Homemade Chewy Granola Bar Recipe

In my pursuit to make more of our food from scratch, granola bars were one of the first foodstuffs on my list to try. I diligently clipped a few recipes, but all turned out hard, crunchy bars that couldn't compete with the store-bought chewy kind.

I had lamented this fact to my mother-in-law, and within a month or two, told me about a recipe that she thought would fit the bill we were looking for. And when we went home to Ohio, she whipped up a batch that convinced me that this was the granola bar recipe I'd been searching for.

It tastes just as good and gooey as your favorite storebought kind. Plus, you can customize the granola filler ingredients to your tastebuds's desires, mixing and matching a variety of nuts, dried fruits, even different kinds of chocolate chips (think butterscotch, white chocolate, etc) for whatever sort of bar you're hankering after.

The filler combination I used that turned out beautifully was 1/2 cup of each: dried cranberries, coconut flakes, wheat germ, walnut pieces, and mini chocolate chips.

Homemade Chewy Granola Bar Recipe
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed until finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (see above for recommended combinations or make up your own!)
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, honey, maple syrup, peanut butter and water.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly.
  5. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan.
  6. Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges. (See second photo above for what mine looked like out of the oven, before I cut them.) 
  7. Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack.
  8. Before slicing, put pan in the fridge for 10 or 20 minutes, which will help them stick together and avoid crumbling when cutting. 
  9. Then slice as large or as small as you like, however I'd recommend cutting into 16 equal-sized squares (as shown in the photo above). They're smaller than your store-bought bar, but just as filling. And then maybe you can justify eating two!
  10. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container. The recipe also notes that they freeze well, although I personally haven't tried freezing them yet.
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    1. I can never find granola bars that have the right combination of ingredients that both my kids like. I'm definitely giving these a try. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    2. Ooo. I have been looking for a recipe like this and happened upon here. Thanks!

    3. Thanks for the recipe! We always buy Kashi granola bars for the natural ingredients, but it would be so much better to make them ourselves. I can't wait to try these!


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