So, I love granola bars. I used to live on them in high school, for serious. I had a big box in my locker at school, another stash in my gym bag, random granola bars floating around in my purse just so I was never hungry… it was a bit ridiculous. Needless to say, I tired of granola bars by college, but in recent years they’ve made a comeback in my pantry because they make such a great, filling snack before a workout or during a day at school. I’m a big fan of Kashi’s all natural granola bars, particularly their Chewy Dark Chocolate Cherry and Trail Mix varieties. What I’m not a big fan of is their hefty $4/box price tag. Sure, you can sometimes score a few boxes for $2.50 on a good sale, but still, that’s pretty pricey for 6 small granola bars.
One recent Sunday as I was
avoiding homework seeking out some yummy snack recipes for school days, I happened across Megan’s recipe for Chewy Granola Bars. I couldn’t stop thinking about them, try as I might, so I dropped everything and whipped a batch up, much to the dismay of my husband [he had just finished cleaning up the kitchen and there I went, dirtying it up again]. All was forgiven though once he had a taste of the sweet, chewy granola bar that popped out of our oven bursting with tart cranberries, rich chocolate, and nutty goodness.
I did use corn syrup in these granola bars, per the instructions, mainly because I had some that I wanted to use up. I’m a little iffy on corn syrup but I basically believe that sugar is sugar and most anything is okay in moderation… especially if you’re making it from scratch at home! I think I might try these next time with honey, but regardless of the sticky sweetener, as Michelle calls it in her tutorial, these are some fabulous granola bars that are sure to become a regular portion of my baking repertoire. I look forward to customizing them more in the future, such as next week during spring break. Enjoy!
Chewy Granola Bars [from What Megan’s Making]
- 1/2 cup+ 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 5 tablespoons corn syrup
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Craisins
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ [toast in a baking dish in a 350°oven for about 5 minutes, tossing once]
In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Stir together oats, chocolate chips, Craisins, sunflower seeds; add to peanut butter mixture and stir to coat. Press into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t overbake or they will get crispy. I took them out when they still looked a little under baked, they firm up in the hot pan as they cool. Run a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the bars up a little. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
Store in an airtight container or wrap individually in plastic and store in the freezer in a freezer bag for easy grab and go breakfasts or snacks.
Click here for the printable version: Chewy Granola Bars
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Question of the Day: What’s your latest food obsession?