Chewy Granola Bars
DAMMIT, it's August 29th. The summer is just about over. Noooooooo! I'm so sad.
But imma need to put my feelings of despondency aside for a minute. Because it's time to discuss this back-to-school slash back-to-work type of recipe. This recipe for the chewiest granola bars in the entire universe. Granola bars that are 100% whole-wheat and chock-full of honey and oats and Chex and chocolate chips and nuts.
Let's discuss, then.
I LOVE chewy desserts. Chewy cookies and chewy bars are my favorite. Now, don't get me wrong - I do love soft and gooey cookies/bars as well. But there's something about a chewy, stick-to-your-teeth bar that just gets me every time.
Which isn't to say that these whole-wheat granola bars aren't soft and gooey. They are. They're even crunchy, thanks to the Chex and nuts. But mostly, they're chewy. SO VERY CHEWY.
How are these granola bars so chewy, then?
Well, there's a minimal amount of flour in the recipe. Just 1/3 cup. And there's a generous amount of honey in the dough (dough? are granola bar mixtures called dough? idk). And honey is always helpful in lending a chewiness factor.
There's also a decent amount of oil in these bars, as well as some brown sugar, both of which help the bars retain moisture and chewiness. And, of course, there are the oats, which are chewy in their own right. Oh, and there are no eggs in these granola bars either.
So, the combination of less flour and lotsa honey and extra oil and some brown sugar and rolled oats and zero eggs yields the magical chewiness we've been discussing.
Make sure to use old-fashioned oats in these chewy granola bars. Quick oats simply won't cut it here.
Obviously, I included chocolate chips in these bars. Because if chocolate is a possibility in a recipe, you know I'm including lots of it.
But aside from the chocolate chips, there are also Chex in this granola bar recipe. Because that extra crunch that the cereal provides in each magnificent bite is so very lovely.
And then, there are nuts. Whichever type you want. Because why not add some more flavor and crunch to our granola bars, eh?
Now, if you really want, you can swap the nuts for dried fruit, like Craisins or raisins or something. I'm not a fan of dried fruit in my granola bars (or desserts in general). So I opted for the nuts. But do what you'd like. I'll only judge a little (and by a little I mean a lot).
These granola bars will last about a week at room temperature if they're well covered. So it may be a nice idea to make a batch at the beginning of the week and then add a couple to your child's lunch box throughout the week. Obviously, grab some for yourself as well to be eaten as an on-the-go breakfast or as a filling afternoon snack.
Quick and easy and one-bowl. Egg-free and dairy-free. Soft and gooey. Crunchy and CHEWYYYYYYYY. Flavorful and filling. Hearty and whole-wheat.
Chewy granola bars - you make the end of summer a little more bearable.
Chewy Granola Bars
Yield: about 12 large bars
1/2 cup oil (canola, vegetable, melted coconut)
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup Chex cereal, coarsely crushed
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped nuts or dried fruit
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper, leaving some excess hanging over the rim for easy removal later.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
3. Pour the flour and salt over the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Mix in the oats, Chex, chocolate chips, and nuts/dried fruit.
4. Press/pack dough firmly into the prepared pan. Cover pan with foil. Bake bars for 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden but top is still bubbling. Let bars cool completely before lifting out of the pan and slicing into bars of desired size.