Jana here with a recipe that is going to be made often in our house! We occasionally purchase granola bars at the grocery store, but I wasn't thrilled with the price or the ingredient list. I have wanted to make homemade granola bars for a long time, so I added it to my to do list one day. They were much easier and faster to make than I was expecting, and we were SO pleased with the results! I used a recipe from Joyful Abode for my inspiration. As you can see, I didn't have any dried fruit on hand, so I used chocolate chips instead! Although they melted some, I still think the end result was very tasty! There are many variations of this recipe you could try, just by changing the 'toppings' for the granola bars! I highly recommend trying this recipe for your family!
Chewy Granola Bars
2 cups oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup peanuts, crushed (I crushed mine in a mini chopper)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried fruit or other topping
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix the oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and peanuts in a baking dish. Toast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes so they don't burn.
3. Meanwhile, line a 9x13 baking dish with wax paper, and lightly grease with cooking spray or butter.
4. Put the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla extract, and salt into a medium sized saucepan. Bring it to a simmer, stirring constantly. (until well combined)
5. Mix all ingredients together, making sure that the liquid ingredients fully and evenly coat the dry ingredients. If you are using dried fruit, add this in now as well.
6. Dump the mixture into your 9x13 dish, spreading out with a spoon or spatula. Add a sheet of wax paper to the top, and firmly press all over the granola. Try to compact it as tightly as you can.
7. After the granola has completely cooled (2-3 hours), peel the top layer of wax paper off. If you are planning to use chocolate chips, add them after about 1/2 of the cooling time. Press them onto the top of your granola bars, and continue cooling. Turn the granola side down onto a cutting board, and remove the bottom layer of wax paper. Firmly press down with a large knife to cut into the size granola bars that you would like!
8. You can store these in an air-tight container, making sure to place layers of wax paper between levels of granola bars.