In the previous post, the kids and I made granola bars from a recipe we got online. It was fun to make with the kids, but they did not turn out quite like we had hoped. Because of the flour, applesauce, and egg, the texture was more like an energy bar than the granola bar we had imagined. The exterior was crisp, but a bit gummy in the center. So we decided to try it again, with a different recipe.
I was in charge of bringing snacks for the kids’ soccer games today, and figured now would be a good opportunity to give it a shot. I googled “granola bar recipe” and clicked on a few. It seemed that many of them had similar ingredients, with slight variations. I skipped over the ones that had flour and eggs, as I knew how those would turn out. Alton Brown had one that sounded about right and so did a food blog called joyfulabode, but Alton’s said to bake it, while the blog didn’t. I decided to go with the no baking recipe and I am happy I did.
It was exactly what I was looking for and I now have my go-to recipe for granola bars. I used dried cranberries, flax seeds, and slivered almonds because that is what I had in the pantry. You really could use whatever combination you wanted, as long as you kept the measurements the same. I also added chocolate chips, to up the kid appeal, but waited until the bars were pressed into the pan before adding them. The mixture was so hot, I didn’t want the chocolate to become a melty mess. This way, the chips made a nice chocolate topping, slightly melting and coating the top of the bars.
Here is the recipe:
- 2 cups oats
- 3/4 cup wheat germ
- 1 cup nuts of your choice
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup dried fruit of your choice
- 1/2 cup flax seeds, optional
- 1/2- 3/4 cup chocolate chips, optional
Toast the oats and wheat germ in the oven for about 10 minutes or until starting to brown on the edges. If your nuts are raw, toss them in with the oat/germ for the last 5 minutes. If they are already toasted, set them aside for now.
Combine the sugar, honey, and butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves and starts to get bubbly. Remove from heat, add vanilla, salt, fruit, and optional flax seeds. Add the toasted oats/wheat germ and the nuts. Stir until well combined.
Line a square pan with wax or parchment paper, lightly spraying the paper with a non-stick spray. Make sure to do this, as the paper will stick to the bars without the grease. Pour the mixture into the pan, fold the paper over and press down hard to pack them tight. This is important, as you do not want them to fall apart later. Sprinkle with optional chocolate chips and press them in.
Let cool for a couple hours and cut once cool. Wrap individually or store in an airtight container with wax paper between layers. Enjoy!