Granola bars are one of my favorite snacks to bring to work. They are portable, tasty and easy to eat on the go. I have tried a number of homemade granola bar recipes and while they were all good, they were never quite right. Until now. This is it people – this granola bar tastes oh-so similar to those chewy ones you can buy at the store. But better. So much better that I’ve made two batches in the last week and a half. It’s official – I’m obsessed.
These are not quite as sturdy as the granola bars you can buy, but the flavor more than makes up for that. Make sure you use quick cooking oats and really pack the mixture down into the pan to get them to set.
I had a really hard time deciding what add-ins I wanted to use for these granola bars. I ended up going with one of my favorite combinations – chocolate, coconut and nuts. Of course I have a lot of ideas for other flavors, so be warned that you may see those versions on here sooner rather than later.
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups quick cooking oats (do not substitute rolled or old fashioned oats)
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut flakes to the skillet in an even layer. Cook, stirring frequently, until light brown and toasted. Transfer the coconut to a small bowl. Next, in the same skillet, add the almonds. Cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown and toasted (about 3 minutes). Add to the bowl with the coconut and set aside.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the butter, brown sugar and honey to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
- In a large bowl, add the oats, cereal and salt. Mix to combine. Pour in the butter mixture and stir until well combined and coated. Gently fold in the coconut and almonds.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan. Use a spoon to press the mixture down firmly into the pan. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and press those down firmly as well.
- Place the pan in the refrigerator for about 30 to 45 minutes. You want the mixture to be set and firm, but not hard.
- When ready, carefully lift out of the baking pan using the aluminum foil. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 10 even-sized bars.