You see lots of recipes out there for granola bars. Well, I do anyway. We eat a lot of granola bars around our house, so after seeing several simple recipes, I decided I would make some. The method is very simple, and you can basically flavor them up however you want. So I set off to make my first batch of granola bars…
If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you have probably noticed that I’m sorta obsessed with peanut butter. This is kind of a recent phenomenon that’s developed over the last couple of months. I don’t know what it’s about, but I’m not fighting it. So, it’s probably no surprise that my granola bars have peanut butter in them. Incidentally, our dog, Josie, loves peanut butter because that’s what we use to give her her pills, so she was eager to help me with this project. Just look at that face!
Ok, back to the granola bars. I added the oats, honey, peanut butter, nuts, and chocolate chips. Mixed, put in pan, baked, and cooled. Only, something wasn’t right. They were…rustic. Okay, they were more like cereal than granola bars. They didn’t stick together! They tasted great though, so Tim and I ate that batch with a spoon. Don’t judge.
Take two. This time I decided to use steel-cut oats because I read they would stick together better. Well, they stuck together alright. Only the texture was all wrong. I wouldn’t describe them as chewy. I would say that you couldn’t really do much chewing at all. You were really only able to grind them around in your teeth, and by the time you got done eating one, your jaw was sore. Did I mention the flavor was great though!? But two outta three wasn’t really acceptable.
So, on the third try, I decided to mix regular oats (I used quick cooking) for the texture with steel-cut oats for the stick togetherness. I used the same flavors as the previous times. While I was mixing, I added a bit more peanut butter and honey because they didn’t seem like they were sticking together quite enough. I’m happy to report this time they were a winner! Great taste, texture, and they stuck together! So, here’s my recipe for granola bars. This is enough for an 8 x 8 pan. If you wanted to make a 9 x 13, just double it and add five minutes to the cooking time.
It’s a versatile recipe. You can add various dried fruits like cranberries or cherries, different nuts, leave the nuts out, etc. I added some milled flax seed for extra nutrients. As you’re mixing, if it seems too dry, just add a little more peanut butter and honey, one tablespoon at a time. And here’s a tip – if you spray your measuring cup with cooking spray before you put the peanut butter or honey in, it comes out much easier!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Almond Granola Bars
- 1 1/4 cups oats
- 3/4 cup steel-cut oats
- 1 T milled flax seed (optional)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 T natural chunky peanut butter
- 1/4 cup plus 1 T honey
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients well. Spray 8 x 8 glass pan with cooking spray. Pour mixture into pan and press down well with your fingers. Bake for 20 minutes.
Great for breakfast, a snack, or dessert!