Have you ever noticed that store-bought granola bars frequently fail to impress?
I know this might sound a little snobby, but I expect more out of my granola bars. I want them to be chewy and flavorful, with tons of texture.
Whenever I pick up a box at the store, they always seem to offer too much of something.
Maybe they are too thin and crunchy. Some are too soft, and fall apart the moment you take them out of the package. Others are too sweet, and then there are the ones that are not sweet enough.
Honestly, I never really thought about making them from scratch at home, until a friend made them for me on the day we moved into our new house.
As usual, I was stressed out of my mind trying to pack up last minute items, supervise the movers, and organize the general chaos that comes with any move.
Of course that meant I completely forgot about eating breakfast. Generally, I am better about putting on a hostess hat, so I was ever-so-thankful that someone else thought to provide breakfast and snacks for everyone who was helping out.
Her granola bars were everything. They were filled with different textures and flavors, not to mention just the right balance of sweet and salty.
The bars were gone in mere minutes, and I immediately requested that she make me a second batch – so I could dissect them for myself when I wasn’t freaking out about the movers breaking all my fragile dishware…
The fact that she made them at home inspired me to create my own homemade version that I would never get sick of.
Enter: this incredible recipe.
Gooey and slightly sticky, filled with sweetness from the honey, crunchiness from the almonds, and heartiness from the oats, these bars make a killer quick breakfast, a scrumptious afternoon snack, or something enjoyable to nibble on before bed.
Granola bars shouldn’t simply be made out of oats. There should be layers of textures and flavors built up within each satisfying square, or rectangle, or whatever shape you choose to portion them.
I love the combination of crunchy, soft, and gooey in every single bite. All of the different ingredients really make an impact on the flavor of the bars.
One of my favorite aspects of this particular recipe is that the oats, almonds, and coconut (yes, there’s coconut too!) are toasted before being baked up with all of the other ingredients. Toasting gives the nuttiness of these ingredients an extra boost that really complements the other flavorful elements.
These are truly delightful in the morning as something you can snag on your way out the door, but they also make for the perfect protein-filled solution to tide you over between lunch and dinner.
You can even break them up into chunks and toss them into a bag with some fresh berries and a serving of plain, unsweetened yogurt for fun twist on the usual morning meal at your desk.
It’s wonderful to have something so tasty on hand that’s homemade, because you know exactly what ingredients you put into them, without any unnecessary fillers or preservatives.Print
Gooey, slightly sweet, and crunchy, homemade fruity chocolate chip granola bars kick the pants off any store bought version you’ve tried.
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup loosely packed unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter an 8-by-12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
- Toss the oats, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300˚F. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Continue to cook while stirring constantly for 1 minute, then pour over the toasted oats mixture. Add the raisins, currants, and chocolate chips, and stir well.
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press evenly into the pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 1 hour at room temperature in the pan.
- Transfer the pan to the refrigerator to cool for another 1-2 hours.
- Cut into squares in the pan and then remove, being sure to peel off any parchment paper that sticks to the bottom of the bars. Serve at room temperature.
- Serve at room temperature.
For a vegan version, substitute non-dairy margarine for the butter and agave syrup for the honey.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten.
- Category: Granola
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Snacks
Keywords: granola bar, snack, breakfast, chocolate, fruit
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure All Ingredients
Measure out all ingredients as they are listed in the ingredients list. Make sure to set out the ingredients in the order they are listed to make the recipe easier to assemble.
Preheat your oven to 350˚F and butter an 8-by-12-inch baking dish. Line the bottom of the baking dish with parchment paper.
Step 2 – Toast Oats, Almonds, and Coconut
Add the oats, almonds, and coconut to a rimmed baking sheet. Toss to combine, and spread in an even layer.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Add the mixture to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 300˚F.
Step 3 – Make Granola Mixture
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
Continue to cook while stirring for 1 minute, then pour over the toasted oats mixture.
Stir in the raisins, currants, and chocolate chips until well combined.
Step 4 – Bake
Add the granola mixture to the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture into the pan. It should be spread in an even layer, filling the corners.
Avoid spreading the mixture up the sides of the pan or creating a raised lump in the middle, to create bars that are all the same size.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour at room temperature in the pan.
Transfer to the refrigerator and cool for another 1-2 hours. Cut into squares and serve at room temperature.
Can I Use Different Dried Fruits?
The beauty of these bars is that you can easily substitute out the dried raisins and currants for other types dried fruit however you desire.
A few tasty alternatives include dried cranberries or blueberries, and chopped dried cherries, dates, figs, apricots, or prunes.
You can even swap out the bittersweet chocolate chips for milk or white chocolate, or peanut butter chips if you would like.
Looking for more quick granola recipes for your breakfast inspiration? Check out some of our favorites:
- Grainfree Granola Sweetened with Sorghum Syrup (Gluten-Free)
- Coconut Almond Chia Granola (Gluten Free & Vegan)
- Naturally Sweet and Crunchy Chocolate Granola Cereal
Will you eat these granola bars for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back and give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on November 25, 2009. Last updated: February 8, 2019 at 19:56 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.