from How Sweet Eats
Makes ~12 granola squares
4 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 cup natural peanut butter, melted
1 cup brown rice syrup (honey works too)
chocolate chips (frozen)
1/2 dried fruit (cherries were delicious)
1/2 other nuts, seeds or coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, chia seeds and peanuts.
3. Add brown rice syrup (or honey) and mix to combine.
4. Add melted peanut butter and mix until moistened.
5. This works perfect as a simple granola bar, but you can also throw in any add-ins at this time. Fold them into the dough. You may need to get in there with your hands and work the granola dough. If dough is still too dry add more peanut butter or syrup 1 tbsp at a time until moistened.
6. Press dough into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.
7. These also work great as a no-bake granola bar. To make no-bake, simply press the dough into the pan and refrigerate for 60 minutes.
8. Flash freeze granola bars (either before or after baking) and then store in a ziplock bag.
Kristin’s Notes (recipe changed accordingly):
1. I needed to add quite a bit of extra sticky stuff (melted peanut butter and honey) before the “dough” would stick together. I don’t know how much, I just kept adding until it could form a ball without coming apart. The recipe as written didn’t have nearly enough sticky to form a bar.
2. If you add chocolate chips, freeze the chocolate before stirring it in. The first time, I added room temperature chocolate and it immediately melted when I mixed it with the warm peanut butter, making more of a chocolate-peanut sauce. The frozen chocolate mixed with no problem.
3. Limit yourself to no more than a cup of extra add-ins (the recipe as written doesn’t specify how much “stuff” to put in). I put in a half-cup of dried fruit and a half-cup of chocolate per recipe, and I think that was pushing the limit of how much you can add without the bars falling apart.
4. The bars were very difficult to cut apart after they’d baked. The knife would create cracks all over the bar and basically make a crumbly mess. Here is what eventually worked for me: First line your pan with a long sheet of parchment. Put the dough in, spread it out, then fold the extra parchment over the top and press it down really firmly with the bottom of a cup. Then, pull back the extra parchment and cut the dough into bars while it’s still in the pan, before baking. Makes a huge difference!
5. The recipe says to bake for 25 minutes at 350. After my first try was black and crispy, I checked it after every five minutes, and I started to see the edges burn after only 15! I’ve never noticed my oven to run hot, so I don’t know – maybe she posted the wrong cook temperature? Anyway, 10 minutes at 350 turned out to be perfect for me.
6. After they’ve baked, you can lift them out of the pan with the parchment paper to let them cool. If you pre-cut them, they are easy to cut apart now. If you forgot, let them cool awhile before you try to cut them (they firm up as they cool and become less crumbly).