no-bake chewy chocolate chip granola bars

by amy on 29 March 2012

i’ve been wanting to make homemade granola bars for months now. despite bookmarking, dog-earing, + pinning dozens of them, i still hadn’t given them a try until yesterday. what made things change? within a few hours, i stumbled across not one, not two, but three different blogs that mentioned them. i took it as a sign from the snack gods that it was time for me to give them a try!

so, how were they? amazing! while i always thought i liked the store-bought version, i don’t know if i’ll ever be able to go back to those now. these granola bars taste so much lighter, fresher, + more real than their store-bought cousins. they’re perfectly sweet, with a lovely honey flavor that works wonderfully against the earthier oats + cereal, + the rich bursts of chocolate.

i wound up making two versions: the original chocolate chip version pictured on the above right, + a doubly chocolately version, pictured on the above left + below. see how the double chocolate version looks darker? that’s because i added a 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to the cereal/oats/syrup mix before pressing it into the pan. the original version (above right) only has the chocolate chips sprinkled on the top. both are truly fantastic, so whichever version you choose will depend on how much chocolate you need in your life on that particular day. =)

this recipe is also linked up at foodie friends friday!

no-bake chewy chocolate chip granola bars

makes 10 bars, adapted from rachael ray, as seen on lauren’s latest

ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (plus an additional 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips if you want to make the double-chocolate version)

directions

lightly grease a small jelly roll pan or baking pan. set aside.

in a large bowl, stir oats + rice cereal together. set aside.

in a small pot, melt butter, honey + brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. reduce the heat + cook 2 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. carefully pour in vanilla extract (it will bubble up a bit), a pinch of salt, + stir. remove from heat.

pour syrup over dry ingredients + mix well to moisten all ingredients. (if making the double-chocolate version, fold in a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips now, too). pour into your prepared jelly roll pan/baking sheet + press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. if your pan isn’t small enough, pack the mixture into one side. you really want to press them down so they stick together. sprinkle with 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips + press down lightly.

cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

51 Erin @ Texanerin Baking April 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I ate so many that my stomach is turning on me now. These things are evil! Have you tried a peanut butter version? I have to do that next. No I don’t! Oatmeal raisin is next. That’d be easy and impossible to mess up. :)

52 amy April 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I actually tried a peanut butter version this weekend! i couldn’t find a recipe, so i just winged it. =) i kept the recipe the same, except i stirred 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter into the syrup after removing it from the heat, then whisked til smooth. i didn’t add any choco chips into the mixture – just topped the bars with them. they turned out awesome!!

53 Rikki April 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm

The way you wrapped these is so adorable! I’m really anxious to try these because I love to grab a granola bar before I go out the door and I bet these are so much better than the ones in the store. Love it!

54 Erin @ Texanerin Baking April 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Okay, the peanut butter version is next! I’ll try those out next week. I think my problem was the butter. I rarely use butter and so I couldn’t stop myself from inhaling that buttery sugary goodness. I forgot how good melted butter is! Boooo coconut oil. Butter’s better. :)

55 Erin @ Texanerin Baking April 9, 2012 at 5:03 am

I got back from vacation last night and made the peanut butter version as soon as I woke up. I tried reducing the sugar to 2 tablespoons and although they were still sweet enough, they kind of fell apart after fiddling with them too much. I think I’ll try again and add more honey. I’m running out of brown sugar which I can’t get here and molasses costs a fortune so I’d rather ration the little brown sugar I have. If I find a solution with honey, then I can have endless granola bars. Yay!

And who knew getting a square picture of granola bars was so difficult! I don’t think I’ve ever been as frustrated when taking a picture as when I tried with these. After two hours, I said oh well and ate the few that were left.

56 amy April 9, 2012 at 11:09 am

let me know if you come up with a honey solution. and if you want me to mail you some brown sugar from the states, just say the word! =)

57 Erin @ Texanerin Baking April 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I will and thanks again for the nice shipping baking ingredients to me offer. :) I just wish USPS had sales. 50% off would be nice. Hear that, USPS?! We wants sales.

58 Kara April 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I love these! They seem so easy and look like they held together fabulously. Most recipes for gluten free versions crumble right after I’ve put in all the hard work. I am a Celaic so I’ll be making a gluten free version of these and I think I’ll use a hazelnut butter in them. I enjoy looking at your delicious recipes and thinking about how I could still enjoy them on an extensive gfree diet. Thanks for the inspiration!

59 CJ at Food Stories April 22, 2012 at 11:38 am

These are so beautiful. I love the way you wrapped and photographed these!

60 Lacey June 19, 2012 at 9:24 am

I’ve made these twice now and mine keep falling apart. They’re chewy and deicious, but they won’t hold their shape. Any suggestions?

61 amy June 19, 2012 at 9:33 am

hey lacey! are you packing them in really tightly? i haven’t had problems getting mine to keep their shape, but i packed them as tightly as possible (using a spatula) + that seemed to be the trick.

here are some tips from the original recipe: if your granola bars don’t seem to be staying together when you cut them, you may have made them too thin or you didn’t pack them in tight enough. Stick them in the fridge for 20 minutes and that should help keep them together. {Be sure not to keep them in there too long or else they’ll become super hard!} The next time you make them, try reducing the butter to 3 tablespoons and really packing them down.

hope this helps, lacey!

62 Lois Christensen September 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Oh I need to make these! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday! Please come back on Sunday to VOTE!

63 Sarah Bay February 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I added 2 heaping scopes of almond butter (chunky) and replaced 1/2 cup of the oats with coconut and put in carob chips instead of chocolate. Oh so so good. Thanks for this great recipe to base many yummie variations off.

64 amy February 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm

I love your changes, Sarah – I bet they were delicious! And thanks so much for your kind words – so happy you loved them!!

65 alison @ ingredients, Inc. June 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Love these!

66 Betsy @JavaCupcake August 22, 2013 at 11:39 am

My husband is deploying to Afgh. this weekend and I’m making a triple batch of these for him and his platoon to take with them on the plane! I can’t wait to try it! THANKS! :)

67 amy August 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I hope your husband and his platoon love them, Betsy! And I’m sending all the best wishes for a healthy deployment for him, and a quick return home to you. =)

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