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Our Best Chewy Granola Bars, A Flexible Recipe

makes 16 bars or 32 small squares
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season

Ingredients

First, choose the Delightful or Decadent dairy-sweet combo:

    Delightful

    • .5c unsalted butter softened slightly
    • .5 c brown sugar
    • .5 c honey corn syrup, molasses, rice syrup OR a 50:50 mix of any two of these

    Decadent

    • .66c unsalted butter softened slightly
    • .5 c brown sugar
    • .66c honey corn syrup, molasses, rice syrup, OR a 50:50 mix of any two of these

    Along with the Delightful or Decadent combos will go:

    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • .5 tsp salt
    • [optional] 1 tsp cinnamon
    • [optional] .25 tsp ground ginger

    Next, choose any ONE of the these flexible grain combos: The Chewy, The Luscious, or The Kookie

      The Chewy

      • our chew-chewiest bar with a slight bit of crumble, but nothing a kid can't handle
      • .66 c quick oats pulverized in a blender or food processor
      • 2.33 c additional oats & 1 c rice-krispie/other puffed-type cereal OR 3.25 c additional oats

      The Luscious

      • a chewy bar with a super-soft-baked cookie consistency
      • .75 c quick oats pulverized in a blender or food processor
      • 2.25 c additional oats & 1 c rice-krispie/other puffed-type cereal OR a very full 3 c additional oats

      The Kookie

      • our most cookie-like but still chewy bar - the least likely to crumble
      • 1 c quick oats pulverized in a blender or food processor
      • 2 c additional oats & 1 c rice-krispie/other puffed-type cereal OR 1 scant c additional oats

      Finally, Choose Two Cups of Mix-ins!

      • choose 2 c of any of the following in any ratio you choose: Chips: milk butterscotch, dark or white chocolate chips, [we almost always use at least 1 c of some sort of chip in our bars], toffee bits, M&Ms, busted pretzels, raisins, dried currants, cranberries, cherries, or small bits of any other dried fruit, unsweetened coconut, mini-marshmallows, smashed candy canes or pretty much any other smashed candy, ...go wild!

      Instructions

      • Heat your oven to 350.
      • Grease a 9x13-in baking dish or pan with butter or baking spray.
      • If you are using a metal pan, line the bottom of the pan with greased parchment. [The bars are sliced in the pan.]
      • In a mixer, combine butter and sugar until extremely fluid.
      • For an easy pour, spray your measuring cup[s] with oil or baking spray or wipe them with your empty butter wrapper before measuring out your honey or syrup.
      • Incorporate honey, syrup, molasses or your preferred mix of these sticky sweets into the mix.
      • Incorporate eggs, vanilla, [spices], and salt.
      • Incorporate pulverized oats.
      • Incorporate additional oats and blend well.
      • Incorporate [additional cereal] and blend until just barely mixed.
      • Incorporate 2 cups of Mix-ins.
      • Bake for 25 minutes, or until slightly brown on the edges.
      • [The center of the pan may still be soft, especially with Decadent option.]
      • Place the pan on a wire rack.
      • COOL COMPLETELY in the pan before slicing.
      • If it's particularly warm, or if you have a shaky hand, of if you're just set on perfection, you may also wish to refrigerate your pan for an additional 10-15 minutes before slicing.
      • Slice and serve the bars or wrap and store for future consumption.
      • Enjoy!