Chewy Granola Bars

PHOTO BY KATIE NOBLE / STYLED BY CATRINE KELTY

I have such a weakness for granola bars. My life changed the day I realized I could make bars that were both healthy and delicious. This recipe comes together quickly and is a great project for children and adults to work on together.

Makes 12 bars

1¾ cups oats
1 cup oat flour
¾ cup light brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit, such as pepitas, almonds, unsweetened coconut, dried cranberries, raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons honey

Spray a 9- by 13-inch pan with nonstick spray. Cut parchment paper to fit the length of the pan and press into pan. Leave remaining parchment hanging over the 2 sides (to make it easy to lift bars out to cut).

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Place oats in food processor and pulse until oats are coarsely ground. In large bowl, mix together chopped oats, oat flour, brown sugar or coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, salt and your choice of mixed nuts/seeds/dried fruit. Set aside.

In separate bowl, whisk together egg, melted butter or coconut oil, vanilla extract, maple syrup and honey. Pour wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir to combine. Press mixture firmly into prepared baking pan.

Bake for 20–25 minutes or until top is golden brown all over. Remove pan from oven and let cool. Once cool, place pan in freezer until very firm, about 30 minutes. Once frozen, remove pan from freezer and lift bars out of pan. Peel off parchment paper and slice into 12 bars.

Store granola bars in airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer, and don’t forget to share!

Karen Collins is a self-taught pastry chef and owner of Bisousweet Confections, a wholesale bakery located in Shirley, MA. She also co-founded Nashoba Brook Bakery. Karen has always loved to write and has a blog called As the Bread Burns where she discusses baking, business-ing, parenting and life. When she's not baking or writing, Karen spends her time parenting her three children and three dogs, cycling, running, skiing, volunteering and vacuuming.