May Daily #18: Home Made Granola Bars

by Wendy Copley on May 18, 2008

I made home made granola bars on this fine Sunday morning. The recipe is one I got from Joyful Abode and this is the second time I made it. I didn’t blog about it the first time though because

  1. I forgot to take pictures and
  2. I didn’t love how they turned out.

To be fair, I got overly creative the first time and made some changes to the recipe and I think that’s why I wasn’t completely thrilled with the results. My big mistake that time was that I decided to mix some chocolate chips into the bars. I wasn’t doing my best thinking though, because I tossed the chips in with the mixture before I poured the boiling hot honey mixture over the top. For some reason I thought they would remain whole, but of course they melted. (Duh.) This made an already sweet recipe very, very sweet. I have a serious sweet tooth, so when I say that something is overyly sweet, you can be assured that it’s not for the faint of heart. I still think I might try adding chocolate chips to the recipe in the future, but if I do I’ll press them into the top of the bars after I’ve put them into the baking pan and let them cool down a bit. In any case, they were still good enough to eat, but I felt there was room for improvement.

This batch came out much better than the first and I credit that to following the recipe more closely. There were no melted chocolate chips this time and for the nuts I used about 1/3 cup peanuts and 2/3 cup almonds. This was a nice combo because you still get some of the crunch from the peanuts, but the almond flavor is a little nicer (in my opinion). One other variation I made is that instead of using all vanilla extract I used half vanilla and half almond extract, another flavor I’m particularly fond of. For the dried fruit, I used Trader Joe’s dried cherries, blueberries and strawberries mixture. Num! Num!

This photo is the stirring step:

Granola Bars

Here is where I would be pressing chocolate chips in if I decided to try adding those again:

Granola Bars

Cooled granola turned out onto the cutting board:

Granola Bars

Here’s the granola cut into bars. I cut them into different sizes because sometimes I only want a little and sometimes I want a lot.

Granola Bars

The granola bars are chewy, but the nuts give them a nice bit of crunch. They seem to keep for a pretty long time (several weeks) if you wrap them up in plastic, but they are definitely best the first week. They get a bit more chewy than I prefer as time goes on. Another thing to note is that my three-year-old son doesn’t really like them and when my cousin made them her three-year-old daughter, she didn’t like them either. So if you’re thinking of making these for a preschooler, do with that information what you will. Adults all seem to like them though.

Some other variations I’m thinking of trying are:

  • substituting some ground flax seed for some of the wheat germ
  • substituting whole flax seeds for some of the sunflower seeds
  • shaking up the fruit a bit with dried apples or apricots

If you decide to try these and you like them, you should head on over to Joyful Abode and leave a nice comment for the blogger. Which is just what I’m about to do….

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  • Jessica

    How you know that these will keep for weeks is BEYOND me. We have already finished the batch I made last weekend and I am making another for today!

  • Jessica

    How you know that these will keep for weeks is BEYOND me. We have already finished the batch I made last weekend and I am making another for today!

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  • Mary

    I tried to make these with chocolate chips as well and the same think happened to me! HAHA!! I still would like to try again with the chips, but I’m afraid if I let the mixture cool too much before adding the chips, it will be too hard to stir. Oh, well.

  • Mary

    I tried to make these with chocolate chips as well and the same think happened to me! HAHA!! I still would like to try again with the chips, but I’m afraid if I let the mixture cool too much before adding the chips, it will be too hard to stir. Oh, well.

  • Elaine

    I’m confused: The original recipe says you’re supposed to heat the oven to 400 degrees, but then there is never a step saying when to put the granola into the oven! Or do you only need the oven to toast the oatmeal and nuts – and for how long? Your answer is greatly appreciated and awaited! :-)

  • Elaine

    I’m confused: The original recipe says you’re supposed to heat the oven to 400 degrees, but then there is never a step saying when to put the granola into the oven! Or do you only need the oven to toast the oatmeal and nuts – and for how long? Your answer is greatly appreciated and awaited! :-)

  • Elaine

    Ooops! Please forget about my former post – no need to answer it anymore. This was a case of ‘negative hallucination’ as I went over the recipe countless times without ‘seeing’ the answer, but just now went over it again, and ‘voila’ there it was!

  • Elaine

    Ooops! Please forget about my former post – no need to answer it anymore. This was a case of ‘negative hallucination’ as I went over the recipe countless times without ‘seeing’ the answer, but just now went over it again, and ‘voila’ there it was!

  • rlawson

    I made some today. I added 1/2 c brown suger and 1/6 cup splenda to cut down on carbs. Also substituted walnuts for the peanuts. And I used dried blueberries as the fruit.

    If I make them again, I'll cut down even more on the sugar. I think 1/2 cup instead of 2/3 cup should be plenty.

    Even so, it came out great. Easy to make, and something I can eat on the go. Much healthier than the breakfast bars at the grocer.

  • rlawson

    I made some today. I added 1/2 c brown suger and 1/6 cup splenda to cut down on carbs. Also substituted walnuts for the peanuts. And I used dried blueberries as the fruit.

    If I make them again, I'll cut down even more on the sugar. I think 1/2 cup instead of 2/3 cup should be plenty.

    Even so, it came out great. Easy to make, and something I can eat on the go. Much healthier than the breakfast bars at the grocer.

  • Nifa

    I definitely would try this recipe. I made the baked granola bars and it was a disaster. The bars were stuck to the greaseproof paper and it was difficult to cut in bars, they actually fell apart.

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