Homemade Granola Bars

A little over a year ago, my mother-in-law came to visit us. She brought with her a few containers full of homemade granola bars, which I promptly inhaled. At the time I blamed it on Squish, who was due to join us as a real boy a few weeks later. But I’m sure being 8 months pregnant was just an excuse because once I made them myself — after he was born — I still inhaled them. Everyone I’ve given the recipe to so far has raved about them as well, but I have yet to post it here. Until now. Prepare yourself for some serious deliciousness that you can carry in your pocket.

The recipe comes from my sister-in-law. She says these granola bars are the only ones she’s made that have passed her children’s stringent requirements. They are also really quick to make and not too fancy. Below is the recipe as passed down from her. I’m not sure where she got it. Probably heaven. And then below that is the “Lizzie-Just-Can’t-Leave-Well-Enough-Alone” variation, which I pretend is healthier but I really have no idea. I do know that it is less sweet, with a hint of pumpkin.

Homemade Granola Bars
2 c. brown sugar
1 1/3 c. peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 c. corn syrup
4 tsp. vanilla
4 c. quick oats
4 c. rice crispies cereal
1 c. shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
Optional:
1 c. raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit, chopped
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (mini or normal size, chopped) (other flavored chips work well, too)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 11X17 baking pan. Mix the brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in oats, rice crispies and coconut until well blended. Stir in any optional ingredients.

Press into pan prepared. (I use the bottom of my metal measuring cup to press it in hard and smooth it out.) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set and edges are browned. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an air tight container.

Lizzie’s Variation

2 c. brown sugar
1 1/3 c. peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) (I like to use a little bit of natural peanut butter, about 1/3 cup. If I use much more than that the bars are tough)
1/2 c. corn syrup
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. pumpkin puree*
4 tsp. vanilla
4 c. quick oats
4 c. rice crispies cereal
1 c. shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
Optional:
1 c. raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit, chopped
1 c. chocolate chips (mini or normal size, chopped) (other flavored chips work well, too)
2-4 T. sunflower seeds, pepitas, sesame seeds and/or nuts, chopped
Prepare as directed above, adding the honey and pumpkin puree with the corn syrup (I put them in the same measuring cup just for kicks) and the seeds/nuts with the dried fruit and chopped chips. Bake as directed.
I have also tinkered with the ratio of oats to rice crispies. If you prefer to use more oats and less crispies, go for it. The bars won’t have that delightful crisp to them and will be slightly denser, but they will still be quite tasty.
*Christy pointed out to me that the addition of pumpkin puree will reduce the shelf life of the granola bars. So far, we’ve managed to eat them before they’ve shown any signs of spoilage, but if it takes you a while to get through a batch, you may consider storing them in the fridge.
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4 Comments

  1. They’re a favorite around here, too. And I admit that I eat most of them. I just can’t help myself when there’s a giant bag sitting in my cupboard. The last time I made them I did without the chocolate or raisins and added extra coconut and coconut extract. BAD idea…they didn’t even last a few hours. I’m drooling just thinking about them…

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    Oh Jodie. That sounds awesome. Maybe we should do some sort of “granola bar variation” cook-off, just to test out the possibilities. I’m thinking of a cherry-almond version right now. Mmmm.

    [Reply]

  2. Oooh, cherry almond sounds divine. Let me know when you’ve perfected that recipe.

    And I’m off to try this one with pumpkin, sounds great! And I don’t know why I never thought to substitute a little honey for the corn syrup, I’ve always hated putting an entire cup of corn syrup in it. So thanks!

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    Yeah, I wasn’t such a fan of all that corn syrup either. A friend of mine recommended trying to substitute some fruit purees. The pumpkin worked out well, and I’m curious to see how applesauce would do.

    [Reply]

  3. Stephanie Bassett

    December 11th, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I made these this week, but I was out of coconut, so I just omitted that. Oh, and I only had regular rolled oats, but I like their texture better than quick oats anyway. I already had a granola bar recipe I liked, but these really are very, very tasty; I think I’m converted.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    I’ve been wondering about the change in texture between quick and rolled oats. Maybe I will try that next time as well. I’m glad you like them. They really are so good.

    [Reply]

  4. Lizzie,
    I recently brought these to a Relief Society activity and they were so well loved that the sisters in my ward want to have the recipe printed in our Relief Society bulletin. Would it be alright if we printed the recipe? It would of course be made clear that the recipe was originally yours and the address of this blog would be included. Thank you!
    Kristi

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    Of course you can print it! I’m so glad everyone liked them.

    [Reply]

    Kristi Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

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