I absolutely love granola bars because they have a chewy texture, a sweet, oaty flavor, and serve as pockets of mini chocolate chips. Homemade granola bars are amazing! They taste delicious, they are easy to travel with, newsflash; they are very easy to make, and they are not expensive at all. Searching for the perfect snack for school, after sports, or the perfect companion in the car when driving? Homemade granola bars will be there, to suit every need perfectly!
The possibilities are endless whenever you’re thinking of the right ingredients to add to your homemade granola base from whole almonds, dried cranberries, raisins, mini chocolate chips, dried cherries, different varieties of nuts, coconut flakes, etc. The most important thing to note is the ingredients that make up the homemade granola base which are oats, butter, honey, and brown sugar. After setting this base, you can add any of the other above-mentioned ingredients as well as others you love.
Tips for making homemade granola bars
- Make sure you press the mixture into the pan properly: Several trials have revealed that it is of utmost importance to press the granola mixture into the pan. It is advisable to spend a minimum of a minute pressing into a pan — the harder and longer you press, the lesser the chance that you’ll end up with granola instead of granola bars.
- Wondering what binds homemade granola bars together? Well, here you go, honey and brown sugar help make glue for the bars. The honey and brown sugar really help with binding the bars together. You can also add chocolate chips to the mixture as this helps to act as a binder when it melts. The homemade granola mixture should be added to the chocolate chips while it is still warm. You might notice some of the chocolate starts melting — this is totally okay, as it acts as extra glue, holding the granola bars together. After that, you can add more chocolate chips to the top — these don’t melt.
- Bring the homemade granola bars to chill for two hours. Finally, refrigerate the granola mixture for about 2 hours. This hardens everything and makes it easy to cut the granola mixture into bars. When the homemade granola bars are brought right out of the refrigerator, the bars will be hard since they are cold. Leave them out for an hour and they will warm to room temperature and become a little softer and chewy. Enjoy.
- You can keep your homemade granola bars keep at room temperature for about 1 week. Just ensure they are tightly covered or sealed in an airtight container.
Recipe for homemade granola bars
Homemade granola bars are way better than what you may buy at the convenience store particularly because you can always pick out your favorite dried fruit or nuts to use for the process. While this is an easy-to-make snack, remember that there is a 2 hour wait time for bars to firm up enough for cutting.
This recipe will give you 12 homemade granola bars:
- 2 1/2 cups (230 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) whole almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup (113 grams) honey
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 grams) mini chocolate chips
Toast Oats and Nuts
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.
Add oats and almonds to a small baking sheet then bake for 5 minutes, stir and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted then transfer to a large bowl.
Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.
Pour butter mixture into a bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let it cool for about 5 minutes then add cranberries and a 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (The chocolate chips will most likely melt a little. This is fine, they turn into the glue and help to hold the bars together).
Transfer oat mixture to the lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp fingertips to firmly press the mixture into the pan. (Press hard here, this way the bars will stay together once cooled and cut — a minimum of one minute to be extra safe).
Scatter the remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove the block of granola mixture from the pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.
And your homemade granola bars are ready!
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