Chewy Granola Bars:I think I finally found a recipe that I like for the chewiest granola bars ever! You don't have to bake these granola bars. I can easily have a healthier alternative to the store bought ones that are packed with high fructose corn syrup....so, I prefer making my own. Granted these are not sugar-free, but they are great because you can use honey and really any ingredients you like. You can omit the nuts if you have a nut allergy. You can add only dried fruits ... The fun part of about this recipe is that you can experiment with what you like. Hope you enjoy...
Ingredients: You can probably decrease the amount of sugar a bit, as they are quite sweet
- 2 1/2-3 cups oats
- 3/4 cup wheat germ/rice crispies or omit if you like (I omitted since I didn't have on hand)
- 1 cup sunflower seeds/almonds/walnuts/cashews/ or a mixture
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened if possible)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (I also added almond flavoring...you can omit and add cinnamon)
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (I omit this)
- approximately 8 oz. dried fruit cranberries/raisins/apricots/cherries/or a mixture
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Mix nuts and oats. Toast them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes so that they don’t get burned.... better if they are lightly toasted than biting into a granola that has burned nuts!
2. Meanwhile, prepare a glass baking dish (about 9 x 13 inches) for your granola by lining it with waxed paper lightly sprayed with a nonstick spray. I used plastic wrap and it works very well. You can use a smaller pan as well if you like them a bit thicker.
3. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
4. Put the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until you see it getting thick and carmel color. The sugar should have dissolved at this point. It should be about 3 minutes after it has come to a rolling boil.
5. Add the carmel mixture (which should be quite sticky at this point) to the dry ingredients. Mix everything REALLY WELL because you want to make sure the “glue” gets all over everything.
6. Dump your granola mixture into your prepared baking dish. Spread out the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula. You may need to oil you hands a bit if you want to spread it evenly without sticking.
7. Now fold over the sides of the waxed paper or add a sheet on top(or plastic wrap as in my case), and press hard all over the granola. You want to compact it together so that your bars won’t fall apart when you cut them.
8. Wait 2-3 hours or until the granola has totally cooled. (I don't have patience and I put it in the fridge for a bit so I can speed up the process and wrap/store them). Remove top waxed paper/plastic wrap and carefully turn the granola onto a large cutting board, peeling away the rest of the paper.
9. Firmly pressing down with a big knife (not sawing), cut your granola into whatever size bars you’d like. I wrapped ours individually in plastic wrap, so you can grab one for a snack on the go.