Basic Homemade Granola Bars

by Rebekahcooked up on March 4, 2013

So, the last time I tried to make granola bars at home, I left the kitchen to go out in the garden, got distracted, and even though I cooked them for the time quoted in the recipe, it was too long for this particular batch, and I ended up with some burned granola. And some was salvageable – but it was definitely loose granola and not granola bars at that point.

Homemade Granola Bars

These, clearly, did better! I used the solids to sugar ratio from the Pioneer Woman, though I didn’t keep many of the same ingredients. And it worked! And the bake time was right and everything. The thing I like best about these is that they aren’t too sweet. Sometimes store bought ones can be at candy-level sweetness (but not always – I have my favorites and eat granola bars almost every day, especially the ones high in fiber).

The other  thing I’m excited about? This is totally adaptable. Based on my experience substituting all kinds of stuff from P-Dub’s recipe, you basically have to keep the ratio of crunch stuff to syrup the same – but the actual cereal/nuts/fruit and sugar/honey/molasses/agave you use? That is up to you.

Here’s what you need:

3 cups Rolled Oats (not Quick Oats!)
2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
2 Tbsp. cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Honey
2 Tbsp. cranberry juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Wheat Germ
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the rolled oats with the melted butter, vegetable oil and salt. Toast in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times during the cook time.

While the oats cool, toss the wheat germ, pepitas, sunflower seed kernels and cranberries in a mixing bowl. Combine the brown sugar, honey and cranberry juice in a saucepan and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Add the oats into the mixing bowl with the other dry goods and toss. Then, while stirring, pour in the honey mixture, which will be VERY sticky. Stir gently until all of the pieces have a light coating of the syrup – it may not look like enough when you begin, but it is!

Spray a baking sheet covered in foil or a Silpat down very well with cooking spray, and dump the mixture onto the tray. Then spray your hands down really well with the nonstick spray and press the granola into a rectangle about a half inch thick. It may not fill up the whole tray and that is OK – what you are looking for is that there are no air pockets between the ingredients. You want a solid granola block.

Bake for 20 minutes, and then allow to cool to a level of warmth where you can handle them. Slide out of the tray and foil onto a cutting board and cut into approximately 2×5-inch rectangles. Allow to cool completely and store in a sealed container.

This recipe is loosely adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. It made 12 granola bars  plus some uneven edges that were snacks 🙂

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