How To Make Your Own Granola Bars

Posted by Vanessa in Cooking, March 29, 2010

Most weekdays I have no idea what to eat for breakfast.  I waver between something convenient, yet not-so-healthy and something not-so-convenient, but more on the healthy side.  I want to start my day off well, so maybe, just maybe, I’ll be more inclined to make better food choices the rest of the day.

Often I can’t make up my mind so I eat nothing til lunch.  Or I cave from sheer hunger around 10 am-ish  and have a brownie, if I have any in the house.  And, let’s be serious, I always do.

And the day is all downhill from there.

Then I met the homemade granola bar.  The one where I control everything that goes in, including the amount of sugar, the dried fruits and nuts I want, well, everything really.  And I’m in love.  This recipe is very flexible.  So many of the ingredients are optional and the possibilities of flavor combinations are utterly endless.  And I can bake them on a Sunday afternoon and have breakfast all ready to go for me for the rest of the week.  Sweet.

Here’s the lowdown on how to make a totally scrumptious, great for anyone with hectic mornings, breakfast.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including your choice of yummy mix-ins.

And mix together all the wet ingredients.

Dump the wet into the dry…

And stir it all up until it’s evenly coated.

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan, making sure to get it all pressed in there real good.  It might be helpful to use a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper to do this.

Bake ’em until they’re brown around the edges, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Cool, then cut into bars, and wrap individually in plastic wrap for a quick, filling breakfast on a busy morning.

Homemade Granola Bars

recipe from Smitten Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes.
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes.
  • Ready in 50 Minutes.
  • Makes: 9 Servings
  • 1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (Use more for a sweeter bar, less for less sweet. I use 1/2 cup for mine.)
  • 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 (optional, I leave this out. I have a love/hate relationship with cinnamon and we have been on the outs lately.)
  • 2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (Go with whatever combination sounds yummy to you. lately I have been using dried cherries and almonds.)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter (optional, I have always left this out.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup (I used honey in mine, but am thinking of trying maple syrup next.)
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly spray the parchment paper and the exposed pan with cooking spray.
  • Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you are 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.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are brown around the edges. They will still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but not to worry, they will set once completely cool.
  • Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack.
  • Once cool, use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares. (If bars seem crumbly, chill the pan 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 is best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

2 Responses to “How To Make Your Own Granola Bars”

  1. Lisa says:

    This looks so yummy. Do you think you can substitute the honey/maple syrup with agave nectar?

  2. vanessa says:

    I’m not sure, but I’m guessing it would work. I think the honey works as a binding agent and I bet agave nectar would do the job as well. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

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