increase them? What else can I add to help the granola bars bind better?
I just realized I added too much honey to mine. About two tbsp more so that would account for the extra sweetness and inability to stay together. I will be more careful next time and I’m sure they will turn out just as great! Thanks!
Oh man- everyone’s add ins were way more healthier than mine! I used chocolate chips, craisins, almonds, and NUTELLA! I definetly could have cut down on the sugar- I will next time but they are soo good and filling! YUM!
I made a second batch tonight, decreasing the amount of sugar to about 1/4 c., adding wheat germ, but keeping mostly the same mix-ins as the first time I made them, and they were crumbly. I also used canola oil in this batch and not butter. Everything else was pretty much the same…not sure why this batch came out crumbly and the first batch was perfect, but they still tasted great!
I finally got a chance to make these today and they turned out perfect!! I used 1/3 a cup ofsugar and used half(ish) brown sugar and half granulated. For add ins I used cashews, almonds and dried cranberries. I think I will experiment with a little less sugar and see if they still stay together as well.
I don’t know why I’ve never made my own granola bars before, these were so much easier than I thought.
Oh yeah, and I used almond butter. i’ve been reading what everyone else has been adding and YUM, I can experiment forever with just these comments alone.
I have always loved the King Arthur Recipes, as well as loved the baked goods at Whole Foods, so this is like a combination of two wonderfully delicious worlds!
I used Agave and they tasted magnificent, I also added wheat germ and cashews. So fabulous.
I’ll be doing all kinds of variations for years to come, Thanks!
o wow – tried these with peanutbutter, vanilla flavoured sirup (since we don´t have corn sirup in germany), dried blueberries, apricot and dates, chopped almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds. now i have to hide them from myself – i`m afraid i can`t live without them anymore…i don`t mind a little crumblyness – i´m using a little more peanutbutter and a little more hard pressing next time, but they`re already pretty perfect.
well, i´m off to devour an other one…
Yum! My friend begged me to make granola bars and when I saw your recipe, I knew it was the one!
I used coconut, flax seed, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, crunchy peanut butter, and a tiny bit of dry fruit.
I made the “sticky bun sugar” and liked that, although I think I would have actually added a bit more to make them overall a little more sticky.
They are a total hit – perfect and chewy, and desirable, as many granola bars are so dry.
So, thanks for the super great recipe!
I just made a batch of this deliciousness last night. SO good! I used old fashioned oats (worked out perfectly), ground oats for a homemade “oat flour”, 1/3 C of brown sugar in place of the granulated, honey for the liquid sweetener, and coconut oil in place of butter (i’m a butter hater!). I used unsweetened coconut flakes, banana chips, walnuts, and 60% cacao chocolate chunks. I also decided to keep the vanilla and cinnamon, but I think I doubled the salt measurement (I love how salt balances out the sweetness of baked goods). I did press my bars very firmly into my pan and it seemed to help hold them together. I couldn’t resist cutting one after only about 15 minutes of cooling and I noticed that the ones that didn’t get touched with my serrated knife after the 15 minutes held together much more perfectly. My bars caramelized just right on the top and bottom (especially!). DELICIOUS. I think next time i’d go for a combination of dried cherries, whole almonds, and almond butter. YUM. I can’t wait! Thanks so much for this amazing foundation of a recipe :)
I’M DYING these are so good. My combo: 1/2 cup wheat germ, a little over 1/4 cup flax seeds, 1 cup chopped peanuts, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/8 cup sesame seeds, and 1 cup cranberries– basically, everything I had in the apartment. Also, I subbed half of the sugar for brown sugar and used honey (I’ll try maple syrup next time!)
Running a marathon this weekend so these will definitely keep me fed on my 10 hour drive to New Orleans!
These look really, really good.
Thanks for the recipe!
So I made these last night and they taste WONDERFUL the only problem is that though I greased the parchment paper before putting it in the pan, it stuck to the bars! I could still salvage some that looked like bars, but the rest pretty much came out like grannola. Don’t get me wrong, I love granola, but what did I do wrong?
Kate — I respond to Rebecca about sticking parchment in comment #249. Maybe you had the same issue?
I’ve been making these bars since King Arthur posted it in their blog and my third shift working husband LOVES them for those occasional nights when he actually sleeps when it’s dark but wakes up at 3am starving. (the kids love them too but at a more traditional time ;))
sometimes the bars would get a bit crumbly when cutting or when eating (a pain when in the van that gets messy enough without adding sticky granola bars) so I decided to use a muffin pan. I used liners that I lightly spritzed with Pam then packed the “batter” in nice and thick. after cooling, I package them and throw them in the freezer for quick and easy lunch packing.
I use old-fashioned oats and anything in the cupboard that looks good at that moment like dried blueberries, cherries, raisins, coconut (always a must!), flax seeds, pecans or walnuts. (my husband can’t eat chocolate, so we usually leave that out)
One additional tip to counter crumbly bars — The ones I have pulled out of the fridge are very firm. In addition to cooling them completely, I’m thinking 30 minutes in the fridge might really get the “glue” to set enough that there’s no chance they’d come apart. You can still store them outside the fridge when you’re done and they still stay together. (I’ve mentioned this chilling trick before in relation to brownies, which I can never get a very clean, sharp cut on unless they’re chilled in the fridge or freezer. Room temperature is not enough.) Someone suggested this further up too, referencing when you slice meat, but I think it may do the trick here.
I’m going to make mine in a cornbread iron, so they’ll already be individually sized.
if you want to make them vegan–i directly substituted coconut oil for butter, and used maple syrup instead of honey. also, i replaced granulated sugar with agave nectar (only used 1/4 cup, bc it’s sweeter than sugar). they’re baking in the oven now! hope they turn out well! (ill post again if they don’t….)
Made these yesterday. Perfection. I cheated and cut into a corner before they were cooled, and yes, I had crumbles. After tapping my toes and shoveling my driveway and sitting on my hands, they were cool. And they cut perfectly.
Did I mention these were DELICIOUS? Just like the granola bars at Whole Foods, which I miss terribly now that I live back upstate. Wegmans comes close.
I made these yesterday and they are delicious. I made sure to press the “batter” in very tightly (I used the plastic wrap trick), and cooled the bars completely before cutting, and I had no crumbling issues. I used 1/3 c. brown sugar and 4 tbsp. butter along with 2 tbsp corn syrup, 1/8 c. honey,1/8 c. agave syrup, and 1/3 c. raw almond butter. I basically cleaned out my pantry and freezer for the mix-ins. I used dried strawberries, cranberries, and cherries, sweetened coconut, pepitas, sunflower seeds, some sesame seeds, walnuts, pecans, and a few errant slivered almonds. They make a great breakfast with a piece of fruit.
I just made these and had the crumbling problem as well. But! I do think it was because I didn’t put in a lot of sugar–I think I was just under the lower end of the spectrum here.
Also, yes, the problem happens while cutting! I was contemplating which knife to use, and I ended up just using a serrated knife that wasn’t too sharp, so that might have been the problem…but I did notice some crumbliness straight out of the oven, when I started poking at the top. Did I not bake it for long enough?
I made these vegan by using coconut oil in place of the butter, and brown rice syrup in place of the honey and corn syrup. Baked them for 32 minutes and they turned out SO GOOD! (Used medjool dates, apricots, walnuts, and sliced almond for the fruit and nuts.)
Made these using whole wheat flour (no oat flour and my food processor didn’t want to pulverize my oats for me) dried cranberries, pecans, and dark chocolate chips. I also used the suggested creamy peanut butter, and a combination of honey and maple syrup. Delicious! Once cooled, I was able to cut them into squares, and they did crumble a bit. We didn’t have corn syrup so I think that may have been the cause. Regardless, this was another fabulous recipe to add to my repertoire.
I made them using 1/3 cup baby rice cereal (for added nutrition, and because I have excess amounts of baby cereal around!), and without peanut butter. I used maple syrup and corn syrup, along with chopped dried cherries, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and walnut pieces. The are AMAZING!! I cooked them for 35 minutes, but next time I think that I will aim for closer to 30, as the edges tasted a bit burnt. Oh, and no crumbling issues here- they were perfect, and easy to cut afterwards. Thanks! My first time to your site (I was drawn by your recipe for Tarte Tatin), and I’m revved up to try rice pudding tonight!
I’m a total lurker, but have really enjoyed your recipes and beautiful pics. I have little bits of dried fruits and nuts that need to go, so this is a perfect recipe
lynsay and others who substituted agave or other things for the granulated sugar, could you post on the results? I would love to take this to work and my favorite colleague doesn’t eat sugar.
I did some volume to weight conversions based on the nutrition information on my containers. I used cashew butter, so the assumption is all nut butters are about the same density (which seems completely reasonable). As the bars are in the oven, I am not sure if the weights work, but the consistency seemed correct.
1 2/3 134 g 4.75 oz rolled oats
1/3 c 112 g 4 oz honey
1/3 c 88 g 3.1 oz nut butter
1/3 c 64g 2.3 oz sugar
I also put all of the wet ingredients together and microwaved them when I melted the butter to make things easier to combine. And I did not feel like washing out the food processor, so I used white flour instead of oat flour. Seemed like a reasonable substitution. I will try to remember to report back.
Great recipe. Have made it twice so far. First time crumbly, but I used only a quarter cup of sugar and accidentally ommitted the water. Second time, used the recommended 1/2 cup minimum of sugar, remembered the water and upped the corn syrup by a Tbs. Once out of the oven and mostly cooled, I popped them into the refrigerator (as Deb just suggested). They seem to be much chewier and are definitely staying together better.
These did not turn out. Such a bummer. They don’t hold together. Everything looked fine until I tried to cut them. Then they broke apart. Not sure if I undercooked them or what. Edible, but more like really sticky, crumbly granola than a bar. I followed the recipe almost exactly. I baked them for 35 minutes, added 13.5 ounces of pecans, almonds, flax seed, dried cherries, dried apricots, and coconut. Only substitution was agave syrup for corn syrup. I had such high hopes. Sigh.
A few weeks before your post of a granola bar recipe I made an unsuccessful attempt at someone else’s. Hard, stuck to parchment crumbles – utter failure! I am not a graceful loser, as was witnessed the other night when Canada lost to the U.S. in Olympic round robin hockey, so I took another shot, this time with your recipe. They turned out wonderful!! I used a combination of apricots, craisins, almonds toasted, almond butter, coconut and instead of vanilla I used 1/2 tsp of almond extract. Thanks for the great recipe!
To. Die. For! These are so outrageous I want to eat them all!! I used 8 tbsp of reduced calorie margarine instead of butter and corn syrup. Dried cherries, apricots, cranberries and coconut made up my mixture with some sprinkled flax seeds on top. Got a little bit of crumbling but there’s no way I could wait until they were cooled. I made them as fat free as possible and they’re still incredible. Thank you!
These are very tasty and got a thumbs up from my picky toddler and my omnivorous middle child. My nut butter was sunflower butter; my fruits and nuts, walnuts, cherries and apricots. I used maple syrup and an extra 2 T instead of corn syrup; I had a little crumbling but it wasn’t horrible.
I made these the other day and they are fabulous.
I swapped out earth balance for the butter, used 1/4 cup of sugar, and used a 1/4 cup of honey and 2 tbs of molasses instead of corn syrup. They came out chewy and held together well.
My other ingredients were dried cherries, coconut, ground flax, pecans, almonds, pepitas, and almond butter.
Yum! I linked to these on my weekly roundup (post is under my name) and I hope to try them soon. I also wanted to say how cool it is that you make time to answer questions, especially with such a popular blog and your new addition! As a lowly reader, that is such an awesome thing to see. Thanks!
Sooo tasty!They’re still cooling in my kitchen right now, but I couldn’t wait to start tasting! They started to crumble a little, though, so I’ll try to wait to finish cutting them. We’ll see how long my resolve lasts…
I made these with no crumbling issues. Here’s what I did. Followed your recipe without substitution, except:
1) used regular oats, which I pulsed in the food processor;
2) used 2/3 c. brown sugar in place of the white sugar;
3) used 3/4 c. cranberries; 3/4 c. apricots; and 1.5 c. toasted almonds and pecans, all pulsed together in food processor until uniform (about 1/2 cm sq.);
4) used natural honey roasted peanut butter;
5) used 1/4 c. clover honey;
Baked for 35 min. at 350F. Let cool completely in the pan, then removed and cut. They hold together, are chewy, and are totally delicious! Next time, I think I am going to use chocolate as one of the nut/fruit ingredients, increase the peanut butter, and decrease the sugar a little. I will have to see whether the increase of peanut butter requires an increase of the liquids in order to compensate for its thickness, but I doubt it will.
Oh, and here’s a tip: when you mix all the “wet” ingredients together, put the nut butter in there too and microwave it on high for 30 seconds. You can then whisk it all together into a uniform “sauce” and it tosses very easily with the dry ingredients. This entire thing took me about 15 minutes to put together because the food processor sped it up.
Thanks for the recipe! My thoughts on the crumbling issue is that you really do need to use the “oat flour” to bind things together, and these cannot be underbaked.
I made these today and they are FANTASTIC. I used hazelnut butter, thick cut oats pulsed a little in the coffee grinder, cane sugar, 1/4 cup agave and 2 T honey. The other mixture was a hodgepodge: leftover TJ’s antioxidant fruit/nut blend, walnut pieces, dried cherries, uns weetened coconut and pumpkin seeds.
There were some crumbling issues, but i stuck 1/2 of the pan in the freezer and that helped. Next time I’ll try Ariella’s suggestion of mixing the nutbutter with wet ingredients. Thanks!
I just made these and they turned out delicious! Very slight crumbliness but I expected that since I left out the corn syrup and used old-fashioned oats. My dry mixture was 1/2 c. sugar, Bob’s Red Mill oat flour, almonds, cashews, coconut, big chocolate chips, EXTRA SALT (3/4 tsp. sea salt), and a diced banana, plus a mild honey and creamy peanut butter (whisked into the warm melted butter/honey mixture). Delicious!
I noticed that in removing the still-warm mixture from the pan and later transferring it to the refrigerator I caused some cracking that might not have occurred had I waited for it to cool and then chilled it while still in the pan. I might add that it’s hard to wait it out when there’s a man asking you every ten minutes if the treats are ready. Non-bakers refuse to understand that the cooling process is part of the baking process!
Conclusions: I think the corn syrup can be left out, but should be replaced with extra honey, and the thick-cut oats are a good substitution for the quick-rolled, although they probably contribute to crumbling. Also I highly recommend the banana.
oh lord Deb. These look NEARLY good enough to make me give up my guilty little pleasure of Quaker Oats caramel nut bars. Which are totally not so much a granola bar as a carrier for chewy caramel and chocolate deliciousness. :(((
I used coconut, dried cherries, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. I omitted the corn syrup and used 1/2 cup of sugar. I let them cool and then put them in the fridge before cutting as Deb recommended and didn’t have any problems with crumbling. :)
Yum. Dried cherries, shaved coconut, walnuts, and flax seed. Delish! Slight crumbling when I wanted to cut them too early, but after a few hours in the fridge, all crumbling issues solved.
I am getting mad from looking for the kind of coconut that you have there! All I can find here is dessicated. Geez!
Ooh I love eating granola bars. These look so good. But I can never bring myself to make them, simply because they take soo many rare ingredients like flax seed!
I found those bars at Whole Foods last week, then hit on your recipe yesterday…they are awesome! I mixed: dried cranberries, dates, walnuts, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, sesame seeds, chia seeds, pecans, and coconut. I used the 1/2 c sugar and the honey…thinking i may sub agave for the sugar next time and may cut down the butter cause the agave is liquid. We’ll see how it works out, great recipe!
I just had a baby 2 weeks ago, and haven’t set foot in the kitchen since. During the first nap that I feel I don’t have to run straight to bed myself, I said ‘What I need is a granola bar recipe.’ As I sat down to my computer, I realized that I haven’t checked your blog in those 2 weeks either. Lo and behold, a granola bar recipe! Thanks deb :)
I used apricots, raisins, an chocolate chips along with peanut butter and maple syrup. Delicious! Although Next time I want to try a different nut butter and a larger variety of dried fruit. I let my bars stay in the pan overnight to completely cool and firm up and the next morning they were perfect!
I one-and-a-halved this recipe to bake it in a 9 x 13 pyrex (I don’t have an 8 x 8 baking tin) and they were delicious! I basically followed the recipe to the letter, using .5 C sunflower seeds, .5 C pecans, .5 cup dried figs, .5 cup dried cranberries, and 1 cup (couldn’t resist) of chocolate chips. I used one cup sugar for the adjusted recipe but next time I might go less. I did find that my edges browned a lot after 25 minutes while the center was definitely underbaked, so I pressed some foil over the edges and baked for 10 minutes more at 300 and that did the trick.
Deb, because you have a gluten free tag on this recipe I do feel the need to point out that there should be a note about the oats for any gluten-avoiding folks. Oats do not naturally contain gluten, but are often contaminated by gluten because they’re grown alongside wheat and harvested the same way. So to make these granola bars truly gluten-free, one should use certified gluten-free oats. I have tried using regular oats and nearly always get sick, so I switched to certified gluten-free oats.
Karen — Thanks. I’ll update the item to note this!
Just made these last night and they are divine! I did cranberries, peanuts and couldn’t resist topping them with mini-chocolate chips while they were still hot. Next time I will probably use a larger pan because they were a little thick for my taste but other than that this is a terrific recipe that I will definitly use again! Thanks so much for sharing! I love your blog!
Made these yesterday and love them. Mine have apricots, cashews and dried cherries. Though they did fall apart, but I’m thinking it was because I used rolled whole oats instead of quick rolled. Per above, when I do them again I’ll be sure to pulse them in the Cuise for a couple of seconds to see if it helps them bind better.
I made these yesterday. I doubled the recipe and used 1/3 canola oil and 2/3 butter. For the dry ingredients I used 1 1/3 c chocolate chips, 1 1/3 c soaked raisins, 1 1/3 c sweetened flaked coconut (did not have unsweetened), and 1/2 c of ground flax seeds. I used the smaller amount of sugar (1 c for a double batch). I did not use any nuts or peanut butter as my daughter is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. My 17 year old son said, “These granola bars you made are to die for.” My 14 year old daughter and I thought they were too sweet. My husband just ate them but would probably also appreciate less sugar. When I make them again, (notice I said when not if) I will cut the sugar down in half and use fewer chocolate chips and maybe more or different dried fruit. I also want to try a version with no chocolate chips and a version with nuts (sorry Megan). So, thank you for this recipe. It is by far the best home made granola bar recipe I have ever tried and I’ve tried several.
These were OUTSTANDING! Thanks.
I made two pans of these this weekend, using different flavor combinations (cranberry-pecan and peanut butter-chocolate chip). The first batch crumbled pretty badly after an hour and a half of cooling, so I put the second batch back in the oven for another half hour and then let them cool for 18 hours or so. The second pan turned out perfectly, and even the first pan was delicious crumbled over yogurt for breakfast this morning. Great recipe!!
I’ve made these twice now and I LOVE THEM. I can’t stop eating them. The first time I used honey instead of the corn syrup and the 2nd I used brown rice syrup…they both turned out fantastic.
I used dates, apricots, cherries, sunflower seeds, coconut and wheat germ. And peanut butter.
Everyone loves them…even my skeptical partner!
I tried to make these last week. Here’s what I did: http://lolacooks.blogspot.com/2010/02/granola-bars.html
Mine unfortunately didn’t come out as thick and chewy but I was forced to make lots of adjustments… Thanks for the recipe!!
OMGosh… I just made these. I love how you can tailor it to fit your taste/what’s in your cupboard. And now I can’t stop eating them!
fabulous! thank you for posting… I used all the little half-bags of dried fruit & nuts, including coconut, pepitas, sliced almonds, dried cherries, chocolate chips, and lots of other things. They are PLENTY sweet with the least amt of sugar (probably bc I used sweetened coconut) and my family loves them. This is definitely going to be my go-to clean-out-the-pantry recipe now! thanks much.
Wow. Delicious. They’re baking in the oven right now, but I couldn’t stop taste-testing the batter! Thanks for this fantastic recipe and your many others. Your style is right in line with how I cook/think. Keep up the great work!
I haven’t read through all the comments, so I don’t know if anyone has mentioned GOLDEN SYRUP. This is the best ingredient to replace the corn syrup. It’s made from sugar and is classic in Britain – I have seen it in WholeFoods in Colorado, I bet you can find it. In my American version of one of my British cookbooks it lists corn syrup as a replacement ingredient for golden syrup, but it is a poor substitute. The recipe I have been using calls for warming the dried fruit in orange and lemon juice and allowing the fruit to soak up the juice – nice to balance the sweetness.
I find that using Vanilla Paste instead of extract gives everything I bake a much better vanilla flavor. It is devine in my chocolate chip cookies, everyone raves about them and the vanilla flavor. I am sure there are others but I buy bottles at a time from Williams Sanoma (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/2749604/?catalogId=61&bnrid=3180501&cm_ven=Shopping&cm_cat=Froogle&cm_pla=default&cm_ite=default)
I’ve been making a similarly flexible recipe from Nigella Express (pg. 94) for a couple of years. The sweetening and binding are handled by a single can of sweetened condensed milk. They’re between crunchy and chewy, probably adjustable by baking time, but have never been crumbly. I’m going to try your recipe next time I’m craving granola bars.
Loved this recipe! I tried it over the weekend and my housemates devoured the batch. We used cinnamon chips, a harvest blend of dried fruit, and roasted almonds in ours. This is definitely a recipe I’ll be using again and again. Thanks for this one!
Made these and YUM!
as an fyi, i made a second batch with modifications to make it a bit healthier and they came out great! I used only 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup + 2 T of honey for the liquid (plus the specified amount of butter). I added 1/3 c. natural chunky peanut butter, 1/2 c. wheat germ, 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut, 1.5 c. raw nuts (walnuts and pecans), 1 c. mixed dried fruit, 1/4 c. cacao nibs (yum!) and 2 T flax seed. I used oats and oat flour and the specified vanilla. I doubled the cinnamon. I baked these for about 35 minutes — until they were toasty on top and very toasty on the edges (bottoms still came out nice and light). I let them sit for a while and cool, and then removed then from the pan, and put them on a plate in the fridge for a couple hours to really cool. This is a great trick and def. kept them together. When I cut them, there was little if any crumbling. They are a bit harder then my last batch, but still chewy and delicious and very filling. I individually wrapped them and my husband and i take one with us in the morning to eat after going to the gym. perfect!
I love this recipe! I used dried apricots, almonds, walnuts, pecans (can you tell I love nuts?), cranberries, coconut, peanut butter, honey and corn syrup. Oh, and about a 1/3 c. milled flax seed, too. First time I made it I didn’t press firmly enough and cut it when still warm, so it came out crumbly (great with a dollop of greek yogurt!). Second time I pressed VERY firmly (using your suggestion of using plastic wrap–it really helped) and waited until it was completely cooled before cutting. They are really bar-like now and I LOVE them! I will be making this both crumbly and in bars.
btw, I grease the pan with a little butter first before laying in the parchment to grease that. With more butter!
I made these last night, mostly for my son who doesn’t eat cereal for breakfast because he doesn’t like milk and so only has a piece of fruit on his way for work. I thought he needed more whole grains in his diet. Anyway, that was my excuse for giving the recipe a go!
I am happy to report that canola oil instead of butter worked just fine and 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sugar was plenty. I also used whole wheat flour rather than oat flour, and all honey rather than honey and corn syrup without noticeable problems. I included sultanas (raisins), cranberries, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. I was going to leave out the peanut butter as I wanted to taste the bars and I have had a lifelong aversion to peanut butter (hard for many people to believe, I know!). However, I found some macadamia butter while shopping yesterday – same consistency and much more acceptable to my palate. My son loves peanut butter, though, so I guess I will put some in next time even though it means I won’t be able to have a taste! There were no problems with crumbling once the cooked mixture had been refrigerated overnight.
Great recipe, Deb! I think these bars will become a household staple.
Delicious recipe! I’ve made it twice already. Once I used agave as a substitute for the honey/corn syrup and the other time I used a golden syrup and agave. Both versions worked well. I also used a combo of quinoa flakes and oats instead of using all oats. I added ground flax seed and used a combo of cranberries, almonds, and unsweetened coconut flakes. My second batch turned out a little chewier and less likely to crumble and I think the main difference was that I used a bit more almond butter and I also mixed the water with the ground flax seed before I added it to the mix (which makes kind of a gooey substance similar to an egg white).
This is very similar to the “British Flapjack” recipe that was in the Feb. 22 Bon Apetit newsletter (http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/03/british_flapjacks). Which I made and added peanuts and dried cherries. I too have been on the search for a good recipe for granola bars. Both of these come close. I think I am going to switch up the syrup for molasses and add ginger in place of cinnamon. Does anyone know where to get prune puree (besides baby food)?
New to commenting here on your site. LOVE it! LOVE you! LOVE your recipes!
I have a batch of these in the oven right now and goodness only knows how they’ll turn out since I took your suggestion to make changes and did so liberally. Fingers crossed!
I went with a nut/fruit combo of raisins, coconut, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. I used 1/2 and 1/2 of maple syrup and honey and then used molasses instead of the corn syrup to give it a twist. My last change was to ramp up the spices by using more cinnamon and adding cardamom, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg. As I said, goodness only knows how they’ll turn out, but the batter was good enough to eat with a spoon without even cooking.
Thanks again for the wonderful blog! You are a bright spot in my day!
Ok, first off, I’m new to your blog, but I already can’t wait to try several more of your recipes. I just popped my granola bars in the oven and I can’t wait to try them. I sampled the batter and I had to make myself stop taking spoonfuls. You’re right, they really are the best ever. I made mine with Irish oats, splenda (used half a cup and that was plenty sweet), sunflower butter (peanut allergy), agave nectar, canola oil, dried apricots, flax, dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and coconut. I also added more like 1 tsp of cinnamon and 2 tsp of vanilla. I could taste both in my mixture and both were great. I am so excited to see how they come out, but judging by the look of them, I know they will be wonderful. I’ll test them out on the kids tomorrow! Thanks for the great post.
I am relatively new to your blog, but I am loving it already! I have made these twice already. The second time, I used mini chocolate chips and chopped pecans (toasted first with a little salt). These are super easy and received RAVE reviews!
Like several other commenters (is that a word?), your recipe popped up on the front page of your blog around the time my husband was asking me if I could create something for him for breakfast that was portable and filling, now that he is back to working outside the home… since I am in the baker in the family, I was most certainly up to the challenge and your write-ups and ingredients (along with success with every other recipe I have tried from your site!) made this recipe an easy sell…
My first batch came out beautifully… we used 1/3 cup sugar, spelt flour (instead of oat flour), peanut butter, dried raspberries, dried strawberries, toasted pepitas (highly recommend toasting them before tossing them in), 3 tablespoons of apple sauce (subbing for half of the butter), honey and agave syrup instead of corn syrup…
My second batch is in the oven and includes just shy of 1/3 cup sugar, spelt flour (instead of oat flour), millet puffs (like rice puffs but round and smaller), one mashed banana, a couple tablespoons of pumpkin seed butter (i used less than the third cup since I was using the banana), 3 tablespoons of apple sauce (subbing for half the butter), maple syrup and agave syrup instead of the corn syrup… I am hopeful my 11-month old son will enjoy this batch as we are waiting until he is a little older to introduce peanut butter and honey… I did notice this batch was a bit wetter, which I attributed to the banana, but suspect the baking will help dry some of that out, while still making for a chewier bar that stays together… the scent emanating from the oven right now is fantastic!…
I also wanted to mention all my ingredients are organic and where possible local (i.e. spelt flour, honey, maple syrup, my own homemade apple sauce, which is just apples) :)
thanks again for posting such top notch and timely recipes, Deb!
These are so good. I used dried apricots and cherries, some sunflower seeds, a little wheat germ, almond butter, 1/3 cup natural sugar, maple syrup, and vegetable oil instead of butter. This is a great recipe for breakfast, snacking, lunch today for me, and I know my 18 mo. old is going to want the whole batch to himself. (: Thanks.
Just made these with agave sweetener in lieu of honey and in place of the corn syrup. Also used oat bran and almond butter with flax seeds mixed in (yum!). The taste is great but they are not holding together well. They are still just a touch warm so I will wait to see the outcome when they are fully cooled. Love your site … and your little Jacob Henry!
It is in the oven now! I used dried cherries, flax seed, pecans and chocolate chips. I also added the peanut butter and used maple syrup in place of the corn syrup. It looked really good going into the oven and hopefully will be in my kid’s lunch boxes tomorrow. Love your site, I am so glad I randomly found it!
It is in the oven now! I used dried cherries, flax seed, pecans and chocolate chips. I also added the peanut butter and used maple syrup in place of the corn syrup. It looked really good going into the oven and hopefully will be in my kid’s lunch boxes tomorrow. Love your site, I am so glad I randomly found it!
LOVED these bars! I used peanut butter, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, flaxseed and coconut. Really delicious, I love how thick they are. Entire family loved them…sent them in lunchboxes and as after school snacks. Thanks for posting, will keep making these with different combinations.
I loved these bars! I used a triple nut butter of macadamia, almond and cashew, then used pepitas, sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut, cranberries, apricots, and sliced almonds. They were fantastic. In fact, they were a little greasy on the bottom, so I’m considering cutting the butter by 2 T next time. Possibly due to the very oily nature of the macadamia nuts in my nut butter. Thanks for tinkering with this recipe. I made the original and they were way sweet and I felt guilty eating them. They were crisper and more like a nutty candy bar.
Finally made these tonight after planning to for days. I used honey, flaxseed meal, oat bran instead of oat flour, raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, peanut butter, the small amount of corn syrup, the lesser amount of sugar, and walnuts. They smell amazing, and are holding together without crumbling. Thanks for a recipe my kids can’t wait to eat tomorrow in their lunchboxes. Healthier than cookies, and I love that I can use flaxseed meal in something they’ll like!
I copied down this recipe when you first posted it a few days ago. Checking back now, I see that you added a note about letting them chill in the fridge before cutting… I think that is very important to note, so I’m glad that was finally figured out!
I first baked these for 40 minutes and let them cool on the counter. The top was firm like a granola bar should be, but when I cut into them the bottom was just too moist and they didn’t hold together. I threw them back in the oven on a lower temperature for about 15 minutes in hopes that they’d firm up a bit. That helped a little, but they were still too crumbly to keep their bar shapes. Then, I put the pan in the fridge as a last ditch effort, hoping they’d stay together. I fell asleep, so they ended up staying in there all night, but when I cut them this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that they could be cut into neat little bars! Yay!
I used the 1/2 cup of sugar and did find them to still be a little sweet, so I’d like to hear if anyone’s been successful reducing the sugar even more. This is definitely a recipe I’ll be experimenting with a bit more. FYI… I used cranberries, apricots, and peanuts – a pretty basic combiniation, but delicious!
These bars are delicious. I used apricots, dates, cherries, almonds and pecans and love the way they turned out. I also reduced the amount of sugar to 1/3 cup and used coconut oil/butter. So easy and adaptable! Will be a staple in my kitchen from here on out! Can’t wait to try some different combos!
I was happy to see a well reviewed granola bar, we have been struggling with food allergies with my youngest child who is 1 and the others(3 & 5) not getting to have all the same foods they had before. He’s allergic to dairy, peanut & tree nuts, and eggs so its hard to find pre-made items that are “safe” for us. I was excited to see the simple ingredents and I made some up yesterday and they turned out great. I just used ceral that we can have like wheat chex, kixs and rice krispies and dried fruit (crasins, currents, diced prunes), wheat germ, dairy free choc chips, coconut and used sunflower seed butter, maple syurp and corn syurp. I made them a little on the sweeter side because I was making them for the kids and wanted them to love them, I think I will not use kix again but I will use this recipe to a lot now to have another healthy snack for them.
This recipe was almost responsible for my having a heart attack, because I made it thinking that I ‘d be the only one to eat them. My 11-year-old daughter who professes to dislike all dried fruit, crunchy peanut butter (which I used), coconut and pecans IN food (solo pecans are fine), ate three bars. She asked me to make them again with chocolate chips. Alex would approve, yes?
I made these last night and used about 1/3 c of white sugar and a bit less than 1/4 c molasses for the liquid sweetener, plus enough honey to total 1/4 c + 2 T liquid sweetener. Didn’t seem to suffer at all from the lack of corn syrup, and they held together pretty well. They do crumble a little bit I guess (can’t entirely eat it one handed without plastic wrap around it), but they don’t fall apart so much that you can’t pick them up or anything. (I let them cool overnight on the counter before cutting them.) I think they’re pretty similar in hold-togetherness to a typical store bought granola bar, actually. I did include the peanut butter. The molasses flavor isn’t too strong for me, but I really like molasses.
Also – browned the butter a bit (just by continuing to microwave in 30 s intervals after it was melted, stirring occasionally) which I think added a bit more complexity to the bars. (Wonder who taught me that brown butter makes everything better? :D) I also upped the salt (1 t total) and added some cloves and nutmeg in addition to the cinnamon. (I like a granola bar with a lot going on!)
Anyway, thanks a bunch for the recipe! I love the texture of these and they are a great portable afternoon snack!
I did as you suggested and put mine in the fridge after it had mostly cooled for about 30 minutes and was able to cut them without issue and they did not fall apart!
This is going to be a regular recipe in this household. Thanks!!
these are GREAT–replacing all of the butter with a nut butter (& adding more nut butter “optional” too) and more finely ground nuts, and whatever chia/ground flax seeds i slip in…i use agave instead of the other syrup…it makes them super sweet…i’m happy for my kids to eat these any time. they pose a self-control problem, but i am working on that. THANK YOU!
Made these granola bars today……OMG…..delish!!!! My bars did not crumble and I followed the recipe exactly……No more store bought granola bars for us!!!!! Thanks……
I was not all that excited when I first saw this recipe, but I needs a quick bar of some sort, so I tried them – holy moly! It has been a real challenge to keep them out of our mouths (they are meant for a grieving family). I will make more tonight, and possibly every night from here on…
I used regular oats, which I didn’t pulse, coconut, walnuts, dried cherries, peanut butter, and honey instead of corn syrup. Awesome!
Hi! Could anyone let me know how long these keep for, stored in the fridge?
Marie — Mine have been in there for a couple weeks, no problems. If longer, I’d freeze them.
I love these! I think you read my mind. I’ve been wanting a good granola bar for a while and everything I bought came up WAY short of what I wanted. They were awful, hard enough to break my teeth and really nothing more than a glorified rice krispy treat, with a handful of oats and raisons and an almond or two. Ugh. I tried these this morning and they are just what I wanted! Mine came out a bit crumbly, but they taste so good that I don’t care. I used peanut butter, pecans, walnuts, dried cranberries, apricots and apples, with the honey because it is what I had on hand, but I can’t wait to try other combinations.
I just made these and I went a little crazy with what to put in it. They have this combination of dried raspberries, cherries, cranberries and blueberries which I used. I also put in some dried apricot and coconut, added some chopped pecans and wheat germ. I didn’t use the corn syrup, but I used everything else and holy smokes… I also added a pinch of cloves for a little extra “bang”. Delicious.
I made these last night and they were great! I used old fashioned oats and I put in white flour for the oat flour, I was too tired to bring out my food processor! I also used brown sugar instead of white. They turned out really well, the kids loved them and so did my husband. Thanks for the awesome recipe!
Thanks for another wonderful recipe! Like you said, this recipe is extremely adaptable. I did not have many of the ingredients on hand, but subbing seems to do no harm at all. I used for all the liquid sweetener and used half brown half white sugar to total 1/2 cup. My dry mix includes walnut, pecan, cranberries, blueberries, and coconut. The result was a little too sweet, but still absolutely delicious! Next time I may cut down the sugar a little more. I also tried the granola recipe you posted a few months back, and I have to say this one is much more tasty.
Batch #2 also delicious – cherries, walnuts, coconut, pecans, and mini chocolate chips. I accidentally melted the chips with the hot butter, which gives them an overall slight chocolatyness. I find it a little distracting, but the bf is quite pleased by it. The edges are the best part; batch three will be done in two loaf pans for maximum edge…
I’ve been making snack bars for the kids lunch and while happy with that recipe, I cant wait to try this recipe! I’m going to do chocolate chips, coconut, and almonds. Maybe sub almond extract for the vanilla. I cant wait to get into the kitchen and bake these!
I baked these in a larger pan because I like a thinner bar and wanted them to last longer for our family of five. They turned out perfect, I followed your recipe exactly. My husband took a bunch on a boyscout snowcaving outing and shared them. The guys were dubious. They said, “Who makes granola bars??” He convinced them to take a bite and said it was the best granola bar they’d ever had!
These are truly breathtakingly good. I am just floored. I mean, nothing else should even call itself a granola bar after these. I HIGHLY recommend adding about 1/4 cup of sesame seeds — they really bring out the flavor of the oats, and add a subtle extra nuttiness. Thank you so much for this recipe!
I have been looking for a homemade granola bar to make that will be healthier for my 18mo. old and I to take along for snacking while out for jogs and running errands! I can’t wait to spend time with him in the kitchen to concoct our own favorite recipe using your base! Thanks and hope to report back with our great version!
Thanks again for this recipe. Having reviewed your reference to the King Arthur site, i went there to see what they had to say. I was a little nervous about the crumbling issue, especially after reading comments there, but after following your advice re: cooling and then cooling in the refrigerator there was no trouble at all. My mix was similar to yours except for the addition of Apricots rather than cherries. Instead of corn syrup I used Golden’s syrup, which may be corn syrup, but it has a good taste. The bars are wonderful, no complaints here. Best, BERMD
these were super easy to make and taste incredible. i went for pineapple & coconut; think i might try pumpkin seeds next time. thanks
These were really delicious. My additions included: rice crispies, chocolate chips, dried cherries, pecans, and coconut. I used peanut butter in the recipe and found it gave it a very rich taste. In addition to the chocolate chips, it made for more of a dessert bar then a breakfast bar. (I’m not complaining.) I also had the crumbling, falling apart issue and found they weren’t fully set until sitting out overnight. I will definitely throw them into the fridge next time to speed this up. I had hoped the rice crispies would add some crunch but since the bars were so gooey, they just soaked up the moisture and didn’t add anything in terms of texture. I wonder if holding the peanut butter next time would help with that?
Oh my goodness my house smells so good! I decided to make these from stuff in the pantry, and I was fresh out of all nut butters but peanut butter… I didn’t want to go that route, and I kept seeing people’s suggestions for chocolate chips, so I decided to go a little crazy and used Nutella as my nut butter. Together with lightly salted peanuts, chopped almonds, dried cherries and cranberries, it’s the most amazing dessert/breakfast (for when I need something sweet)!! Thank you thank you!!!!
I finally made these last night and tried the first one this morning. No crumbling, whether because they were so well-cooled or the recipe just “worked” for me I don’t know. They aren’t instant fav’s, but I like that this recipe doesn’t *include* granola, like many I found when I tried making my own bars 3 or 4 years ago. Since I also have to make granola from scratch, I stopped making the bars after a few tries – too much work! I also like the versatility of this recipe. I’ll play around with the fruit and nuts as I try making it again in the future!
This time around: 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ, 2/3 cup peanuts, 2/3 cup mixed dried berries, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa nibs – I bought all of those but the peanuts from nutsonline.com a couple months ago, and I’m loving it!
Tip: Cocoa nibs add a nice crunch to apple crisp topping, cake ball coating, and other yumminess, and since they’re unsweetened they aren’t any good for snacking on their own so I’m saving them all for baking. I’m loving them! (They’re also WONDERFUL coated in dark chocolate, available that way from SweetRiot.com)
These sound delicious. Going to make some today but I’m just wondering if anyone has tried them with some added protein powder and how that turned out for them. Love the Nutella idea by the way! Genius!
I just made these also the other night. They turned out so good and goes to the top of my list for one of my favorites. Thanks again for the recipe. Oh and Lisa, I think I might try adding protein powder on the next batch and I will let you know.
These look so so good. I’m not even a huge granola bar fan, but I’m going to make these for snacks during long summer bike rides. Thanks for posting! You’re such an inspiration.
I made these last night for breakfasts this week and they are SO. PERFECT. I will never ever need another granola bar recipe again! I’m allergic to tree nuts, but my nut-free combination still came out amazing – I pulsed some apple chips in my food processor and added them in along with dried cranberries (blueberries would also be lovely), wheat germ and flax seeds… I’m thinking a peanut butter/banana/honey combo should be next… YUM :). Thanks deb for another wonderful recipe!!
Has anyone had any problems using a natural peanut butter (that separates) rather than a conventional peanut butter? In some recipes, the natural gets a little oily.
The genius of these bars is that everyone picks an utterly brilliant combination resulting in mouthwatering deliciousness. I used very oily almond butter and cut back on the regular butter by about 2 tbs. My mix included almonds, walnuts, currents, cranberries, cut up mejool dates (I’ll leave them out next time–too sweet), yellow raisins, apricots, flax seeds and coconut. And corn syrup. They’re a bit too sweet for me, but I anticipate my teenagers gobbling these with glee.
Hi! These granola bars tasted amazing except for one thing — it turned into granola! After I let it cool and attempted to cut the granola into bars it just tell apart into granola. The granola was delicious so no complaints there. I tried adding more honey instead of corn syrup. Does that sound like the culprit? Thanks!
These have me seriously reconsidering my Starbucks-granola-bar-after-work habit. I’m just going to start my oven and get to work already.
I just made 2 batches of these. Both were A-MA-ZING. Here are my mixes:
-Dried pear, wheat germ, almonds slivers, almond butter and a few drops of almond extract.
-Apricots, coconut flakes, wheat germ, honey, tangerine zest and 2 tbsp orange blossom water.
I just made a batch of these yesterday! Thank you so much for the great recipe because I have been looking for something like this for a while. The grocery store brands scare me…I mean have you looked at the ingredients list? I can barely pronouce any of the words on it!! Anyways, I made mine with pecans, almonds, dried mixed berries, wheat germ, and organic peanut butter. I actually only put in 1/4 cup of sugar and my bars held together pretty well. They are slightly crumbly, but only where I was cutting them into squares.
There are some seriously great suggestions in the comments section and I cannot wait to make another batch. I have a feeling making these granola bars is going to be a Sunday tradition in my house! Thanks, Deb. You freakin’ rock. Seriously.
I’m about to bake my 3rd batch of these – thank you SO much, Deb. They’re the answer to all my breakfast and on-the-train-snack prayers. I’ve learned a couple things so far:
– Spreading the mixture in a 9×13″ pan (w/out doubling the recipe) makes a thinner bar that seems to cook through better.
– Coconut adds a squeaky-between-the-teeth texture and more chew – neither bad nor good, but different.
– Using the full amount of butter is what contributes to the bar’s richer, more decadent taste and crunch: I halved the butter and replaced the other half with applesauce, making a healthier bar but one I wasn’t (for better and worse) quite so addicted to.
– a sprinkle of sea salt or fleur du sel on top makes for a truly irresistible, sweet/savory combination.
Yes thanks again for another great recipe – I agree cooling did the trick for minimally crumbly bars. I used bittersweet choc chips and dried cherries and a bit less than 1/2 c sugar – they were perfect. For the parchment issues, my 2 cents is to invest the $20 for sheets sold by king arthur flour, no rolling, reusably tough, and easy storage in their own box.
These are sooooo good! Next time I will cut the sugar (i used 1/2 cup of brown sugar) as I find them pretty sweet, but overall super yummy!
Wow. So I just made a double batch. Holy cow. So. Good. I had a lot of pecans on hand, so toasted them and tossed them in with some granola that no one was eating because it had peanuts in it. So. Good. Might eat the whole pan today. Oops.
Thank you for sharing the goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I made these with my 6 year old son today. Fun bonding time and yummy snack. We even took some to share at a play date. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration!
I haven’t had a granola bar for ages, being more of a chocolate-if-any-sweets guy but this post made me crave granola bars pretty badly.
I wanted to make them ever since, but didn’t find the time so far.
Inspired by today’s post, I finally made them, using sweetened condensed milk as sole “sticky” ingredient.
the result is very good indeed and I can only hope that the batch will last for a few days (I have eaten two so far and they’ve been out of the oven for only about an hour)
Thanks a lot for that great recipe!
these are fantastic!! I’ve made them several times now. I live in Lima, Peru and have added some local ingredients — soy oats, a mix of nuts, chopped dried apricots, kiwicha (puffed amaranth), maca flour, a few different kinds of cinnamon, all brown sugar instead of white, and maple syrup instead of honey. these would be amazing with molasses (“miel de chancaca”) instead of honey or maple syrup.
I am a huge fan of your recipes and thank you for giving me so much inspiration!
Made these last weekend – they’re wonderful. I did use whole wheat flour instead of grinding the oats because the food processor was in the dishwasher. They definitely have a more cookie-like texture as a result, but they’re still fantastic. I took a clean-out-the-pantry approach to my add-ins: the remains of three bags of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts), chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and some rice crispies. Used a bit of hazelnut oil in place of some of the butter to amplify the nutty flavor. They’re really, really good. Thanks!
These are in the oven right now! I used dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and wheat germ in mine. I can’t wait to taste them!
I made some yesterday for the Ladies Bible Study that meets in my home. As I am the “Flax Lady” of Walsh County, North Dakota…I added Flax. I substituted ground flax for the wheat flour. They were wonderful…the word used last night was “Delicious”! I like them a little too much, as evidenced by my frequent stops by the pan today. I will definitely make them again. I am going to share this recipe with my friends and Golden Valley Flax customers!!! It was the best granola bar that I have ever eaten.
I made these this morning- subbed almond extract for the vanilla. Used sunflower seed butter, raisins, cranberries, prunes, almonds and dates. They are fantastic! Very moist (almost too much) but letting them sit out may help.
Fantastic! Made them last week and they are wonderful! Going to make them again this weekend trying different combinations of nuts and fruits! What a great idea!
So freakin’ good! I don’t usually say things like that, but seriously, so freakin’ good! I used 1/2 c. of each – golden raisins, died cranberries, walnuts, honey roasted peanuts and Theo’s organic roasted cocoa nibs. HIGHLY recommend trying the nibs. Gives it a yummy not sweet chocolateyish crunch. I also opted to add in the nut butter. Natural (jarred) peanut. Deb, you never disappoint. Smitten Kitchen is my go to site for recipes. Thanks!
Could you put in one of those little “Back to Top” buttons? Here I am, down at comment #422 and must scroll all the way back up in order to print the recipe. Sorry to be a whiner, but that’s a lot of scrolling.
Just pulled my second batch (oh, wait – third) out of the oven. This one is sunflower seeds, wheat germ, driedcherries, and dried bananas, with almond butter. The last batch was pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, almond butter, and chocolate chips, since I’m less of a fruit girl and Reeses is more my style. Those were amazing. Hubby and kids get this batch, which smells delightful.
pardon me if i missed this in the above comments, but how long will these stay fresh if wrapped individually? love your blog!!!
These are in the oven now! I’ve been dying to try them for about a week now but I was traveling. I ended up using dried sweet cherries, toasted walnuts, toasted coconut, minimal sugar but nutella instead of peanut butter. If they taste a fraction as good as they smell I’ll be happy. Thank you so much for this recipe!
I just made these today. Oh.My.God.
The pieces all around the edges crumbled, but the middle pieces were perfect. Next time I might try making them in a mini-muffin pan like someone suggested.
These are a hit in my house, too! Although I didn’t have the time to read every post thoroughly, I had a variation on the crumbly problem…especially with the middle bars, they were crumbly on top but a little gooey on the bottom (the entire pan was bubbling and brown when I pulled it out, so I don’t think they were underbaked). I promise to try pulsing the old-fashioned oats I have first and press them down with all my might next time, but I also wonder if it’s just that the maple syrup I used is thinner and sunk to the bottom before it could “gel.” Any thoughts?
WOW! These are insanely delicious. I used dried strawberries, coconut, and peanut butter chips, flax seed meal, and used honey for my syrup. I blended everything in the food processor. Essentially, I made all the oats into oat flour. The pre-baked mixture was good enough to eat with a spoon (was so hard not to gobble it like that), and after baking the bars are deliciously chewy, had zero crumbling problems, and all the ingredients are so well-blended together it creates one delicious flavor. I will be making these a million times for sure!!!
Made these for a backpacking weekend, and they were a hit. So, so easy and versatile. I used whatever I had on hand, which included wheat germ, sesame seeds, walnuts (toasted), almonds (toasted), and sultanas. I agree with another commenter that the amount of peanut butter listed here is the perfect amount for a subtle boost of flavour without an overbearing presence. Used the last of my maple syrup along with 2 tbs of dark corn syrup for the sticky. Used whole oats that were labeled “fine”. Not sure what “quick rolled oats” are. Whatever I used worked perfectly. These will be a standard backpacking treat now. Thanks, Deb.
Also, regarding crumbling: I was in a hurry and could not wait for mine to cool completely. I tried to cut carefully with a bread knife, and yes, there were lots of crumbles, but there were also good-sized bars. I wasn’t fussed. When I really care, I’ll make sure to refrigerate them before cutting.
Finally made my FIRST smitten kitchen recipe – been eyeing this one for weeks. It was soooo good, I have to eat 2 in a sitting. Forgot the water but it came out ok, but I think I will ease up on the corn starch and butter next time round. Loved the peanut butter!
WOW! These are fantastic and you can go many ways with these! I am in love and wish I had this recipe years ago! I was looking for a granola bar that wasn’t neccessarily low-fat (because these aren’t!) but that I knew what the indredients were inside them. I added flaxseed, golden raisins, dried bing cherries, walnuts and almonds and mini dark chips to these, oh and used natural p.b and the maple syrup- these were superb! I doubled the batch too, which I recommend since they refridgerate so well. Next time, the only difference is I will use 1/4 cup of sugar instead of a 1/2- they certainly don’t need much extra!
Bonus, my 18mo. old son loves them and are so easy to pack along on errands!
Thanks for the great recipe!
I made these last night. Used only two tablespoons of butter – replaced the rest with olive oil. Used natural almond butter. And went with the honey option. As for the dry mix, I duplicated your wheat germ, pecans, walnuts, coconut and dried cherries. Used the minimum amount of sugar. Baked for about 30 minutes – edges were browned. left them on the counter in the pyrex dish to cool. then put them in the fridge overnight. they were easy to cut in the morning with my serrated bread knife. no crumbling at all. everyone at work loved them. can’t wait to make more and try out new combinations. thanks for the great post!
Thanks so much for this great recipe! It is wonderful and I love all the options. I made a batch for my friends, as they are running a marathon this weekend. The scent coming from the oven was heavenly! And I did not have many crumbs.
I used – peanut butter. honey for the sweetener, 1/2 cup sugar (will reduce next time) and the following:
1 cup coconut, 1 cup of sesame seeds, 1/3 cup flax seed, 1/3 cup dates, 1/3 cup cranberries dried
Yum — this recipe I will make again and again. I just bought a bag of mixed dried fruit tonight to try a new combination for the next go around. Thanks!
PS I love finding the link to the pics of your son each post – who is as others say quite the cutie.
These are amazing. I left out the nut butter, used honey as the other liquid sweetener, and used 1 cup of salted peanuts, 1 cup of dried cranberries, 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/4 cup of sesame seeds, and about 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips. I then cut the pan into about 20 bars. I will definitely be making these again and again. They did crumble a bit when I cut them but not excessively. However, I put a lot of pressure on them when I was patting them down before baking so this could be why.
Okay, these are a real problem. I made these a few days ago and the pan (of 16 bars cut) are already gone. And I am pretty sure I polished of 1/2 of them myself!
Yikes, these are just too good and I can’t wait to make more and experiment with different options! I already gave some to share with a friend of mine when we were having a park playdate because she just had her second child and was starving while nursing. She loved them, too!
These will be spreading like wildfire!
One recommendation: I find them to be best kept in freezer.
Katie — I’ve taken to making a double batch in a 9×13 pan. It uses a metric ton of ingredients, but it covered me for a quick breakfast (weekdays) and occasional afternoon snack (weekends) for a month.
I don’t know if anyone is still reading after this outpouring of creativity, but I just made my second batch and they turned out lovely both times. I’m allergic to gluten and haven’t had a granola bar in years! The first batch’s mix was pepitas, flax seed, cashews, apricots, and crystallized ginger. They got me through a spring break ski trip with a dire shortage of gluten-free snacks on the mountain. Today’s batch is even more awesome: 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup almonds, 1 cup figs, 1/2 cup dark chocolate mini chunks, and 1 1/2 tsp crushed fennel seed in place of the cinnamon. (Also almond butter and slightly less sugar, 6 tbsp.)
I made these last night and they are So Good. Mine had dried cherries, chocolate chips, walnuts, honey, cardamom instead of cinnamon, the full amount of sugar, and were going to have almond butter but I forgot. They also had an extra two tablespoons of butter because I was lazy and didn’t want to cut the end off the stick ;-) Next time I think I’ll reduce the sugar a bit, and maybe try doing half-and-half butter and olive oil. They were *very* rich, which is wonderful but a bit much first thing in the morning. I let them sit overnight to cool (after testing a corner that broke off) and then didn’t have any trouble slicing them. I had about a 2inx2in square for breakfast this morning and in a few days I’m sure I’ll be hungry again and want another one ;-)
Also, I now love parchment paper! These just peeled right off and left the parchment paper almost untouched even though I forgot to grease it…which in my case might have been due to the extra butter, but you’d get almost that much additional fat with peanut butter, which I didn’t add.
i doubled this for a hiking trip this weekend, my eyes kept getting wider and wider every time i added something – my largest mixing bowl was filled to the brim! so much stuff!!
i used dried cherries and chopped mango, chopped pecans, and sunflower seeds and pepitas. after reading all the crumbling issues i put in a little extra squeeze, probably about a tablespoon, of more corn syrup – this may have made the difference as far as not crumbling. it seemed a little greasy almost in the pan but they turned out amazing, and i had no crumbling issues at all.
i baked for 40 minutes and let sit out on the counter overnight and cut them this morning, no crumbling at all. not super healthy, but will be a great hiking quick energy snack for us! (and i hoarded a few for myself in my freezer.)
Mmm I doubled mine as well and bake in a 9×13. For my mixture I blended oats to make the oat flour, but also added about a third of the normal oat amount (made more oat flour) so that my mixture was about 1/2 oat flour 1/2 oats. I added 1 cup pecans, 1 cup hazelnuts, 1 cup dried apricots, 1/2 dried dates, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1/2 flax seeds, and 1 cup coconut flakes. then the peanut butter, and maple syrup, honey, vanilla, a splash of molasses, and apple juice in place of the water for my liquids! the batter itself was so soo good. I hate to force myself to put them in the oven. A+
I too, am 37 weeks pregnant, and trying to stock up on some yummies for when baby comes. I made these with brown sugar and honey, peanut butter, used half butter & half oil, and for my dry mix, coconut, chopped peanuts, ground flax seed, and chocolate chips. SO SO good! The batter was amazing. I too had a hard time putting it in the oven!
Thanks so much for the recipe! I’m going to try & freeze lots of flavors :)
Made these for the 2nd time today, and they are even better than my first attempt a few weeks ago!
Here are my changes:
I used old fashioned oats but pulverized them in a food processor a bit, per your instructions. I also obliterated a separate 1/3 cup into oat flour. For my sweeteners, I used 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Didn’t use any cinnamon, but did use the recommended salt and butter. My nut butter was a generic brand creamy peanut butter. For my fruit, I used 2 cups of a tropical dried mix that contained mango, pineapple, coconut, and apricot. I also added 1 cup of sea-salt roasted cashews, pieces and halves. I waited until the pan cooled, then chilled them in the fridge for a couple hours before cutting them into 12 pieces! I mean 11. Or maybe 10. Hope there’s some left for the week :)
I almost forgot-I think it is the extra time chilling in the fridge BEFORE cutting them, that prevent the extreme crumbling.
I have made this recipe three times already, and the last two times were double-batches!! I have been seeking out a granola bar recipe for years that almost always resulted in crumbly, teeth-busting crunchy things, NOT AT ALL like this recipe. Thanks! They are a little crumbly, though seeing as they turned out amazingly other than that, I will not complain! For my bars, I’ve been using 1 c. chopped peanuts, 3/4 c. coconut (better toasted… it stands out so much more), a generous 1/2 c. small raisins, 1/4 c. chopped roasted cashews, and 1/3 c. yogurt chips. I use peanut butter, the smaller amount of brown sugar, and I decreased the honey to 2 tbsp. which is probably why I’m getting a crumblier bar. I’m just not a huge fan of super sweet things. Again, I am smitten.
This was just what I needed to make healthy snacks for my almost-2yr-old. In Australia flaxseed is called linseed & we don’t use corn syrup, so my recipe used oatbran, almond butter, honey & 2tbsp maple syrup (I had just that much to use up). My mixed fruit & nuts ended up being wheatgerm, shredded coconut, linseed, sunflower seeds, puffed rice, walnuts, pecans, apricots & craisins (the last 4 processed to smaller pieces). Husband is the guinea pig this morning!
The BOMB! Thanks a million times. What I used:
apricots, cranberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, ground flax, oats, cinnamon, FRESH GROUND NUTMEG!, peanut butter, honey, corn syrup and APRICOT PRESERVES! I cut back on most of the corn syrup and used 2 big globs of apricot preserves. So yum. And I think fresh nutmeg should go in everything. Especially this. (I get excited and needed a few capital letters)
I can’t wait to make this. It’s great having so many different ingredient suggestions in the comments!
we think about these bars all of the time. hauntingly good! to the person who was shocked that she ate almost half of the pan in a few days, i’d say that seems very moderate to me. i think i ate half the pan during one friendly work meeting. our winning combination was to replace all of the butter with cashew butter and for fruits to use chopped apricots & golden raisins. i used agave in place of the honey/corn syrup.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been reading your blog for about 2 years now & finally decided to try your recipes. Made these this morning w/my 2 1/2 year old & they came out so scrumptious. Can’t wait to try different variations!
Made these again today with two seven-year-olds giving advice on ingredients. Two different batches – one with fruit and one without fruit, both turned out great. Here are my combos: walnuts, flaxseed meal, pistachios, almonds, chocolate chips, brown sugar, peanut butter, honey and Lyle’s golden syrup (had some on hand), and all the butter. The other batch was the same, but with dried bing cherries and raisins added. Next time I’ll probably go back to the 2 tbs. corn syrup instead of Lyle’s golden syrup, I like the way they set up better. Into the freezer they go!
I just made these and WOW. So good. Even as I was making them I couldn’t wrap my head around how they were going to turn out in terms of flavor or texture. Very soft with a nice sweetness to set off the richness of the nuts. My husband and I had to eat one before they were packed up for on-the-go breakfasts this week. I opted for the peanut butter and the honey. I chose to add a heaping cup of walnuts, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, and 1/4 cup flax seed meal. Yum!
I forgot to post pics! Here’s my helper & the finished product:
Love these, but think they will hold together better with the addition of 2 egg whites. I used 1 egg white on my second pass through and they held better, but I’m trying 2 whites next time. Definitely use the parchment paper!
Great! I made these with all honey, and my mix ins were dried “mountain grapes”, cranberries, coconut, flax seed, and walnuts. Very delicious.
DON’T ADD SUGAR if you’re using peanut butter. It’s just a suggestion but thought I’d bold it in case you were skimming the comments. My first batch was good but very sweet. I made another batch without the additional sugar and it’s still very sweet but better. I love these!
Am on my fourth double batch since you posted this recipe. They are awesome! I’ve been freezing in individually wrapped bars and just grab one out of the freezer on my way out the door in the morning. Perfect breakfast! My favorite is cherry-coconut-walnut, but apricot-coconut-cashew runs a close second. I just bought a big Costco-sized bag of dried mango with blueberries and strawberries and chopped that up for this current batch. Delish.
They come out of the oven in 10 minutes. The kitchen smells like heaven! Thankyou so much for this wonderful recipe.
DELICIOUS!! I used dried apricots and raisins, walnuts, pecans, crunchy almond butter, coconut….I am having trouble not eating the whole pan myself!
My first comment! I made these delicious little bars with honey instead of the corn syrup, the lower amount of sugar, peanut butter for the butter, chocolate chips, wheat germ, dried cranberries, and mixed nuts. I baked them at the proper temp and for the minimum amount of time, and they BURNED. A lot. I was doing things around the house and not paying as much attention as I should have… Lesson learned! I’m still eating them anyway, just going around the charred edges, and they are DELISH. I wonder if maybe the honey made a difference in the lower cooking time?
Okay, I know I just gushed about these yesterday, but Oh. My. God. They are so good! Why didn’t I know about these when I was nursing babies around the clock!
I made these yesterday after my daughter was bemoaning the fact that we had somehow missed out on buying Girl Scout cookies, and there would be no Samoas for her.
I used a cup of toasted coconut, a cup of rice krispies and a cup of dark chocolate chips for the chunky ingredients. For the sweetener, I used 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup homemade caramel sauce, 4 Tbsp butter, 2 Tbsp veg oil, 2 Tbsp corn syrup. They’re delicious, but next time, I might add more coconut and use just caramel sauce instead of the additional butter and corn syrup (there’s plenty of butter in the caramel sauce). That said, I had no problems with it holding together, and I did not let it cool that long. Maybe 10 mins in the pan and another 20-30 on the rack. I didn’t use parchment, but greased a pyrex baking dish, and the bars fell right out of the pan after the 10 mins of cooling.
hey deb! i love these, ive probably made 2 batches a week since you posted and i always change them to fit what i already have and they are always sooooo good! but i have a question, would it be an ok idea to substitute the butter for applesauce to cut down on the fat? or would that be gross because i read it makes things more cakey.
Hi! I love reading your blog and trying out your recipes! I made the Chewy, Thick Granola Bars last night, yum! My only thing was that they seemed to come out really crumbly and not so much chewy or stuck together! Help!
Esther — Were they completely cold? Did you try chilling them in the fridge?
I love these! I make them for snacks for my family around the house, I make them for friends who need a pick-me-up, I even made them for a church breakfast. Everyone raves about them. Thanks!
Also, I skip the corn syrup and sugar and just stick them together with molasses. Works great.
These were so good, thick and chewy just how I like my granola bars!! I omit all the sugar, used all honey replaced the corn syrup with more honey used the peanut butter and subbed the melted butter with 3Tbs of mango purée and 2Tbs of oil. Everything else I followed exactly had absolutly no problem with crumbling!
My mix: dried mango, almonds, cashews, coconut, sesame seeds
I will defintely add more fruit next time
I made these last night- finally- and they are magical. I omitted the butter because dairy and I have parted ways [why cheese? WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?] and used a splash of olive oil instead, which seemed to work out fine. I had zero crumbling problems, and intend to make seven thousand versions over the next few months for multiple breakfasts. Thanks for sharing, Deb!
Another great recipe! I made these for a snowshoeing trip. I tried to come up with my own combo, but couldn’t resist trying your combo first. I will have a hard time buying pre-made granola bars again for sure.
Concerning the crumbliness of these granola bars (and using corn syrup): I’ve made this recipe twice; the first time, I used all maple syrup for the liquid sweetener (no corn syrup), and they didn’t hold together. The second time, I used 1/4 c brown rice syrup and 2 Tb honey, and they held together perfectly. It seems to me that the firmness of the bars is directly tied to the thick-and-stickiness of the liquid sweetener. Maple syrup lacks the gooeyness that corn syrup has. Brown rice syrup is more comparable to corn syrup and made an excellent bar. Plus, the dark sweetness melds well with the flavor of the bar and doesn’t impart any noticeable or unexpected flavor.
Concerning corn syrup: No local stores near me carry organic corn syrup, but they do have organic brown rice syrup. For anyone concerned about using corn syrup generally, or non-organic corn syrup more specifically, brown rice syrup seems like a great substitute.
I will be making a gluten-free version of these. My son would ***love***a homemade granola bar! I think I’ll try them with almond butter, cherries and chocolate. Yum! Thank you for the brown rice syrup tip, Ryan. I can’t bring myself to cook with corn syrup.
I have finally had success with non-crumbling granola bars – and yes, I followed the recommendations!
I have been using old fashioned rolled oats – I put them in the blender, and broke them down a little.
I chopped the nuts finer.
I used waxed paper to very firmly push the mixture into the pan.
I made these last night and they are fabulous. Per Deb’s instructions, I let them cool completely and them had them in the refrigerator overnight. By morning, they sliced beautifully! I used 1/2 cup of white sugar, though, and still found them to be very sweet – I will scale it back even further next time.
After a couple of years of looking for a tasty, gluten free granola bar that doesn’t crumble, I have made these several times with delicious results. I use all honey (no sugar or corn syrup) and canola oil instead of butter for a healthier fat. Fantastic with raisins/peanuts/chocolate chips for a treat and craisins/slivered almonds for breakfast. These have been a hit everywhere I’ve taken them. THANK YOU.
Have made these almost weekly over the past couple months. I love them. My friends love them (and have been known to steal mine). Thanks!!
Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’ve been wanting to make granola for awhile.
I made these with two substitutions – I used agave nectar instead of the honey and corn syrup and I used turbinado sugar instead of granulated sugar. I stuck with the 1/2 cup of sugar to make them less sweet. The consistency turned out fantastic – solid bars that stick together pretty well! But for some reason my bars turned out really sweet. I wonder if the turbinado sugar should not be used 1:1 with granulated sugar? I will have to try these again with less than 1/2 cup of sugar or less agave nectar.
I’m clearly very late to the party, but I finally made these last night and, well, I think I’m in love. I replaced the honey with agave nectar and the corn syrup with honey, and accidentally omitted the sugar, but they had just the right amount of sweetness. (Isn’t agave nectar supposed to be sweeter than honey, etc? Maybe that’s why the sugar wasn’t missed…) I also swapped the butter for canola oil. For my mix-ins, I used flaxseed meal, dried apricots, mangoes, cranberries, golden raisins and almonds. SO DELICIOUS. Now I’m just thinking about what to make next time. Maybe a smore’s version with marshmallows, chocolate chips and ground graham crackers? Thanks for the inspiration!
Made my first batch last night with mixed results. Flavor was out of this world! Used peanut butter (Smuckers Natural w/ Honey), 1/2 cup each raisins and dried cranberries, 1 cup dried cherries, and 1 cup chopped pecans. I had the crumbling issues that others have mentioned, but will just chill overnight before cutting next time.
My Achilles heel was waxed paper. I was out of parchment and subbed waxed paper. It worked fine for lifting the bars out of the baking dish… but it wouldn’t peel away from the bottom of the bars. Totally frustrating. But I’m so in love with the flavors and texture that I’m going to go buy parchment and try again.
If you have a silicone baking pan, it’s quite brilliant for these kinds of applications. No messing with foil or parchment liners, just pop the bars right out. I don’t use the silicone pan often (its floppy nature can be really annoying), but I wouldn’t use anything else for granola bars and bar cookies.
These just went into the oven for my upcoming road trip. I put in almonds, cashews, raisins, & apricots. I also didn’t use corn syrup for 2 reasons:
1. it is in so many products out there I hate the idea of adding it to any homemade foods.
2. I don’t have any.
I used 1/4 honey + 2 tbsp maple syrup.
OMG..look at all these comments! I can see why, too; this is a great granola bar recipe. I made these tonight for my daughter’s trip (she works for Whole Foods, in the bakery, no less!) and they were easy and actually fun to put together. I doubled the batch and used 1 stick of butter and 1/4 cup of light olive oil..and I browned the butter in the oil! I used honey plus a big spoonful of your Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce to equal the amount of liquid sweetner needed. I used the lesser amount of sugar, half brown and half white. I used chopped apricots, cranberries, golden raisins, dates, poppy seed, crushed sliced almonds and finely chopped pecans. They are just barely sweet, which is perfect for these bars with all the sticky fruit. I didn’t have any problems with them crumbling either; maybe the sticky dates helped(?). I’m anxious to hear my daughters opinion. I’m sure she’ll be as impressed as I am. Thanks, Deb..great find!
For my fruit/nut mixture I used: 1 cup dried apricots, 1 cup dried plums, 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, 1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut, and 1/2 cup milled flaxseed. I pulsed it all in the food processor since dried apricots and plums are much larger than chopped hazelnuts. I skipped the peanut butter entirely. I tasted the mixture before pressing it all into the pan — delicious!
Question: Could I also lay out the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake it as granola?
I’ve not made granola before so I don’t know if the wet to dry proportions would be entirely different. My quick taste test made me think it would be delicious over my morning yogurt (ahem, or even vanilla ice cream!).
Our house is so pleased to hear the good news over at Smitten Kitchen! Congratulations to all of you on the cookbook.
JC — First, thank you. Second, personally, I prefer my loose granolas less oily and rich. Those ingredients work well to keep a granola bar chewy, but don’t make for a good granola crunch. I have a granola recipe in the archives; another favorite of mine is from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop ice cream book.
I just made these for a friend of mine who is a new mom. Luckily I made a double batch because I couldn’t help myself!! They are delicious.
I used honey instead of corn syrup, the lower amount of sugar, almond butter, 1 cup almonds, 1 cup pecans, 1/2 cup pepitas, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1 cup apricots, 1 cup cranberries and 1/2 cup of raisins (I had doubled the recipe, hence 5 1/2 cups of fruit and nuts).
This is definitely the best granola bar recipe I’ve tried so far, and I’m always trying different ones to find the perfect post-surfing snack. Thank you!
Oh Deb, these are lovely.I’ve made them 3 times now. The first batch was so perfect I think it lasted about 2 days in our 2 person household. The only thing I did differently was to sub some local wildflower honey and dark molasass for half the amount of corn syrup. The second batch I went a little wild/creative and added lightly salted peanuts, sunflower seeds, golden raisins, cranberries and crispy cereal. The second batch did nothing even close to gluing, even after the slumber party in the fridge. They crumbled badly and it seemed the sugars/butter congealed in puddles on the bottom. It was surreal. Epic Granola FAIL. I just made the 3rd batch, a combination second batch ingredients and first batches exacting directions. Still kind of crumbly. *sigh* I’m going to go gently saw them apart now witha bread knife. My bench knife seems to crush them.
Delicious! I just baked up a vegan version of these — replaced the melted butter with oil and used a combination of maple syrup and light agave nectar in place of the corn syrup/honey. I included a total of about 2.5 cups of shredded unsweetened coconut, almonds (pulsed in the food processor to break them up a bit), chopped dried dates, cranberries, and cherries, plus some wheat germ and flax seeds, for good measure! SO GOOD! I also included the nut butter (a mix of peanut and almond), and added a tsp of almond extract in with the vanilla extract, to enhance that flavor. I baked them in a 9 x 13 pan like in the original King Arthur version of the recipe, since I was baking these to feed a famished roller derby team and didn’t want to double the batch in order to have enough! No crumbling problems at all, but I could see how they might be more difficult to cut if they were twice as thick.
I’ve made this recipe a handful of times now–each with a different fruit and nut combination–and they’re always delicious. I also owe you a huge thank you: my husband now calls these his “Maple Go Fast Bars” (I obviously make them with maple syrup) because every time I send him to a sailing regatta with them he does well. Your (delicious) creation is fueling his Olympic sailing campaign–and making me look like a good, supportive wife! Thank you!
Just made these and they’re AMAZING. I was too impatient to wait till they were cool, so so good =).
Wow, in my opinion, these are WAY too sweet, even with just the minimum amount of sugar, and without the corn syrup. Yikes! Otherwise delicious though, I must say. I’ve had this recipe opened in a tab on my browser since February (I know, I know), and finally got around to making them. Love your blog!
These bars are incredible- I was looking for a granola bar recipe to make for my kids’ lunchboxes, but I fear they will be my downfall!!! For my 3 cups of add-ins I used sunflower seeds, chocolate chips and rice crispies. And I used whole wheat flour instead of oat flower. I used the minimum amount of sugar, but I’ll add less next time since the choc chips are sweet. Can’t wait to try my next batch- with banana chips and dates!
I substituted Almond Flour for Oat Flour which worked nicely. Also tried coarse chocolate peanut butter – but Im not sure that worked as well, and I may have over baked them as I got a hint of a burnt taste on some of them. Some were very good and I will try again.
used: dried sour cherries (not sweet), date pieces, sunflour seeds & chopped cashews (both salted), wheat germ.
p.s.. I think *really* pressing them hard in to the pan makes a big difference in reducing crumbling.. and you get a nice chewy, dense bar.
love lOVE these. Make them for my husband every sunday afternoon and he eats them all week at work.
I use just 1/3 c. sugar, and the 1/4 c. agave (instead of honey or maple syrup).
I also reduced the butter to just 3 tbsp.
My mix is peanuts, peanut butter chips, bittersweet choco chips, and craisins or dried cherries. Also add sunflower seeds.
I just made these for my kids. At their request, I used a combo of dried pineapple, mango, raisins, pepitas, walnuts, mini dark chocolate chips and sesame seeds. I left out the white sugar by mistake, and used regular rather than quick rolled oats because that’s what we had. I used 1/2 cup peanut butter and a few tablespoons of oil, but no butter. They are a huge hit. I can’t imagine how sweet they’d have been with the extra sugar, because these are plenty sweet with just the honey, corn syrup and dried fruit.
Yum. Yum yum yum yum yum. I made a double batch of these for a camping trip, and… well, we’re having trouble getting them to last UNTIL the trip. My add-ins were almonds, sunflower seeds, and raisins, but what really made them spectacular for me was the peanut butter. Need I say it again? Yum.
I thought this recipe was fantastic! The only thing I changed was a substitute for corn syrup. I try not to eat that much of it. But this recipe tasted great! Thank you for sharing. How long do these bars last if you just keep them in a baggie? Anybody know? Thanks again!
Here is something that worked for the crumbling issue: I noticed a technique for granola bars in Kim Boyce’s book, Good to the Grain. It requires gently toasting the oats first in the melted butter until they are a few shades darker. I added this mixture to the oat flour, sugar, and other unweighed dry ingredients. She also makes the sticky syrup on top of the stove. So I tried that too (wipe out the pot first), gently whisking the corn syrup, maple syrup, pb, H2O and vanilla together over low heat just until it got somewhat dissolved and mixed. Also, I kept the weighed add-ins more toward 10 to 12 oz. I was worried about burning in the oven, but just watched it closely and only needed to take it out 5 min sooner than when I did it the other way. It was beautifully caramelized, chewy, and didn’t crumble one teeny bit. The flavor of the toasted oats and toasted nuts was to die for. I will do it this way from now on!!
Wow. These are goooooood!! I’ve been perusing this blog for a little while now, and this is the first recipe I’ve made. Couldn’t resist them. I read many (okay, all?) of the comments trying to figure out which changes worked, which didn’t, and how to avoid the “crumble”. Mine came out chewy, bar-like, and deee-lish.
slightly less than 1/2 c sugar
wheat germ instead of oat flour
fruit/nut combo: 1 c of dried blueberries, w some dried cherries mixed in, and 1 c of chopped almonds
canola oil instead of butter
agave instead of honey
2 T of corn syrup, and the 1 T of water
peanut butter (crunchy TJ’s natural)
handful of sweetened coconut
I think the KEY for no crumble is Deb’s instruction to REally push the mix down into your pan, using the saran wrap. As someone said, put some muscle into it! It needs to compress well. Cooled them fully in pan. Already cut one out to eat. Plan to chill them, then cut the rest for a clean cut. Next time I’d try less sugar.
Thank you Deb for such a beautiful, fun blog. And to all the previous posters!
I think the nut butter is key to the cut-ability of these bars. I tried it without a few times and had trouble. Now I’m a convert.
Also, after you process the oats to make oat flour, you can throw the dried fruit into the food processor and they get chopped up small and don’t stick together. This removes the most labor-intensive part of assembly! Did someone mention this already? I did not read the 500 comments that preceded mine!
I made these for a rock climbing trip my father took with my two uncles. they loved them and parceled them out daily. i have never had so many requests for baked goods as christmas presents since they arrived home from that trip :) thanks for the wonderful recipe!
I just wanted to be #501 here.
These bars sound delicious and I’ll give them a try.
Trying this today for my son’s after-school activity. Don’t have corn syrup so I might substitute that with honey or maple syrup. Fun fun fun! :)
We also don’t have oat flour so what I did was sieve the instant oats that we have and use the powdery stuff that falls through the sieve as substitute.
We made these sunday with all honey, currants, dried apricots and pecans. So Yummy. There’s no going back to storebought.
I made these the other day and they are fabulous – I used mini choc chips, almonds, papitas, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, honey, oat bran instead of oat flour. Delish – I think I may prefer less thick bars – so next time I might do 1 1/2 of the recipe and use a 13 x 9 pan.
Thanks for this yummy recipe, I am just about to make them, wish me luck! :)
I made these and really enjoyed them. I never knew granola bars could taste like this!
I wrote about them here: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/thick-chewy-cranberry-granola-bars/
I just made this tonight, and I loved the flexible recipe! I used raisins, slivered almonds, dried cherries and some cacao nibs. Next time, I think I’ll add some puffed rice cereal to reduce the calorie content a little. I did a rough estimate of the calories, which turned out to be around 230 calories for 1/16 of the recipe–I little high for granola bars. Even using 1/2 cup of sugar, I thought they were too sweet for my liking.
But they turned out with a really great consistency despite using only honey, and I loved the peanut butter! I’ll definitely make these again with a few tweaks. Thanks!
I used a combo of dried bananas, blueberries, and mango, and they were AWESOME! About to make another batch now, along with your pumpkin butter… I think these will be a bit more autumnal (trying to push along the seasons from my kitchen…) Thank you for the awesome recipe!
Wow! These are soooo much better than anything I have purchased at the supermarket. Also, I have been reading about people having trouble with crumbling bars. I cut mine while they were still warm but not hot (I couldn’t wait). They cut easily and they stayed together perfectly! Just a suggestion.
I googled and found this recipe today – just tried it – my family LOVES it. Thank you!!!
Great recipe! However, I substituted with Agave Syrup, Xylitol (in place of sugar) and a little bit of honey in place fo corn syrup. Oh yes and a little bit of almond butter instead of peanut butter. Less calories and much healthier!
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve made these bars since May..more times than I have digits on the end of my extremities! Everyone loves them and can’t seem to get enough. I’ve experimented wtih really loading them with the sticky dried fruit and am going to cut them smaller and coat them with chocolate this holiday season and pass them off as a fruitcake type cookie/candy. Amazing recipe and adaptable.
I’ve made these many times and I absolutely love them. I want to share my adaptation. My version doesn’t exactly stick together in bar form too well. This could have something to do with the brown rice crisp cereal though. I think corn syrup in the original recipe is essential for stick-togetherness (probably the nut butter too but I left that out). But you asked if anyone tried all 1 type of sugar and a healthier oil, so I wanted to let you know I tried it successfully:
1 2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3.5 ounces chopped walnuts
3.5 ounces chopped Medjool dates
3 ounce brown rice crisp cereal
6 tablespoons safflower margarine (Saffola)
6 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water
I’m so thrilled to have found your website! I was looking for a tasty looking and nutritious granola recipe, and here I am! This looks delicious, and I love that it’s chewy. I have 2 little ones that I hope will enjoy these granola bars, too. I look forward to exploring more!
Followed the recipe as written and chilled them in the fridge for a couple of hours before cutting. Came out perfectly! Family was very happy tonight. I was nervous about the “crumbly” comments but following the recipe, packing them very tightly before cooking and chilling them worked like a charm…Only mess up was my mistake (wax paper is not the same as parchment! oops.)
Great recipe! I will fill mine with chocolate chips, coconut, flax seed meal and hemp seeds. Yum! Thanks for the inspiration. I will post the results on my blog :)
My house smells so very delicious! I melted the butter, honey, almond butter and about 2 Tbs. molasses in a small pan, whirred around the quick oats in my Cuisinart then used the same bowl to chop up 10 oz. of primarily almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and 5 oz. of sweetened shredded coconut, cranberries and raisins (thank heavens for a kitchen scale!). Because the coconut was sweetened, I omitted the extra sweetener — except for that molasses. My husband likes big ol’ crumbles of granola so I patted all of this down into a parchment-lined 9×13 to crumble post-baking. Because these were thinner, I baked them for about 28-30 minutes to a nice, dark-golden brown. Holy cow, but this stuff is like CRACK!
I have made these many times with different variations. My favorite is Nutella (for the nut butter), walnuts, raisans, almonds and mini m&ms. Cut the sugar down to 2 T. I also used ground fiber one cerael for the flour. Most excellent !
This recipe begs to be played around with! I used dried bing cherries, slivered almonds, flax and sesame seeds. I also substituted all the sugar with brown rice syrup, used the almond butter, did a wheat germ/flaxseed meal mix, and grated a granny smith apple (for a double batch) as well…they came out amazing, just amazing. the uniquely subtle, sweet, nutty, tart combination was to die for! And the moisture from the grated apple really gave them a cake/cookie-like texture. Can’t wait to try more combinations, thanks Deb!
I made these last night to take to a cottage this weekend. But having them in the office fridge proved too much a temptation for me, I’ve been cutting slivers off all day! I made one batch but divided it in two bowls before adding different nut butters, nuts, fruits, etc. My sweeteners were the 3/4 cup amount of sugar, 1/4 cup of honey, and then 2 tbsp agave nectar. One half batch was almond butter, almonds, and chopped dried apricots. The other was half peanut butter, half Nutella, with walnuts, chocolate chips and unsweetened flaked coconut. I can’t decide which I like better, looks like I’ll have to taste-test some more. Oh, and I cooked them both together in the same 8×8 pan. Just in separate parchment “slings”, no crumbling issues yet. Though I found the batch using Nutella (or rather, Green & Black’s organic chocolate hazelnut spread) was much runnier in the batter phase and was less cooked/browned at the end result.
Oh man, I whipped these up the other day – they really are amazing! Definitely a new go-to recipe in our house. I did all honey for the liquid sweetener and added the peanut butter – the consistency was perfect and I had no trouble cutting them into bars. I added 2/3 c. sugar because I am lazy and my 1/3 c. measure was already in use for other measurements in the recipe. I figured this was a good starting point too, since it’s about in the middle of the suggested 1/2 and 3/4 c. They are a TAD too sweet for my taste though, so I may cut back to the 1/2 c. next time.
Thank you so much for another great recipe!
Exactly how many granola bars does this recipe make?
I cut mine into 16 2×2 hearty squares. You can cut them smaller, if you wish.
I just made a delicious batch of these. I am nursing and my son is allergic to corn so I opted for no corn syrup. I used 1/4 cup honey and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. For the fruit/ nut mix I used peanuts, chocolate chips, coconut flakes and dried blueberries. So yummy! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Just made the Chewy Granola bars….
I used dried cherries and raisins but soaked them for about 15 minutes in a combo of juice, brandy and vanilla extract (about a tablespoon each) to plump them a little before I baked them. I also added wheat germ, dry roasted sunflower seeds, pecans, sesame seeds, and stevia sweetened whey protein to my 2-3 cups of nuts and seeds. I went with the “less is more” for the sugar and did add the Peanut Butter. I wanted to use coconut but forgot to add it.
I also used a combo of corn syrup, honey, and maple syrup instead of just the one…. YUM YUM!!! I made a double recipe and plan to freeze some.
Just had to say kudos for the recipe!!! These are great! I have been getting the Quaker breakfast bars for quick breakfasts for my husband and kids but felt that it was a lot of sugar and crabs and not enough protein. These are a great replacement. I will make this again.
OH! OH! These are amazing! The husband is SO happy to have a treat in his lunch that is actually filling and healthy too! And the kids, well they ate them up like cake. My double batch didn’t stand a chance of making it to the freezer! Quadruple batch next time? It might have to be!
I used 1 cup dried cranberries, 1 cup chopped pecans, and 1 cup white chocolate chips.
I was out of corn syrup so I used 1/8 cup + 1 TBS honey and 1/8 cup + 1 TBS maple syrup and they turned out great.
I was wondering is it possible to use regular flour or wheat flour or wheat germ instead of oat flour? Does it make a difference?
I make these once a week. My family loves them.
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c Trader Joe’s creamy peanut butter
2 tbs canola oil
organic strawberry and blueberry fruit bars
craisin cherry & blueberry
few shakes of Trader Joe’s semi sweet choc chips
1/2 c or more of local honey
I put the dried fruit in the food processor to chop it up so my six year old doesn’t realize how much fruit is in the bars. The small amount of chocolate makes him think he’s getting a great treat, plus it masks the raisin taste I’ve never been crazy about. I press it down using plastic wrap before baking, & they slice just fine. I have taken them to work & was offered money to make more! Thank you so much for this wonderful idea!
My son is allergic to tree nuts & it is always hard to find healthy granola bars that are safe for him to eat. These are so easy & fun to make.
These are sooo yummy. I made them sans corn syrup (sub’d honey) and they turned out great! I used coconut, almonds pecans, dried cranberries and dates, ground flaxseed and a bit of wheat germ, and some spaghetti squash seed… and cinnamon and I put a bit extra vanilla, as well as just a touch of yogurt.
Do not put the whole amount of extra dry sugar though… it makes it VERY sweet. I put less than the amount indicated and it is still very very sweet.
Delicious!! As soon as I saw these I started dreaming up yummy combinations to try. As I type I am eating my first batch and they are to die for. I truly can’t imagine buying another granola bar after this. I omitted the corn syrup and used 1/4 cup honey and 2 Tbsp maple syrup. My fillings were 1 cup blueberry craisins, 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Thinking about trying my thick homemade applesauce instead of peanut butter next time. Or mashed bananas. The possibilities are endless:)
I tried Whole Foods granola bars for the first time last week and they were so good that I just had to find a recipe. So, thanks for this!!!
FYI, here are the ingredients that Whole Foods list on their package: Rolled oats, Brown Rice syrup, Honey, Canola Oil, Wheat Germ, Sunflower seeds, Sesame seeds,Pumpkin seeds, coconut, Cashews, Brown Sugar, Almonds, Cranberries, raisins, Dried cherries, Dried apricots, vanilla extract.
So, I guess you can use canola oil in place of butter and brown sugar/honey/Brown rice syrup for sweetening.
I made these yesterday and had one this morning. The skies opened, and angelic voices were singing. True story.
I used the full 3/4 c sugar, but that was because I didn’t have any corn syrup, so I also added a little extra water. I threw in dried cranberries, dried blueberries, unsweetened shredded coconut, pepitas, and walnuts. The peanut butter I used was peanut only, so I added in a little extra salt.
I offered one to my husband this morning, and he wasn’t in the mood to try one. I’ve warned him that the offer might not last!
YUM! I’ve made two batches of these so far, both of them excellent. I actually omitted all of the sugar and corn syrup, and added about a tablespoon and a half of molasses, and a couple extra tablespoons of honey to make up for the lack of corn syrup. They turned out perfectly sweet, tasting much more like breakfast than the store bought ones do, which are basically candy to me. In one batch I omitted the butter as well, and threw in a mashed banana instead, which worked great. I didn’t even miss the butter. They held together well enough, and it helps to refrigerate them thoroughly before cutting, and also to pack the uncooked granola in the pan REALLY tightly. Here are my add-ins:
1st batch: walnuts, hazelnuts, dried figs (YUM), dried unsweetened coconut, raisins, almond butter
2nd batch: walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, wheat germ, flaxseed meal, dried unsweetened coconut, raisins, almond butter (plus banana instead of butter)
My only problem is that my roommates eat them so fast they disappear!
I just made these this morning and loved them. They are delicious! I used dried cherries, coconut shreds, and pumpkin seeds and used a little bit of maple syrup in place of the corn syrup. I am always looking for homemade snacks I can grab on the go or bring to work at the hospital, where again I’m always on the go, and these fit the bill. I’m wishing I’d packed two tonight!
Deb! What an awesome recipe! I did experiment. I wanted to make a multigrain bar for my kids for energy during their sports seasons. I used oats, hard white wheat berries, flax seeds, millet and oat bran – and toasted them all! Then I added almonds, banana chips, chopped dates and chopped almonds that I toasted also. I used organic evaporated cane juice, and peanut butter and honey. I used no corn syrup they are awesome!! Ty ty ty.
So I haven’t made these yet, but I’m really looking forward to it. I also have a question for anyone who has made them. I want to make some to bring on a hiking trip to Costa Rica and I’m curious how long they will last at room temp in very humid conditions (think tropical rain forest) if wrapped well. Five days? Also what’s the best suggestion for wrapping them well. Home made granola bars seem like a much more delicious idea than store bought for the trip, but I know the store bought ones will last.
Just wanted to comment that I made these for a second time, using this combination:
I reduced the sugar slighty (maybe to 1/3 cup) and reduced the butter to 3-4 TBSP. These came out fabulous!
Sarah, I think I would try the press and seal wrap? It should seal out the humidity i would hope!!
So, I’m due with baby number 2 in about 3 weeks and I’ve been searching for yummy, make ahead foods for me (and for my husband and son too). These are going be great for grab-and-go breakfasts AND midnight feeding snacks :)
Best granola bars I’ve made. Rich flavors — love the combo of the peanut butter, maple syrup, and honey. I’ve been adding dried blueberries, almonds, and puffed rice cereal.
I just found this recipe. I’ve been looking for a good base recipe. My daughter is allergic to tree nuts and finding granola bars she can have is impossible. So this way I can experiment with different dried fruits, chocolate, etc. Thanks.
I made these a few weeks ago with buckwheat flour and rice syrup, and they were great! I even put in the peanut butter. Unfortunately, I went through all the trouble only to find out I’m allergic to rice syrup, and had to give them away to a very happy friend.
Tonight I went by memory and altered it a bit because of this, resulting in:
1 1/3 cup spelt flakes
1/3 cup oat flakes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oat flour
2 cups Sienna mix
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup coconut
3 tbsp flax seeds
1/2 cup wild flower honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp butter
3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Basically, what I had in the house. And because I used a 9″ pan, I didn’t cook it for long ~24 minutes.
So far the raw stuff tasted great! Can’t wait for the finished product!
So many comments! I didn’t read through them all…I will just add that I used PB and about 1/3 cup raw tehina, and used date honey (silan) as the wet sweetener. they are baking up now, and I can’t wait!
I love this recipe. Mine are a little crumbly but I omitted the Corn syrup which I”m sure is why. My husband LOVES them too. Which I was concerned with all the good that was in them he would despise them but he wants me to make them fo his breakfast. Here is what I used.
Oats and Oat flour as suggested.
Peanut butter chips
dried blueberry cherry cranberry mix
Gluten Free Pretzels
They turned out delicious but next time I am gonna add some maple syrup to try to get them to stick together better.
A customer of my husband gave him a lovely dried fruit tray for the holidays and it was perfect for this recipe. If you have not yet tried some dried dates, mango, kiwi and pineapple in addition to the cranberry, consider adding some to your next batch. I reduced the sugar to 1/3 c since some dried fruits are really sweet to begin with and it came out great. Thanks for the wonderful recipe base!
These bars were a huge success. I adapted by using all whole wheat flour. Used only 1 cup fruit (cranberries and apricots) and 1 cup nuts (slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, and a handful of whole almonds). I let the bars sit overnight and was really glad that I had carefully lined this dish with parchment paper. They lifted right out! I wrapped bars individually with waxed paper and sealed each with a cute sticker. After a long hike with 3 girlfriends, I presented the bars as a end-of-the-trail reward. They loved them! And, I had to promise to supply more on the next hike. I’m looking forward to trying other variations and seeing how much I can reduce the sugar content. Thanks to all who have shared their ideas.
Loved this recipe! I eat granola bars all the time as a quick snack, but hate all the processing, and the extra cash I spend in buying a mediocre product. I had all but the flour in my cupboard!
I thought these wouldn’t turn out because it so happened that the oats I had were steel cut… oops! But they still were super yummy!
I used peanut flour instead of oat flour. I used all honey, and 1/2c brown sugar. My mix-ins were: 1/2c chocolate chips, 1/2c cranberries, 1/2c sliced almonds, 1/4c sunflower kernals, 1/4c honey nut cheerios. The peanut butter seemed to overwhelm the bar, so I might try 1/4c next time.
made these and they taste amazing!!! a tad dry and crumbly…Any suggestions ..
Made these today and I am perplexed: Deb, how do you not weigh 500 pounds? I may not even tell my family members about these bars; they’re good enough to want to keep to myself. I added dried apricots and cherries, chopped pecans and almonds, coconut flakes and almond butter, and they are delicious! I used 2/3 cup sugar, but I might reduce that next time, since the corn syrup and honey made it plenty sweet. They stuck together just fine.
I was pregnant when I made these and might just have been 500 pounds! :)
HOLY SCHMOLEY! I just discovered your site. The title – Smitten Kitchen – sounds familiar, but I know I’ve never been here. I just found this post when I was doing a search for “homemade granola bars.” Usually I just go straight to Allrecipes, but man – I’m SO glad I found your site! This is awesome! I love the step-by-step and incredible pictures! Deb, you’re amazing! I’m excited to try this. I’m quite a goof in the kitchen…. don’t really know what I’m doing, Amelia-Bedillia style…. but I’m hoping if I follow this and the awesome comments (all 5 zillion of them) we’ll have success!
Made these last night with currants, dried cranberries, and flaxseed, and they were absolutely incredible! Seriously. I could wax poetic about them all day. I’ve been trying to find a homemade version of the store bought granola bars my husband takes to work every day, and have failed to find something that stays moist and chewy, until now! How long do they last without being refrigerated or frozen? I’m wondering if we can leave them out for a week or two, or if it’d be better to stick them in the fridge.
Amazing! I used roasted salted peanuts, dried cherries, and just a few chunks of bittersweet chocolate, plus natural peanut butter. I love that I could use totally different ingredients next time and get a completely new treat!
I make these with coconut, pecans, mini chocolate chips, and wheat germ in my mix. My kids love them.
Just pulled two batches out of the oven! One with maple syrup, almonds, crystalized ginger, and currants; the other with honey, peanut butter, raisins, and pepitas. Taking them to a food swap tomorrow and I think they will KILL!
I made these last night with 1/2 cup brown sugar instead of white, all honey, only about 1/4 cup of peanut butter, and coconut oil instead of the butter. My three cups of add-ins included mini chocolate chips, dried apricots, golden raisins, dates, just a 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, pepitas, and a little unsweetened flaked coconut. I also added some flax seed meal and wheat germ (I didn’t measure, just sprinkled some in). I might have gone a little overboard with the chocolate chips, if that’s even possible. Delicious! I will definitely be making these again-maybe with sunflower seed butter instead of peanut next time :) Very versatile.
the first time i made these with craisins, mini choc chips, rice crispies, extra oatmeal, mostly honey, and peanut butter. they were great but the PB overpowered the other flavors–i wanted the cranberry/choc flavor to be bigger. last night i made them the same but without the PB, all brown sugar, some chopped dried apples, and a few tablespoons of maple syrup in the 1/4 C of honey (which i couldn’t taste). it seemed really dry so i added a few more T of corn syrup. i also wanted them to be thinner, so i used a 9×13″ pan. the flavor was great, but i over-baked the thinner size and the metal pan browned the bottoms too much so they are more crunchy/crumbly. for the third time i’m thinking of some other suggestions: banana for the butter, molasses, whole wheat flour, grated apple, and maybe some almond butter made in the processor so they hold together better. they are great to play around with!
I’ve been waiting to try these for weeks, and today i finally got the chance! The granola tasted awesome (the wee bit that I sneaked before putting it in the oven). I used maple syrup instead of corn syrup, and coconut oil instead of butter. They smelled wonderful in the oven. They look fabulous coming out of the oven. And they CRUMBLED beautifully after I tried to cut them. I did let it cool before trying to cut it, but do you think added moisture would help? On the plus side, I now have a nice container of granola to spoon on top of my yogurt instead of shelling out bucks for the Bear Naked kind :)
Another question, I didn’t use almond butter…could that be the problem? Should I add in more moisture considering that I didn’t use any almond butter?
They’re in the oven now!
I replaced the butter with Earth Balance Buttery Spread, used brown rice syrup instead of light syrup, replaced 1/3 C of the oats with an organic fiber cereal and I used fresh apples with almonds, raisins, and almond butter. I added some nutmeg, too :)
I can’t wait until they’re done!
Fabulous….just added chocolate chips….for my 16 year old granddaughter….
did not change a thing except for the sugar….used brown….and made my own oat floor…..did not have parchment paper….when she came home from our family business she did not even wait for them to cool before she dug in …
Can’t wait to make them with fruit…..
I have a child with special needs and he loves the corazanos cereal bars a lot. The ingrediants in the bar says plum puree , banana puree , brown rice flour etc. How will your recipe compare to the texture of this bar? I would love to hv the bar to be similar to the corazanos … they are thicker and chewy and has the right amount of sweetness…
Or better yet, can you please tell me if I add the banana puree or apple sauce or some wet ingrediant like that, what is it that I need to alter in your recipe so the consistency does not get messed up?
your help is deeply appreciated
I made these last weekend. I used the smaller amount of sugar, but used half brown sugar instead of all granulated. Even with the smaller amount, the bars were still just a tad too sweet for me, so I’ll use less next time. I also used dried cranberries, dried apricots, chunky natural peanut butter, flax seed meal (instead of oat flour, which I didn’t have on hand), sunflower seeds, almonds, and walnuts. I used all honey instead of corn syrup or other liquid sweetener (though I’m curious about how agave would hold up in this recipe). I didn’t have a baking dish, so I formed the mixture into a square and then smashed it down with parchment paper and baked it on cookie sheet–turned out just fine. Overall, LOVED these bars. Will definitely be making them again soon.
Did anyone ever do a calorie count on this recipe? I’m looking for a home made alternative to kashi bars, which are about 135-150.
Great recipe! Used 1/3 cup of sugar and my add ins were chocolate chips, craisins and sliced almonds. I used all oil instead of butter (despite my love for it). Next time I’ll try brown sugar to make them chewier.
I was just sharing this recipe with a blogger friend today and had to come back to say that I was so smitten with these that I shared them on my own blog and made sure to link your post! Thanks again for this great recipe:)
I flipping love these granola bars and have made them twice now with some 70%dark chocolate thrown in for good measure and some extra salt sprinkled on top. I know the recipe varies, but does anyone have a general idea of the nutritional value? I did use 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/4cup agave for sweetener and I did use the entire 6 Tblsp. Butter. Anyhow, it doesn’t have to be exact but I am curious. I think there also might be a website that can calculate this but I cannot, for the life of me, remember what it is. Happy Eating!
I am sure I already commented once on these, but I am still raving about how great they are. They freeze so well! We always keep some in the freezer for quick mornings or snacks for between classes. Everyone who has tried them loves them!
I made a variation of your granola bars about a month ago with my girlfriend and had no problem with crumbliness, but I baked them in the evening and didn’t cut into them until the next morning and just left them out on the counter to cool. So, today I made them again using your liquid ingredients & measurements, except I subbed melted coconut oil for the melted butter and natural almond butter. I sure hope they turn out the same… even if they don’t, I love them! As for the dry ingredients, I used: 1c mix of walnuts & pecans, 3/4 c unsweetened, shredded coconut, 1/4 c TJs ground flax w dried blueberries, 1/4 c wheat germ, 1/2 c dried cherries & 1/4 c dried cranberries. I can’t wait to have some tomorrow morning! My hubby LOVED the last batch!
Thank you for all your awesome recipes, Deb!! I am generally just a lurker, but these were so good and so fun to make variations of, so I just had to comment on this one. :)
Love, love, love this recipe!!! I substituted agave for the corn syrup and used a splenda/brown sugar blend for the sugar and they turned out amazing! I think I am going to try a batch with even less sugar.
I have been experimenting with different granola bar recipes, and this is the best by far. So Yummy! Thanks!
I just wanted to make a note for anyone struggling with the crumbles/wanting a dairy-free version, I subbed apple sauce for the butter, which kept them moist and deterred any crumbling issues! They turned out lovely – thanks for the great recipe Deb!
574 granola bar lovin’ folks can’t be wrong, and they ain’t! This recipe was simply amazing. A wonderful jumping-off point for experimentation (I for one simply can’t wait to get my hands on some puffed rice!).
I gotta admit, I got scared there for a second. What possessed me to go against all that I’ve been taught and add WET into DRY, I’ll never know. But my immediate thought was that the mix is WAY too dry and there’s no way that teeny amount of butter and honey is going to soak up ALL OF THAT. But I kept at it and hoo boy, it turned out great. Phew!
I baked mine for close to 40 minutes but I probably should’ve stopped at 30- I am not so much an edge lover, so the crispy bits get no love from me (but, of course, I still eat them :).
Also, I made this recipe pretty much as it is except without the nut butter (plus 1 1/2 TBSP ground flax). Not sure what a difference that will make with the emulsifying but I will say that I tried to be all gung-ho and cut my bars after they’d cooled on the rack, but immediately began to crumble. I refrigerated them for about 15 minutes and bam! They were so easy to cut up, and held together perfectly at room temp after that.
Long story short: proportions are perfect as is; bake for 40 min if you really love crunchy bits; nut butter not necessary; pre-slicing refrigeration VERY necessary.
Thanks so much for this amazing recipe (and all the others that I never comment on, but love just as much!)
Hi! First of all, I am new to your site and since discovering it a few weeks ago have got absolutely nothing accomplished EXCEPT for making these bars twice! Both times were a hit, but the first batch was a bit too sweet.
1. dried cherries & blueberries, coconut, mini chocolate chips, almonds and peanut butter.
2. pumpkin, sunflower & flax seeds, dried cranberries & golden raisins, coconut, mini chocolate chips, almonds and almond butter.
I can’t wait to make everything else!
i agree with everyone.. awesome bars.
i melted natural peanut butter with some coconut oil & butter & honey to mix it all together and forgot to add the water. also added more than 3 cups of goodies.. almonds, coconut, puffed rice, sesame seeds, pepitas, raisins, cranberries & carob chips. i let them cool on the counter and they crumbled, so i put them in the fridge for a while and they cut wonderfully. i was able to keep them on the counter later too, so they were soft… mmmm delicious. im making them again in a minute : )
Just wanted to add to everyone else’s raves! I took the suggestion of using 1/2 tsp almond extract in place of the 1 tsp of vanilla, and put in 1/2 c dried cherries, 1/2 c sliced almonds, 1 c Rice Krispies, and 1/4 c each dark chocolate chips and unsalted sunflower seeds. They were a tad on the sweet side for me (maybe because I used agave nectar in place of the 2 Tbsp corn syrup, and put in chocolate), but otherwise the texture and taste were ah-mazing. The almond flavor really came through and was perfect with the cherries and chocolate. These are definitely a keeper. Thanks Deb!
These look absolutely fabulous and I have a batch in the oven right now. Can’t wait to taste them. They smell heavenly!
To Linda: I haven’t added up the calories, but I just entered the recipe into Weight Watchers, and it came up as 8 Points Plus per bar (16 bars per recipe). Points don’t translate exactly, but generally about 35 to 40 calories per point, so you are looking at 300 calories per bar. So not exactly low cal!
I used 1 cup dried cherries, 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ, 1/2 cup pecans, 1/2 cup coconut flakes, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds and 1/3 cup natural peanut butter. Also 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup honey, and the 2 Tbs. of light corn syrup. You might be able to bring down the calorie count by playing with the add ins.
This is my first time posting, but I’ve been lurking for a while. Love the site!
Thanks soo much for posting this fabulous recipe!
I have just wow’d my food technology teachers and i have a killer GCSE final product! wonderfully interchangeable – i made 6 different varieties all at once! thanks again
Would substituting oat flour for regular all purpose unbleached flour work okay for this recipe? Or do you advise against it?
Ignore my comment. I don’t know why I don’t read before I post sometimes!
First of all, these bars were delicious, and I got raves from my boyfriends’ co-workers about them, so thanks for yet another amazing recipe!
One personal comment, though, is that I found them to taste/feel more like an oatmeal cookie bar than a chewy granola bar. I know that one issue is the amount of sweetness (I used 2/3 cup sugar worrying that they wouldn’t be sweet enough; next time I may opt to completely skip the granulated sugar), but I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on the texture? I was thinking maybe a little bit less of the oat flour, or maybe slightly less butter…any thoughts?
Yum! I used to love granola but somehow started to dislike oats. Well, this is a keeper. I was looking for something to eat with plain yogurt so the crumb texture works for me. I omitted the corn syrup and water. Used old fashioned oats (slightly pulsed in processor), 4 tbsp of butter, pumpkin seeds/walnut, 2 tbsp of peanut butter, and maple syrup. It is still too sweet from 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup sugar, so I will dial down the sugar next time. It’s in my “make often” category
After searching through dozens of granola bar recipes I came across your blog and thought your recipe sounded the best. I made these tonight and they are delicious! I followed the recipe exactly using honey instead of corn syrup. I added slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts, mini chocolate chips, dried cherries and raisins. I baked for 30 minutes but the center seemed too soft so baked for the additional 10 minutes. Even after cooling for 3 hours I still got a bit of sticky crumbling especially in the bars from the center. The edge bars held together nicely.
I don’t think the crumbling issue is the fault of the recipe, I believe the key is to, as you suggest Deb, press the mixture into the pan quite firmly and cool completely, maybe even overnight. Since honey draws moisture from the air I wonder if our humid conditions here in Houston could be the culprit for the crumbling. I have put the bars in the fridge to see how they come out in the morning. Will let you know. Thanks for this fantastic recipe!
Oh my goodness. Sunday afternoon and, these are baking now. Can’t wait to report back. As always, thank you Deb!
These are amazing. I have tried several different versions (depends on what’s in my cupboard) Dried figs and walnuts yum!!! Each time I make them they are gone the next day! Sometimes they don’t even make it beyond the afterschool snack. I have used cranberries, blueberries, figs, walnuts, pecans, dates, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds….you name it, and they get devoured every time. Thanks for a true crowd pleaser!!!!
I just made 2 batches of these. One for myself and one as an Easter present for my health conscious parents. I used whole wheat flour in mine instead of oat flour. I also used a chunky organic, low sodium, peanut butter which is really good in the bars. For the add ins I used raisins, slivered almonds, and sunflower kernels. The next time I make them I plan to add flax seed but I didn’t have any on hand and I wanted to used Agave in place of the maple syrup but my bottle is running low so that was not an option. I was thinking about trying to make these with pumpkin which may be a good replacement for the peanute butter. Regardles.. I agree that these are simply the BEST granola bars I have ever tasted!
Anyone having trouble with crumbling, just make sure whatever wet ingredients you’re using is evenly distributed amongst the dry ingredients. I tried it a second, and third time and it came out beautifully! Thanks Deb!
I used molasses instead of honey…I omitted the vanilla like you said. I used 1stick butter and NO corn syrup. I also used regular flour instead of the oat flour(it’s what I had in the house)…I used walnuts and raisin as my fruit…
This was DELICIOUS!!! and it’s going to be a staple here instead of BUYING granola… I could taste the molasses AND the peanut butter BUT neither was overpowering…JUST A HINT OF flavor…Oh I also added 1/4 teaspoon cloves and doubled your cinnamon…
Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe!
I will be going back and reading each and every entry to see what everyone else did…
You are right, this is the BEST I have ever tasted too……..
Oh my. These are FANTASTIC!! I made a batch earlier in the week for my public defense (PhD) and they were a HUGE hit!! The only problem was there were only scraps left ;) That batch had 1 c pecans, 1 c dried cherries, and 1 c mixed dried fruit (apples, apricots, peaches, nectarines…) from farmers’ market; yesterday I made a batch (so I could enjoy them :) ) using leftover dried fruit (similar proportions) and swapping honey for the maple syrup. Delish! Thanks for providing a recipe that took the spotlight away from me during a very stressful time :) (several people asked for the recipe – I was happy to field questions I could easily answer) CANNOT wait for your cookbook!! Oh, and I actually let them chill in the pan in the fridge overnight – no problems with crumbling.
I made this two days ago and they were FABULOUS. I used my homemade muesli mix instead of the rolled oats (essentially an oven-toasted 5 grain hot cereal mixture with whatever dried fruits and nuts I have around), and used molasses instead of light corn syrup because that’s what I had. This recipe is a KEEPER.
Just made these last night. Had a hankering for some decent granola bars so had a look on line yesterday afternoon and after looking through a few I found this recipe (thought: what could be better than NYC tried and tested) then got the ingredients I didn’t already have on the way home.
I opted for 1 2/3 cups rolled oats (not quick ones but didn’t cause any problems when baking), 3/4 cup granulated sugar (sweet tooth), 1/3 cup of medium oatmeal (after being given a quick whizz in the processor), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 cups of: almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, dried cranberries and sultanas (the almonds, pecans and apricots also got a quick whizz in the processor to chop them up), 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter, 6 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and the tablespoon of water.
Baked as instructed for half an hour and followed the advice to cool in the tin then transfer to the fridge for half an hour before cutting. This worked great: no crumbling at all and now they’re back at room temperature they’re a perfect combination of crunchy and chewey. I would say that the sweetness is just right (for me), and the little bit of salt and peanut butter really helps balance out the flavour.
I can say, having just had one, that these are ideal for elevenses at work. An excellent recipe that I’ll be making again; my thanks for refining an already good recipe into something special!
Richard, Dunoon, Scotland
on my first batch, I used corn syrup and in the second batch I used honey. the batch with corn syrup seemed to hold together better than the batch with honey. next time i think i’ll try a half/half combo. also: almond, coconut, flax seeds and dark chocolate chunks are divine in this recipe. thanks for the awesome recipe!
I just made these and they were wonderful! I made my own sticky bun sugar and omitted the extra 1/3 C sugar. I used a combo of honey & corn syrup and forgot to add the water, but it seemed fine without it. My mix-ins were 1/4 C oat bran, 1 1/2 C raisins and 1/2 C Craisins. Next time, I think I’ll use about half the amount of dried fruits…just too fruity for me. But, they were wonderful anyway!!
I let them cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then pulled the parchment sling out and let them cool the rest of the way. They didn’t crumble too much when I cut them, but I might try chilling them next time.
All in all, a yummy addition to my recipe box!
I am gonna found a way to substite the butter and honey, as I am beginning a crazy workout regime tomorrow, that allows no butter or sugar. Maybe I would try agave nectar. Apart from that I am looking forward to making these. Thanks
I used brown rice syrup as an alternative to the syrups listed and sucanat for the 1/2 cup sugar. Left out the peanut butter. For my dry ingredients my mix included…
3/4 cup brown rice crispies
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecans
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips…yea, not really healthy, but they are good!
There is just an endless combination of ways you can go with this…great recipe. Thanks for sharing it!
I made these last night and they are ab.so.lutely delicious. I mixed equal parts of dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and a coconut/pineapple/apricot/raisin/nut mix from the grocery store. I pressed them REALLY firmly into the pan, and threw them into the fridge to chill all night after they cooled – then cut this morning. Mine held together really, really well.
These are my 12-year-old’s favorite lunchbox food. One of her friends said, “Why doesn’t your mother just buy granola bars?” and another friend, who was there on granola-bar-baking day, said, “Just taste it.” So thumbs up from the sixth grade.
They’re particularly delicious if you use dried cherries and salted almonds.
I didn’t have butter so I subbed it out with maple syrup.
OOPS! I ment to say I subbed maple syrup for honey.
I just made these last week and they are AMAZING! They are perfect. I didn’t have corn syrup so I used 2 TBSP honey instead. Perfect. and the tip about refridgerating them was super helpful! Thanks!!
oh, and I made two bathes. one for ‘breakfast’ and one for ‘dessert’. the breakfast ones had dried cranberries, almonds and wheat germ. The dessert ones had chocolate chips, almonds, and coconut flakes. YUM!
I recently developed an obsession with baking blogs and came across smitten kitchen. I found this recipe and had to try it out. I just took them out of the oven and they smell and look amazing. I’m sure they will taste the same.
I used gluten free oats and I mixed in dried apricots, dried cherries, pecans, walnuts and wheat germ. I also used sunflower seed butter as well (which if you haven’t tried yet, I suggest you head over to Trader Joe’s and pick some up ASAP). I’m not sure that I pressed them down firmly enough after reading other posts (oops) but, I’m not so concerned as I am sure the taste will make up for any crumbliness that may occur :) Cannot wait to try them!
Thanks for an awesome snack/breakfast recipe!!
Love this recipe and make it all the time. Now more for others as thank you gifts. Terrific because it’s easy to personalize.
FYI, am blogging a link to the recipe June 19. Tweeted the baking all last week and got asked for the recipe so blogging seemed to make sense even though my blog is about budget and policy issues in DC!
Thanks for this and your other recipes. I use and share them all the time :-)
These are awesome!!! THANK YOU so much for sharing it!!!
saw your recipe noted at salt & chocolate.
we loved these granola bars.
i have adapted & simplified the recipe in this post.
It would take up too much space to list all the adaptions I made for this new batch. Instead, I’ll just say that my pantry largely consists of food-filled glass jars (beans, grains, nuts, dried fruits, other things), and I emptied about six or seven jars in the process of pulling together ingredients. I’m confident they’ll taste great, and the increased visibility in the cupboard is a success all on its own.
My 4yo son announced that we should make granola bars for a little day trip we’re taking tomorrow. I gave him and his 2yo sister each a measuring cup, put every kind of nut and dried fruit in the house in front of them, and let them pick what they wanted to add to the bars. It was great fun for them. Thanks for the recipe and for helping me kill a half hour.
I have been making these for almost a year now, and I love how rich (yet healthy) they are.
For any chocolate lovers out there, I’d suggesting swapping cocoa powder for the oat flour. Usually I use Peanut Butter and & Co’s Dark Chocolate peanut butter when I make them this way.
Sometimes I also use half coconut oil, and half butter… yummy with coconut flakes, especially in my cocoa version.
These are not only the best granola bars I’ve ever made (okay, to be fair, they are the *only* ones I’ve ever made), but they are the best I’ve ever *eaten*. I detest crunchy granola bars. You know? The kind so hard that it feels like you are going to break your teeth when eating them? The kind found in nearly every supermarket across America? Are you absolutely positive this is not a recipe for a candy bar? Are you fooling us here? As for what I added: pecans, chopped almonds, chopped dried apricots, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and, the clincher, dark chocolate chips — and not even very many. I also used only brown rice syrup (found at WFM for around $5) in lieu of the suggested honey/maple syrup/corn syrup — meaning that I used 1/4 cup + 2tbsp of the stuff — and the bars had no trouble sticking together. I also did not find them overly sweet thanks. The combination of the chopped apricots with the dark chocolate was pretty unexpected and magical. I will be making these bars forever and ever.
Also (and I’ve only waded through half of the comments so far; will continue to search for this answer), regarding storage: I wrapped each one in plastic wrap and then stored in air-tight container. Would storage in air-tight alone shorten the shelf life that dramatically. All that plastic wrap just seems like evil overkill.
These really are the best granola bars I have ever had, and it just turned out that I had all the ingredients and could make them this morning. Really, they are chewy and have the richness and nuttiness from the butter and oats and aren’t too sweet. I’ll be making these again soon, though maybe not with cranberries as the younger ones aren’t all that fond of them. Though I don’t really want it to become a candy bar, I think I’ll use chocolate next time, which I’m sure they’ll eat.
I keep making these bars so that I never run out!
I used 1/2c sugar, no salt, and peanut flour instead of oat flour.
My mix ins are usually 1/2-3/4c dried cranberries, 1/4c chocolate chips, 1/4c salted sunflower seeds, and 1/2c sliced almonds.