I've had a hankering for a proper granola bar recently and decided to try my hand at making them. Using some of the ingredients I had around I was able to whip these up very quickly.
This recipe is incredibly simple to make. Many of the steps are negotiable (like toasting the oats) which will reduce the prep time, but there is a cooling period at the end which takes approximately an hour (unless you get hungry like my coworker and dig in earlier).
This recipe is based loosely off of the Barefoot Contessa and Simple Organized Living. If you want "healthier" versions than you can add fruit or other nuts and less or no chocolate (although that would be blasphemous).
Step 1: What You Need
- 3 Cups of rolled oats
- 1/2 Cup of honey
- 1/2 Cup of peanut butter (I used Maple peanut butter, but that is because I'm a junky for the stuff)
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 Cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 Cup of chocolate chips or more if you please (I accidentally added more...)
- Other options include dried fruit, dried coconut, banana chips, or anything else your heart desires
- 9x13 pan
- Parchment paper
- Sauce pan
- Large mixing bowl
- A good mixing spoon
- Measuring devices
Step 2: Toast the Dry Ingredients (optional)
Because I love the taste of toasted almonds, I took the extra time to toast my dry ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the oats and sliced almonds (or any other dry items you've added) into a pan. Bake for approximately 8-11 minutes. Stir occasionally.
After you remove the tray from the oven, place the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. And lower the oven temperature to 300 F.
Step 3: Mix Ingredients Together
Heat a saucepan on the stove and add the peanut butter, honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon together. Bring the concoction to a boil.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together well until everything is coated evenly. At this point I added the chocolate chips which were immediately melted into the gooey mixture.
Step 4: Press Into Pan and Bake
Since I didn't want to dirty my pan, I first lined it with parchment paper. Then dump the mixture into the pan and press with the back of a spoon so that the layer is even. At this point I decided that more chocolate was necessary so I pressed a few chocolate chips into the top of the pan (I have an addiction).
Return to the oven (which is now at 300 F) for 15-30 minutes. It will smell fantastic. For crispier bars leave it in the oven for longer. I wanted mine to be crispier, so I let them bake for 27 minutes.
Step 5: Cool, Cut, and Consume!
Give the bars at least an hour to cool (longer is ideal, but who can wait that long?) before you cut them into pieces. After that, share with friends and enjoy!