Tag Archives: granola bars

Chewy Gooey Granola Bars

I got a speeding ticket this morning.  And broke a nail.  One might suppose that this was the start to a rough day.  But I’m sitting here munching on a fabulous granola bar, one that transcends most granola bars as we know them.  And drinking a perfect mocha.  And watching a few rays of sun breaking through the clouds as I get ready to head to yoga class.  And I’m thinking life is pretty darn good.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs and thought, “oh those look good, and healthy too!”  And then when I was making them I thought, “hey, what if I add a cup of mini chocolate chips to them?” So…maybe mine are a little less healthy.  But you could still do worse.  I made some changes in the original recipe, based mostly on what was in my cupboard and a few flights of fancy.  And was also reminded that you should always read the recipe all the way through before starting.  My mini chocolate chips seemed like an inspired idea until I realized I would be pouring hot liquid on the mixture.  Um. I didn’t really think that through.  My chips melted.  Which really turned out to be wonderful, since the chocolate permeated the bars rather than staying in chip form.  It was unanticipated but quite delicious, and a contributing factor in the “gooey” description to be sure.  The end result is a chewy, gooey, indulgent (and still somewhat healthy) treat.  So take a moment, slow down, and eat one.

Chewy Gooey Granola Bars

Chewy Gooey Granola Bars

Chewy Gooey Granola Bars
(adapted from Chewy Cherry Granola Bars by Canyoustayfordinner.com)

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup puffed rice (or Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs, which I happened to have)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Heat oven to 350˚.  Spread oats out on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.  In a large bowl, stir together oats, almonds, puffed grain or rice, cranberries, and chocolate chips.  Lower oven temp to 300˚.

In a small saucepan, combine butter, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt.  Bring to a boil, cook and stir one minute.  Remove from heat and pour over grain and fruit mixture.  Mix well until all ingredients are combined.  Line a 13 x 9 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Put mixture in the pan.  Wet fingers and press evenly and firmly into the pan.  Bake at 300˚ for 20-25 minutes.  Cool at least 2-3 hours (I know!  But seriously, you need to wait) before cutting into bars.  Cut into bars and store in airtight containers, using wax paper to separate the bars so they don’t stick together.  Makes 24 bars.  187 calories per bar.

A giant granola bar (or 24 smaller granola bars)

A giant granola bar (or 24 smaller granola bars)

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Peanut Butter Granola Bars

In my search for healthier snacks that aren’t rabbit food, I came across a simple recipe for granola bars.  This is what I would call a “guideline” recipe.  Take the basics here and add and subtract stuff you like.

I did two batches of these.  In one batch I was a little more generous with the peanut butter, and I added some extra peanuts and dried cranberries.  In the other batch I used chocolate peanut butter in place of the regular stuff, and added mini chocolate chips.  When I cut the bars I did have some crumbling, which resulted in some bars and some loose granola that was perfect for tossing on top of oatmeal or yogurt.  Adding a little oil to the recipe would probably help with the crumbling, but I was shooting for healthy here so I didn’t bother with it.

Homemade granola bars, two different ways.

Homemade granola bars, two different ways.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used natural PB with no sugar, I also did one batch with natural chocolate peanut butter – they make that!)
1/4 cup honey

Other mix-ins such as dried fruit, nuts or chocolate chips!

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Melt peanut butter in microwave or on the stove.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well, using your hands if necessary.  Add a little more honey or a drizzle of oil if it seems too dry.  Spray a pan with cooking spray and press mixture into the pan firmly.  Bake for 10-15 minutes (bake a little longer if you like them really crunchy).  Let cool a bit and cut into bars or crumble for loose granola.

Which one to eat first? Decisions, decisions...

Which one to eat first? Decisions, decisions…

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