Last spring, I was addicted to making homemade granola bars. I blogged about a couple recipes, but also had a some serious flops. Like the burnt cherry-almond granola bars or the pumpkin granola bars that were a weird combination between crunchy granola bar and thick oatmeal. Not good. Not good at all, friends. Truth be told, I had sort of given up on the idea of pumpkin granola bars after that incident. But then I saw this recipe from Michelle at The Lively Kitchen, and I was smitten. I knew I had to try it. Her Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bars sounded incredible with two of my favorite flavors, and they also looked crisp instead of mushy.
On Sunday, the stars aligned.* I was at the grocery store picking up a few things for the week when I thought I should get some snacks for the trip to Florida. I’ll be flying on Wednesday during lunchtime and am anticipating the hunger of a really late and/or expensive lunch already. So I started looking at the granola and energy bar selection and was sorely disappointed. Everything was either sugar laden** or uber expensive. So I walked away from the cereal aisle and headed home to my kitchen, ready to get to work. I love how this recipe incorporates a bunch of pantry staples and was very impressed with how well the batter held together before baking. While the bars were baking, my kitchen was filled with a delicious spiced aroma. It took all of my will-power to let them cool completely before cutting, but once they were there, all bets were off. Though they are not as crisp as the quintessential granola bar, they are about a billion steps up from pumpkin granola bar attempt #1–a definite win in my book.
Ben and I both agreed that these bars are great. They are flavorful, filling, and portable–three essentials for snacks in our house. I have a feeling we’ll be fighting over every last one until
the bitter end I make more. For now, I’ll just stare at this and enjoy… the kitchen is a little too far away right now…
*I don’t really know what it means when “the stars align” and I don’t really believe in that sort of thing anyway, but it sounded good so I went with it. :)
**I know this recipe has sugar in it, but I know what it is and where it came from. That’s loads better to me!
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 inch pan with baking spray.
In a small bowl, stir together flaxseeds and water. The mixture will start to gel. In a large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients: oats, flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, and chocolate chips. Add maple syrup, almond butter [I microwaved mine for about 30 seconds to soften it up a bit first], and pumpkin to the gelled flaxseed mixture. Stir together well, then fold into dry ingredients until fully combined. The mixture will be thick, and to be honest, I used my hands to speed the process up.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and use the back of a spoon to even out the mixture. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until set. Do not overbake, bars will harden a bit as they cool. Cool completely before cutting.
Time: 25 minutes [10 minutes active].
Yield: 12 bars.