Homemade Granola Bars

A couple weeks ago, my sister-in-law sent me a frantic text. “I’m at the store. Where the hell is wheat germ?!” Then, “What about agave nectar?!”  Ever calm and collected, I replied, “Check the baking aisle or cereal aisle, love.”  And of course, that’s where they were.  I’m always right.  I also have an innate understanding of standard grocery store layouts.

Actually, that’s not how it went down at all.  She wasn’t frantic, and I’m pretty sure I sent her to the wrong place.  But oh well…..I like the other version better.  Besides, that’s not what’s important.  What is important, though, is that her quest for wheat germ and agave was a result of her desire to make homemade granola bars, which in turn inspired me to copy her.  Cause I’m a copycat.  Plus I like granola bars. 

Here’s how it’s done, friends:

I know it looks like a lot, but it’s really not complicated, I promise.  We’ve got vanilla, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, rolled oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, an egg, salt, honey, wheat flour, cinnamon, and olive oil.  We’re going to mix up all the dry ingredients first, okay?

So throw your oats in a big ol’ bowl, preferrably a green one. 

Then dump in some brown sugar.  You may want to eat some first just to make sure that it’s okay.  I did, and it was fine, fyi.

Now add wheat germ.

Then put in the cinnamon, which I should point out is something that some people say you should eat everyday.  I’m not sure why they say that, but I feel obligated to share this information.

I just love baking action shots, by the way.  Look at that cinnamon cascading into the bowl.  Beautiful, just beautiful.

Now add flour too.

Cranberries and salt are next, then we’re gonna mix it all up.

Holy cannoli!  Halt the mixing!  I almost forgot the chocolate chips!

Whew.  That was close.  Do not make that mistake, people, because what is a granola bar without chocolate? For reals.  That would’ve ruined my day.

Okay, resume mixing.  Once all the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined, make a little depression in the center for the rest of the ingredients.

Here’s a handy trick: add the oil before the honey because that will ensure that you aren’t spatula-ing honey out of your measuring cup….the oil just makes it slide right out.  (Insert inappropriate comment here.)

Okay, oil and honey are in.  All we have left are the beaten egg and the vanilla.  In they go.

Plop.

Driiiiip.

Now we just mix it up, all nice and good like.

There.  If you want, you can sample a little bit of this now, or you can be a normal, civilized person and wait until after it’s baked.  However, since I am neither of those things, I ate some.  And I liked it. 

Spray a cake pan with cooking spray or smear some shortening or oil in it (i.e., lubricate a pan) and spread the granola mix in it.  You want it to be about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.  My pan (which is a 9×13) was a little big, so I only filled it most of the way, like this:

Now just pop all this goodness into a 350 degree oven and bake it for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.

There’s the finished product.  I realize that this photo looks virtually the same as the previous one; however, there is a key difference between them.  This one has been baked.  The other one had not.  See how that works?

Okay, so these were really yummy, and I think my favorite part about them (besides the chocolate chips) is that they are so versatile.  You can add all kinds of dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter, different types of oil, coconut, whatever.  Get crazy with it.  Or don’t.  It doesn’t matter to me.  Just make some, cause it’ll make you happy and I said so.

P.S.  After you pull the granola bars out of the oven, let them cool for about 10 or 15 minutes before you cut them.  You will want to cut them while they’re still warm, though, otherwise a knife won’t do the trick and you’ll have to resort to a circulating saw.

Recipe:
2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. wheat germ
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. dried cranberries
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. honey
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350, and grease a cake pan.  Combine dry ingredients first, then mix in wet ingredients.  Mix thoroughly, then spread into cake pan in 3/4 inch layer.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges begin to brown.  Cool 10 minutes; cut while still warm.

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4 comments so far

  1. Tara on

    My recipe is different. No egg, oil or flour, but does have almonds, sunflower seeds etc. I wld like to try urs to see if I like them better. Cause I LOVE mine :)

  2. dad on

    I’m inserting my inappropriate comment here,” That’s what she said”.

  3. Rachel on

    Where might I find rolled vanilla?


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