Seriously the Best Granola Bars I’ve Ever Had..

I am a snacker. If I don’t eat every few hours, you probably don’t want to hang out with me because I transform into an angry, obnoxious, whiny little brat. Maybe I shouldn’t admit all that. But I just did. The point is, I know my snacks.

I also like to hike. Hiking is one of those activities that totally counts as a super-workout, but since you get to stop and take pictures and eat snacks in the middle, it’s a lot more fun. And when you’re hiking, good snacks are a must.

Last weekend we had planned to go on a pretty epic hike that would have taken basically the entire day. So I came prepared. Let’s ignore for a second the fact that we ended up going on a much shorter hike which got cut even shorter because, well, it was pouring rain for pretty much the entire hike. But. Despite all that, we still managed to bust into these granola bars, and holy moly granoly! I should stop talking now so that you can go make these already. Seriously! They are so ding dang delicious I couldn’t even believe it. Plus, I’m pretty sure a square (or two) could totally qualify as a meal in a pinch. There is so much stuff in there, and the best part is you can use whatever combinations of nuts, fruit, chocolate…whatever. It’s totally¬†customize-able. So I beg you. Whether you are planning an epic hike or you’re just craving a little (huge) something sweet, I’m basically begging you to make these. You’ll thank me later.

Granola Bars (adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Of course. Sigh, she’s so my hero..)

pssst. by the way. If you use gluten free oats, these are completely gluten free. And if you sub in Earth Balance or canola oil for the butter, [and use maple syrup] they are vegan too. Hooray!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (I actually might cut this down even more next time; my bars turned out pretty sweet. I think I’ll try again with 1/4 cup sugar, and maybe even eventually leave it out altogether. I’ll update to let you know if it works!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (I used 1/2 cup each of walnuts, pecans, peanuts and sliced almonds plus 1/3 cup each of two different random dried fruit mixes we had, and chocolate chunks. Okay, I probably used more than 1/3 cup of chocolate..)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8X8 baking pan with parchment paper so that it overhangs on two sides. Grease paper with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Scoop out 1/3 cup of oats and blitz them in a blender or food processor to a fine powder. Ta-da! You just made your own oat flour! Congrats! Also, you probably want to toast your nuts in the oven for 10 minutes or so so they get all golden and smell nice. I crushed mine up a bit before mixing them in, but I’m not going to lie I loved how chunky they were.¬†
  3. Stir together all dry ingredients, including dried fruits and nuts (and chocolate. you know you are putting in chocolate). In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients (peanut butter, honey, melted butter, vanilla, and water).
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix until everything is coated evenly. Dump into your prepared baking pan and press into pan evenly.
  5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until edges are nice and brown. I let mine go a bit long, but I didn’t mind the crispy edges. When you take them out, the center won’t feel done, but as it cools it will all come together.
  6. Allow to cool completely (like, totally completely. I refrigerated mine overnight) before cutting into nine ginormous squares. Bring them on your next hike, or just bag them up and keep them in the fridge for the days you don’t feel like making a lunch!
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25 responses to “Seriously the Best Granola Bars I’ve Ever Had..

  1. OH wow! They do look really amazing. Perfectly cut too!

  2. Ooo this sounds delicious, Erin! Is it more of a chewy granola bar or crunchy? I haven’t made (cooked/baked) anything in so long but this sounds like the perfect snack to put together :) <3

  3. Gosh, this looks marvelous! Yummy! =)

  4. these look amazing! will definitely try these out.. would sugar free be too ambitious?

    • I totally don’t think so! With the honey and the peanut butter and dried fruit in there, there is a ton of sweet already. If you try it sugar free let me know! I want to know how they turn out!!

  5. OMG these look so good, I have to make them for my school snacks since school is starting again soon.

  6. I just got finished putting these in the oven, fingers crossed they come out.

  7. Pingback: Making your own Flour: It’s not just for Martha Stewart : Magic Bullet Blog

  8. I made these without sugar; they still taste great. I also substituted some M&Ms because I didn’t have any loose chocolate chips or chunks lying around, and I rather like the added color.

  9. thank you for a great recipe. the bars are better that any granola i’ve bought. i just wish i could cut them as cleanly without crumbs as you did!

    • The key is to refrigerate them first! They cut cleanly and stay together once they are cold, but they are a bit crumbly if they aren’t cold!

  10. Made these with cranberries, apricots, and chocolate chips. My college roommates and I no longer have an excuse to forgo breakfast. Thanks for helping out girls on the go, they’re delicious!

  11. It is delish with out the sugar, still plenty sweet,

    this said however if you want to add sugar for the sweet tooth in your family, I might suggest adding brown sugar instead (it’s generally a better option than plain white sugar)

    • Definitely. I have made them since with no sugar, and I found them to also crumble a lot more than when they had sugar in. I bet brown sugar would be delicious though!

  12. can you do it without butter, what would you substitute???

    • I think definitely. I would use a neutral flavored oil like canola oil, or you could also try coconut oil which I’ve seen substituted for butter often. You could also use a vegan butter substitute like Earth Balance (but that’s way too expensive for my taste haha!). Let me know how it turns out!!

  13. Love these! Thanks for the inspiration. I had some dried pears, and red plums that I reconstituted for a bit of sweetness. I used 1/3C brown sugar instead of white to add to the warm richness. I put all of the wet ingredients in the food processor and got the sweetness of the larger fruits combined well. I also use cranberries and chocolate morsels in my dry ingredients. I toasted my oats and nuts 20 minutes or so beforehand so they were cool. I brought it all together and baked it. You were right, wow! Thank you so much:-)

    • I’m so glad you liked them! That combination sounds delicious.. especially the brown sugar, good idea!

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