Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thick, Chewy Granola Bars

These are the best granola bars in the world. Yes. I am making that broad of a claim. These are the best granola bars I have ever, ever eaten. And trust me- I've eaten my fair share of granola bars.

Let's get into it, shall we? These are soft yet firm. I'm not sure how, but they are. The edges bake up crisp. The possibilities of mix ins are endless. They are quite healthy and you can feel good about eating them. They are pretty. They are the best granola bars ever.

What I really love about this recipe is that you can keep the base ingredients the same but change out your sweetener, change your mix ins, and next thing you know you have a whole new recipe. I think the only thing that I didn't love about these is that I gave half of them to my dad- I wish I kept them all! We went through them so quickly that I am already thinking about the next batch I'm going to make.

Just a little tip- I took my nuts and put them in the food processor to pulse them down to little bits. I kept the fruit whole but I chopped up the nuts and I really like how the small pieces of nuts spread throughout. If you don't have a food processor you could always put them in a zipper bag and roll them with a rolling pin. It's worth the extra effort.

Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar, depending on how sweet you want them
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts- *List of suggestions below (I used 1 cup mixed craisins/raisins, and 1 cup cashews/almonds/pumpkin seeds -altogether, not each- pulsed small)
1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup (I used honey)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan with nonstick spray.

Over low heat melt the butter. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter/peanut butter mix, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry 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. 

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. Cut with a serrated knife.

*Suggestions: Dried cranberries, apricots, raisins, peanut butter chips, cashews, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, walnuts, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried apples or even chocolate chips. 


  1. How long do you suggest you keep these? Do you store them in a tin?

  2. I wrapped each individual bar in plastic wrap, then stored them all in an air tight container. To be honest, they were gone in under a week so I don't know how long they'd last haha!

  3. Thanks so much for your help! I am looking forward to trying these. I was thinking of doubling the batch to get them to last longer. I will just start with one batch and go from there.

  4. These look great! They would be perfect to send with my husband on his business trips!

  5. I made these bars and I am really excited about the way they turned out! The only problem is that half of the batch was really crumbly. It didn't hold its shape. Any help on making it stay together? I didn't have much corn syrup so I was wondering if that was the problem. I used a tad bit more honey to offset the corn syrup but wasn't sure if that helped or not?

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Lindsey, I'm not sure because mine didn't crumble at all. However, if you click on Smitten Kitchen's recipe (linked as my source) I think she addresses it in her post because I think a few people had the same issue as you. It might be worth checking out!

  8. Thank you so much for posting these! I am pregnant right now, and I have been craving a snack that (a) isn't total junk and (b) will kill the hunger demon. I made these last night and just had one for my morning snack. They totally fit the bill!

  9. It helped to read all the comments left at the SK website--I wanted to avoid crumbling too. Thank you so much for posting this recipe--I made it and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. I wish they were more WW friendly, but as I stated in my blog response--I know what I am putting in my body, and it is totally worth the points. Thank you!!!

  10. Oh my God, I made these today and they are amazing. I had to stop myself from eating the whole pan. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  11. i wonder how they would be replacing the butter with coconut oil... because I LOVE coconut oil ;)