Chewy, Crunchy Granola Bars {recipe}

I love granola bars.  I'll eat them for breakfast or for snacks, or, really, whenever.  Especially chewy chocolate ones.

After seeing a recipe on a blog a couple years ago I decided to search around and find a recipe that sounded tasty and had simple ingredients.  Plus, I was on a kick to make as much of our food as I could.  This was before Phee was born, of course, and I'm only now getting the time to start making things again since she was born two years ago.

Anyway, I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com.  That's my go-to recipe website.  It sounded good and after making it a couple times and reading through some of the comments, I got a little adventurous and started playing with the recipe a little bit.

What I finally ended up with are the best granola bars I've ever had.  They're chewy, but with a slight crunch.  They're sweet, but still sort of healthy.  I know exactly what's in them and that makes me happy.

  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup puffed rice cereal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter, honey and brown sugar. Stir in the coconut and raisins.
  3. Press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes.  Use a flat spatula to press down (flatten) the granola bars down in the pan.  
  4. Bake for another 5-8 minutes until golden brown. 
  5. Use the spatula to press down (flatten) the bars again when you take them out of the oven.
  6. Let cool for 20 minutes then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving. 
(original recipe here)

Pressing the dough down twice helps the bars hold together better when you cut them up.  I've baked them a little long before (I always seem to forget about them) and it takes a while for them to burn or get really dried out.  So, if you forget about them, too, don't worry too much.  

This is a great, customizable recipe, too.  I think you can probably use just about any kind of flour.  And the "goodies" you add just need to equal 2 cups.  I use raisins and coconut.  You could omit the cocoa powder and add chocolate chips.  Most kinds of dried fruit would be tasty.  Dig through the cupboards and get creative with the odds and ends you have on hand! 

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