Granola bars are great on the go food, but you always seem to want one when you don’t have any in the house. Enter “My Favorite Chewy Granola Bars’ homemade recipe. This recipe is extremely flexible as long as you keep the ratios right – try peanut butter instead of chocolate or other nuts / dried fruits. Even coconut oil would work in place of the butter.
Chewy Granola Bars
- 2.5 cups rolled oats (not instant)
- 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/8 cup packed light brown sugar (you can omit this too for a less sweet version)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see my homemade recipe here)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dried fruit, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- Toast oats and nuts: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.
- Add oats and almonds to a small baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Make bars: Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.
- Pour butter mixture in a bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add cranberries and a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (The chocolate chips will most likely melt a little. This is fine, they turn into glue and help to hold the bars together).
- Transfer oat mixture to lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan. (Press hard here, this way the bars will stay together once cooled and cut — press for about one minute to be extra safe).
- Scatter remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours. Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away parchment paper. Cut into 12 bars.
- Store bars in an airtight container for up to one week. For the softest bars, keep at room temperature. For slightly harder bars, store in the fridge. Enjoy!