Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

One of my favorite snacks is granola bars.  They’re filling, semi-healthy, delicious, and easy to grab when you’re on-the-go.  The problem is, these days store-bought granola bars are pretty pricey, especially since you only get about 8-10 in a box.  Last year I tried making these homemade granola bars and fell in love.  They’re super versatile, good for you, and much cheaper than their boxed companions!  I’ve made about 10 different variations of these bars since discovering the recipe, so feel free to experiment with fun combinations.  Happy baking!

Dark Chocolate-Cranberry-Walnut Granola Bars

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.  (I used my wonderful square bar pan).  In a large bowl, whisk together applesauce, peanut butter, agave, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.  Stir in oats, dried cranberries, walnuts, and chocolate chips until evenly mixed.  Press into baking pan, making sure the mixture is tightly packed.  Bake for 25-35 minutes or until edges are golden.  Cool in the freezer for about 1 hour before removing from pan.  Wrap individual bars in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Good Life Eats)

Variations: Instead of applesauce and peanut butter, try almond butter, pureed dried fruit, mashed banana, pure pumpkin, or apple butter.  Sub in maple syrup or molasses for the agave and honey, try nutmeg, cloves, or ginger in place of the cinnamon, and use whatever kind of dried fruit and nuts you like.  Butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, or white chocolate chips would be delicious instead of traditional chocolate.  Be creative!

Advertisements

One thought on “Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

  1. Pingback: Peanut Butter, Honey, and Banana Oat Bars | Emma's Baking Addiction

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s