Chewy Granola Bars

We had been thinking about these granola bars for a while now.  Remember when we gave out granola bars for a baby shower favor?

We were so happy with them last time, that we decided to give them another try, but with a slight twist.  It all started on Sunday morning, everything was going swimmingly, even Marmalade was relaxed and happy with our progress.  The bars were in the oven, allowing us some down-time, which Marmalade, the third mind of Inspired Taste, took great advantage of.

As I said, everything was going well, the colors of the bars were striking, the sticky fingers you get when patting down the granola in the pan tasted great and just about 20 minutes into baking, the kitchen began to smell amazing.

This smell, however, did not inspire Marmalade to move from the bed, she was well aware that the bars take 25 minutes, not 20, so she delicately placed her head back down on the bed until it was time to check the oven – At the 25-minute mark, Adam, myself and yes, Marmalade scurried into the kitchen, removed the bars from the oven and began to deliberate over how, exactly we would go about cutting and removing the bars from the pan, something that we have had trouble with in the past and after reading countless granola bar recipes with comments, other people have too!

After scouring the blogs and comments, the trick seemed to be to cut and remove the bars while warm and not wait until the granola had cooled.  So, we tried it, but we are not pleased, they were falling apart.  Not too much that we couldn’t form them back together once out of the pan, but things began to take a turn for the worst.  Don’t you hate it when a recipe, especially one you wish to blog about, falls apart at the last minute (literally)?

To test the process, we stopped removing the bars half way, allowed them to cool a bit more and went in for it again, but it was worse, now they were not just falling apart, but instead crumbing before all three sets of our very little eyes!  We manage to salvage the majority of the bars, but were very dissatisfied with the extra bits stuck to our pan and the many crumbles on our work surface.

The bars are absolutely delicious, which is why we felt we should post this, but we are baffled.  We have done the research and used a similar recipe before, we even used a recipe that had been highly rated, found on the King Arthur’s Flour website.  Others have found great success, but we just were not 100% satisfied.  We have been beating our heads together to come up with ideas that would help get those darn bars out successfully, but thought that someone out there may have a better idea, so, we are in need of granola bar removal assistance … anyone up for the job?

Things we have come up with – parchment paper, don’t cut the bars in the pan, instead, remove the whole sheet (maybe in halves), then cut?  Maybe we never packed down hard enough (although, we really pushed!) or maybe, Marmalade’s idea of 25 minutes was too short and the bars should bake slightly longer?

We have shown the recipe below, but have to be honest in that we are not 100% on board with it yet, any and all suggestions would be welcome!

4.7 from 3 reviews
Chewy Granola Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These bars are perfectly chewy, taste delicious and are full of fiber, perfect for a healthy snack.
Created By:
Yield: 12-16 bars
You Will Need
  • 1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup quick oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pepitas or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted butter + 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. water
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9”x13” pan.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients; stir well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the light corn syrup, vanilla extract, melted butter, honey and water. Whisk well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry; toss well.
  5. Spread the granola in the prepared pan, pat down.
  6. Bake the granola for 25 – 30 minutes or until they’re golden around the edges. Remove from the oven, loosen the edges and cool for about 5 minutes.
  7. Use a sharp knife to cut the bars while they are still in the pan, carefully remove and cool on a wire rack.
  8. The granola bars will keep in a airtight storage container for about a week or so, they also freeze well.

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28 comments… Leave a Comment
  • reem November 17, 2014, 3:08 pm

    Yum Yum Yum i can’t wait to try this one tomorrow morning but i will substitute butter with a healthier fat i don’t really like butter :>
    You have a nice blog

    Reply
  • Shireen28 April 25, 2014, 9:17 am

    Hello Joanne and Adam
    I made your Chewy Granola bars few hours ago,it comes out perfect.I did some changes since I read the comments that some of the ppl couldn’t cut the granola perfectly. I did some changes:
    I did add a white egg to your recipe,in the other hand, I didn’t add 2tbs of water and 1/3 of the finely ground oat.
    After my granola baked I let it cool down for more than an hour, I could cut is into bars. The tast and texture absolutely De Li Cious…..
    Thank for sharing with us….

    Reply
  • Patty Brown March 10, 2014, 7:15 pm

    I just made these outstanding granola bars and my house smells wonderful!!! It is raining outside and has been for the last 3 days so it is kind of gloomy but in my house you’d never know it. I LOVE homemade granola bars and haven’t even tasted them. The aroma is out of this world, my husband tried them and he has never had homemade granola bars before. He loved them and said not to buy the box stuff anymore. I’m planning to give this batch to my daughter and her healthy friends for their trip. Thank you for the recipe and I will be making this again and again.

    Reply
    • Joanne March 17, 2014, 3:35 pm

      Hi Patty, we’re so glad you enjoyed the bars!

      Reply
  • Jen February 23, 2013, 6:31 pm

    If you make lots of granola bars (every week or so) it may be worth investing in a separated pan. I have used baking pans that are for bars/ eclairs etc and instead of making one big batch that needed to be cut I made a bunch of individual granola bars. It works great, but if you only make them once in a while it may not be worth the money. There are pans such as the Slice Solutions Brownie Pan which have removable dividers as well 🙂

    Thanks for the yummy recipe!

    Reply
  • Maggie Downey October 28, 2012, 6:16 pm

    I pressed the mixture down few times and had minimal breakage but will try the rice syrup. I used soy nuts and mixed dried fruit. They were a huge hit!!!

    Reply
  • Ana B May 16, 2012, 8:20 am

    Hi guys, I love making granola bars and my recipe is pretty awesome but you can always improve, change and try something new. I have a trick that you may like: lightly oil spray the cookie sheet and of course use parchment paper. Then after pressing the prepared granola mix( make sure it is tight, using wet fingers), create a firm edge with a spatula and ….use a pizza cutter and make the pattern for your bars, YES before baking !!!! This process is almost fool proof, you may just have to use a knife and touch over your lines and enjoy a great, uncrumbled granola bar after they are baked. I will try your recipe against mine and will let you know but it looks amazing.
    Since I started making granola bars, I will never go back to store bought…and so do my friends, which I supply on weekly basis, of course for a fee to buy my ingredients.

    Reply
    • Joanne May 26, 2012, 1:31 pm

      Ana – THANK you, we LOVE your tip for cutting prior to baking — definitely trying soon!

      Reply
  • JuniorII April 26, 2011, 4:24 pm

    I am making these for the second time because they were so awesome that they disappeared too quickly the first time I made them. I added 4 kinds of nuts and seeds and dates as well as cranberries. I’ll never be satisfied with any other granola bar again.

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste April 26, 2011, 5:30 pm

      We are so glad that you like the recipe. We agree that the granola bars you find in the stores are expensive and don’t taste nearly as good as fresh homemade bars.

      Reply
  • Phyl April 4, 2011, 3:42 pm

    “bras” ? : )

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste April 4, 2011, 7:42 pm

      whoops!…good catch and thanks again for the tip!

      Reply
  • Phyl April 3, 2011, 10:59 pm

    If you love the recipe and the only thing that is a glitch for you is the sticking in the pan, then my suggestion is to line your pan with the type of aluminum foil that is “non-stick”! Leave a little extra foil on each side of the pan to use as handles and lift your granola bars out of the pan. Presto! That non-stick aluminum foil stuff is amazing.

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste April 4, 2011, 9:24 am

      Great idea, Phyl. We also had hoped the bars were a little less loose, but the idea for getting them out with aluminum foil is a good one!

      Reply
  • Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon March 12, 2011, 9:27 pm

    Hey guys, I can report that my second attempt with chewy granola was a far greater success. The bars seem to be holding together and I only experienced minor breakage during cutting.

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste March 14, 2011, 9:11 am

      Awesome, Wendi – So excited to try with your changes/adaptation. You see, THIS is why food blogging is so awesome!

      Thanks!!

      Reply
  • Medifast Coupons January 18, 2011, 1:41 pm

    Falling apart or not, these sound delicious. This recipe is easy to follow and is so much healthier using all fresh ingredients. Its worth eating even in crumbs!

    Reply
  • Cari January 18, 2011, 11:18 am

    I have found that using rice syrup instead of honey does the trick. It is super sticky and holds the bars together well. Lundberg is the brand I use and you can find it by the syrups (corn, golden, maple) in most major grocery stores. Good luck!

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste January 18, 2011, 12:49 pm

      Cari – Very interesting suggestion, this is why I love food blogs and comments – we learn so much!! Thank you, we will definitely give rice syrup a try!

      Reply
  • Eliana January 18, 2011, 11:09 am

    Hmmm – these look so hearty and delicious and like the perfect healthy snack.

    Reply
  • sonia January 18, 2011, 10:45 am

    Amazing granola bars….!

    Its so perfect, felt like picking one from your tray…

    Reply
  • Esme January 18, 2011, 12:25 am

    These look delicious. I made some granola last night. I have tried granola bars before but I have never been able get the consistency right.

    Reply
  • Allison@KingArthurFlour January 17, 2011, 7:15 pm

    Bummer that the bars fell apart! Parchment could certainly be a help – line the pan such that some parchment sticks out on either side of the bars so you can just lift the whole thing out. I also noticed that another granola bar recipe on our site suggests cooling the bars in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting, then letting cool completely before removing from the pan. That worked well for me with our granola bar mix, and I bet it would do the trick here, too. Thanks for giving the recipe a whirl – and sharing with your readers!

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste January 18, 2011, 8:43 am

      We are definitely thinking parchment, too Allison. Thank you so much for commenting! The bars truly are delicious!

      Reply
  • Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon January 17, 2011, 12:02 pm

    Adam and Joanne, unfulfilled potential seems to be the theme today. I have to say my first thought was to make a parchment sling and use that to get the granola out of the pan. Even if they don’t hold up as bars, you could crumble this into a bowl with some milk or into yogurt. At least that’s what I plan to do ; )

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste January 17, 2011, 1:10 pm

      Wendi, this would be awesome crumbled over yogurt, but is also quite perfect by itself (I know, because I am eating some of those crumbles right now) … They really are perfectly chewy, it is so frustrating that we could not get them out of the pan more successfully – Looks like we will be attempting again soon!

      Reply

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