Homemade Crunchy Granola Bars

We’re going to leave for a mini vacation in a few days so I wanted to make some snacks that we could take on our trip.  These granola bars are yummy and quite easy to make.   Here is the original recipe.  I make a few modifications when I make it, I’ll put those in bold:)

Ingredients:

  • 7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds, pecans, walnuts or peanuts
  • 3/4 cup honey(I like to do half honey/half maple syrup)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • About a 1/3 cup raisins

Directions:

  • Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven and set the temperature to 375 degrees.
  • Line an 18 x 13 inch rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil.
  • Combine the oats, oil and salt in a large bowl and mix until the oats are evenly coated.

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  • Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until pale gold, 20-25 minutes. Remove the oats and lower the oven temp to 300 degrees.

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  • Place the nuts in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Or just chop coarsely with a big sharp knife.(I just used my hand food chopper).
  • Combine the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon (if using).

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  • Combine the oats, nuts, and honey mixture(and whatever else you are using raisins, coconut, etc) in a large bowl and stir with a large rubber spatula until the oats are thoroughly coated with the honey mixture.

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  • Spray the baking sheet (still with foil sling) with non-stick spray then transfer the granola mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Spray a large metal spatula and firmly press the mixture into the pan. Make a flat, tight, and even layer. Bake until golden, about 35-40 minutes.( I just used a big metal spoon to press it down)

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  • Cool in the baking sheet, on a wire rack, for 10-15 minutes before cutting into bars.  Cut the bars all the way through and then allow the granola bars to completely cool. Do not wait longer than 15 minutes before cutting the bars. They harden up significantly as they cool. Any longer and you’ll have a very hard time cutting thru them.( I used a pizza cutter.  This part can be a little difficult!)

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  • The bars can be stored, covered for up to 2 weeks.

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