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Make Your Own Chewy Granola Bars. THE Perfect Snack!

Kitchen Staples

I have had this recipe bookmarked for a few months now…and couldn’t seem to get around to actually MAKING it. Yesterday I came across it again and decided it was time. After all the feasting on Christmas goodies….I was more than ready for something a little healthier. Granola bars are one of my absolute favorite snack foods. Especially chewy granola bars. They are so handy to have around when a hunger attack sneaks up and hits you out of the blue. Or for a midnightish snack (like I’m having now!)

And for our family they are a win-win-win!

Win #1. Naturally gluten-free if you use GF oats. (Our 16 year old has Celiac’s)
Win #2. Good for you! (who couldn’t use that after the holidays!?)
Win #3. Delicious!

Seriously, they may look like some sort of bird seed cake….but they are so tasty…and so easy to make. The recipe I used is from SmittenKitchen.com. If you look closely you can see a picture of HER bars in the picture on my laptop/recipe book. (So there you are looking at YOUR computer screen, looking at MY computer screen, while I look at HER computer screen! WEIRD!)

Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients! The only things I needed to go to the store for were the nuts/seeds and dried fruit. I had the rest in my pantry…and I bet you do too.

Thick, Chewy Granola Bars
adapted from SmittenKitchen.com

  • 1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats (if gluten-free, be sure to use GF oats)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used 3/4 cup which was ALMOST perfect. I think I’ll add just a bit more next time. I like my granola a little sweeter…like just about everything else!)
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed in food processor or blender…I used the blender. Much easier than hauling out the food processor.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (I used cranberries, coconut, sunflower seeds and almonds in an attempt to replicate my favorite store bought bars, Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars, Fruit and Nut. I also chopped up the almonds in the blender.)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter (I used Skippy creamy peanut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup (I used Log Cabin maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8? x 8? x 2? pan (mine was more like 11″ x 7″) with parchment paper, leaving a couple of inches on each end to hang over the side of the pan. Lightly grease with non-stick spray.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, honey/syrups and water.

Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly.

Spread in the prepared pan, pressing in firmly! 

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re just brown around the edges.

Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. Once COMPLETELY COOLED take out of pan, peel off parchment paper and cut into squares.

If they are still a bit crumbly…put in fridge for 30 mins, then cut them. Store in airtight container.

As you can see, I started out cutting them into squares….but decided to cut them smaller. I think these are the perfect “snack” size.

Other ingredient suggestions: Dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, walnuts, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried apples or even chocolate chips. 

So far everyone who has tasted them in this house has loved them! This includes the typically non-granola-eating people. They are soooooooo much better than the stuff you buy in boxes at the store…and don’t get me started on how much CHEAPER they are to make!

OK…too late…I’m started!  A box of 6 of my favorite granola bars costs about $3.50 a BOX at the store!  I figure this recipe makes the equivalent of 5 or 6 BOXES for not much more than that!

Once again…the “homemade version” beats the “store-bought version” HANDS DOWN and for a fraction of the price.  :-)


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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • Hi Jillee,
    Thanks for all you do. The first time I made these they were just so messy to cut – though the flavor was absolutely heavenly. Made them this moring using a mini muffin tin with mini muffin liner. Sprayed the liners with pam, and used a #50 cookie scoop to fill. It was perfect after I pressed them down with my spatula. Baking time about 10 min and made 60 mini muffins. After cooling the wrap peeled off perfectly.
    Again thanks.

  • Hi! I used this recipe as a base and made a high protein version by adding some TVP. I used dried cherries and slivered almonds, and added some ground flax seed as well. Turned out fantastic! Thanks so much for this!

  • So I was super excited to try out this recipe because granola bars are a staple at my house, but boy are they getting more and more expensive to buy! I ran into a few problems with my first batch though… I cooked for 30 minutes and they were definitely over-done– not inedible, but very crunchy. I did add a bit more honey and peanut butter to my mix though because it seemed rather crumbly upon mixing with initial amounts, so this may have caused part of the issue… My biggest issue was with the wax paper– a layer of it melted into the underside of my bars! I have never had much luck using wax paper on my cookie sheets, etc.– What am I doing wrong?

    • Parchment paper is different than wax paper. Parchment paper is coated with silicone to give it a nonstick, heat-resistant surface, whereas waxed paper is coated with a wax such as soybean or paraffin—the wax coating on it will melt if the paper is exposed to direct heat Parchment paper is the best choice for cooking, as most brands can withstand temperatures up to about 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Parchment paper is good for lining cookie sheets to eliminate the need to grease them…you can find it in the same section of your store as the wax paper.

      I hope this helps…HAPPY BAKING! :o)

      • Well, that makes a world of difference! Thanks so much for pointing out. I just assumed they were the same…. On the up-side, even overdone and having had the bottome (wax paper) layer scraped away, they bars taste quite good! So, I will definitely be mixing up another batch!

  • […] GRANOLA/BARS – granola & granola bars have become SO popular during the last decade or so because they are SO handy to keep in your pantry, your purse, your lunch box, your car…for a quick snack that’s fairly healthy. Before this the go-to snacks were mostly candy bars! The thing is, they are expensive when you buy them in boxes all individually wrapped (not to mention wasteful!) and making your own is SO easy! […]

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