Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

Need a Simple and Yummy Granola Bar Recipe??

I know there are dozens of homemade granola bar recipes out there, but I thought I'd share our favorite, healthy recipe!  I've been making this bar recipe since we moved to China.  Granola bars are hard to find, and often hard as a rock when we do find them!  My kids LOVE these, and they are really simple to make.  Oats, chocolate, honey and peanut butter... mmmmm!

Don't they look yummy?
My 8-year old wants me to add that they are "Delicious!"
homemade granola bars

Yes, I know many of you will ask if this recipe contains nuts.  It does (in the form of peanut butter).

Ready to make a batch?

Throw your dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Rice Krispies, oatmeal, flaxseed and cinnamon (both optional).  Toss until blended.

Note:  I don't think that it matters what kind of oats you use.  I will always use whatever happens to be in my cupboard, whether they are instant, rolled... whatever!  Also, a few people have commented that their bars have come out crumbly.  This is due to the proportion of the dry ingredients to the wet (honey and peanut butter mixture).  To be on the safe side... reserve a cup of your dry ingredient mixture to add in once you mix your peanut butter and honey mixture.

I like to line a 9"x13" baking dish with wax paper.  My kids like chocolate on their bars, so I spread some chocolate chips on the bottom of the dish ahead of time.
(You can substitute regular chocolate chips here... I just usually use the mini.)

granola bar
Place honey and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan.  Heat to boiling over medium heat while stirring constantly.

Once boiling, remove from heat.

peanut butter
Add peanut butter and vanilla to your sugar mixture.

easy  oats
Stir until well blended.

Pour your peanut butter/sugar mixture over your dry ingredients.

chocolate chips
Acting quickly, gently blend until it is well combined.

If you took my advise, and set a cup of your dry ingredients aside, add them if it looks like the mixture can handle it.  You want everything to have a nice coating of the peanut butter and honey mixture to hold together!

Pour your granola mixture into your prepared dish (the one with the wax paper and chocolate chips).  Use a spatula to spread the mixture evenly.  I like to add some sprinkles over top at this point.  I made a second batch (on the right) with sprinkles for Valentine's Day.

Use your spatula to firmly press your granola mixture down so it is nice and compact.
Set the pan aside to cool completely.  I like to give it an hour or so.  I've placed it in the fridge in the past, but if it gets too cold, your bars are more likely to crack when you cut them... so be careful not to leave in the fridge for too long.

home made snack
(I'm annoyed with this photo.  It will not rotate for me!!!)
When your granola is cooled, transfer to a cutting board.  This is how I like to cut my bars.  I try to get 16-18 bars cut with each recipe.

Wrap them up with plastic wrap, and toss them in the cupboard so they are ready for school lunches or snacks!

Happy Snacking!


  1. This looks great! I tried a different recipe months ago and they were just so-so. I'm going to try this "delicious" one! The Valentine touch is cute too! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I don't care how many tutorial about granola out there...I'm your fan because you tutorial make it so easy to follow and they really look yummy! Making these...but pin it down first!

  3. These look great. I am going to make a batch this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love granola bars and this recipe looks really good. I'll have to give it a try.

  5. I just made these and mine are not holding together, wanting to crumble????? Any thoughts as to what I did wrong??

    1. Tammy, I am sorry to hear this! A couple of others have commented, so I'm going to make an additional note in my post. I am using ingredients I am getting in China at this point, so perhaps my cereals are a bit different? I would cut back on the dry ingredients, or bump up the amounts on your Peanut Butter and Honey mixture. That should solve your problem!

  6. Me too TammyF, Mine won't stay together either. I followed the directions. I only used 2 cups of Rick Krispy's instead of 2 1/2 cups. So my dry ingredients were slighlty less. Need help!

    1. Ack! Sorry Joyce... I have not had this problem in the many times I've made this recipe. If cutting back has not helped you, then I would suggest you need a bit more on the peanut butter and honey mixture. I would bump up those ingredients and make sure your dry ingredients are well coated (but not overly coated) before transferring to your pan.

    2. I would reduce to time cooking. Pull just as it starts to boil. The mixture needs to be carmelly when cooled. But if cooked too long it will cause it to crumble.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. what kind of oats? quick? rolled?

    1. Hi Allie! I have used all different kinds.. I think whatever you prefer, if you have a preference. :) I personally don't think that it makes much of a difference.

  8. I made these and they are super tasty but only about half of them stayed formed. :/ The other half we are eating as breakfast cereal. Which is great as well! I would like to figure out what I need to do to make them hold together so I can make them in the future! I followed the recipe. And used old fashioned oats... Any suggestion? What type of oats do you use?


    1. Meghan, I am so sorry to hear that. I am not sure what the problem might be for you. I have made these several times, using different oats (quick cooking and regular), different cereals too... and always have had them work. I would suggest, however, that if it is crumbling that the ratio of syrup to dry mix needs to be increased. If you try this recipe again, don't put in as much cereal and/or oats... mix it up with the peanut butter syrup and see if you can add more. That, OR I would bump up the amount used in your honey, sugar, peanut butter mixture to make a bit more to cover your dry ingredients. Hope this helps!

  9. Rachel, how long will these keep? I am sending them to a soldier overseas who requested homemade foods. I thought this would a quick and easy alternative to cookies.

  10. Hi Tammy, I tried the recipe tonight - they are delicious! Unfortunately had to omit the cinnamon due to an allergy. Mine are a bit flimsy but I'm thinking maybe I didn't let my honey and sugar boil hard enough? Next time I will try to let it come to a hardier boil...but I also added a tbsp of coconut oil so that could have done it to me too! Adds a yummy flavor though :) LOVE the sprinkle idea...think my kiddos will go for that hands down ;)

  11. After wrapping them, I put them in the fridge overnight. By the time we ate them in the car they were back to room temp and stayed together perfectly!! SOOO DELICIOUS! Thank you very much!!

  12. Another recipe I read said to firmly press the mixture so it compacts and does not crumble, then let cool completely. I tried this with the ones I made and seemed ok, but I may have pressed them too thin so next time I may try for thicker bars in a 9x9 or 8x8 instead of a 9x13. I'm going to try this recipe next.

    1. I did make these and were less crumbly than a previous recipe I made. The dish I used was actually still a 3qt baking dish, but it's shorter than a regular 9x13 (I think it may be deeper instead of longer). I took out about 1/2 cup or so of the dry mixture and pressed firmly into the pan. I don't know if it was possibly the peanut butter that helped hold it together more so than my previous recipe without it, or if the other variables helped as well.

  13. I made these, just now! However, I am vegan and used agave. If you use agave instead of honey, it does have a higher water content. I also used vegan chocolate chips, old fashioned oats and no flax, just didn't have any. Also due to an allery, I used sun butter!! I think a key here is to press them firmly to hold them together. Quick cooking oats will absorb more liquid (faster) than old fashioned.

  14. After being pinned for nearly a year I finally made these and they're setting right now. My preview piece was amazing and I used chia instead of flax. :)


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