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How I Decided to Create Granola Bars

February 09 2008 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Breakfast,Recipe » 112 comments

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Don’t you hate it when you have the best idea and it completely falls flat? Oh, don’t worry, I’m not talking about the granola bars. Those are spectacular—and I’ll get to them. But first, the falling flat thing. I had the fantastic (if I do say so myself) idea to send two recently-engaged friends homemade engagement gifts a couple weeks back. A little treat to say congratulations. After much thought, I settled on what I thought would be the perfect treat: caramels. And, for those that have followed this blog for a bit will know, my first attempt at caramels did not work. Period.

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My second go-round at caramels, thankfully, was a success. So, I gleefully wrapped the caramels in their parchment squares, taking particular pleasure in twisting off the ends to seal the caramels. I then did my best Martha and packaged them up in glassine bags with pretty bows. I shipped them off to my friends, one in New York and the other in California, relieved that I could finally show my friends how excited I was for them.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

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Unfortunately, this saga does not end there. I quickly got word from the East Coast that my package had arrived and the caramels were being enjoyed by their recipients. From the West Coast, however, there was … silence. An ominous silence. Knowing my friend as I do, I knew they hadn’t arrived. This suspicion was confirmed when the package was returned to me, squashed and flattened and nearly in shreds, caramel practically oozing out of its pores.

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Needless to say, I’ve had it with caramel. Fool me once, shame on you, caramel. Fool me twice, though, it’s shame on me. I was not embarking on another ill-fated caramel endeavor. It was back to the drawing board to come up with a different congratulatory treat. To complicate matters, our newly betrothed friends in California are in the final throes of training for a marathon. It just didn’t feel right to send a big box of truffles or decadent brownies to people running close to 20 miles a day. Thus, these granola bars were born.

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I absolutely adore granola and I think a bag or jar of it would make a wonderful out-of-the-blue treat to mail across the country to a friend. But, for this occasion, I wanted something a little more special. So I tinkered around with my granola recipe to come up with these beauties, which I think are infinitely better than any store-bought granola bar I’ve tried. They maintain all my favorite components of my granola—pepitas, dried cranberries, flax and sesame seeds—but they’re in (totally adorable) bar form. I even cut a couple in bite-sized pieces, which worked well. I’d love to tell you more, but there are two pretty bags of granola bars waiting for me on the counter. If they don’t reach their marathon-running, wedding-planning recipients, I just might have to give up.

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Granola Bars

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pepitas
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup whole almonds (or other nut)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup honey*
1/4 cup natural peanut butter*
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)

Preheat the oven to 325. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Next, line a square baking pan (8 or 9 inches) with two perpendicular sheets of parchment paper that are long enough to leave an overhang. The sheets will form a “basket” for you to lift out the sheet of granola, before you cut it into bars.

Combine the oats, coconut, seeds and nuts; spread out evenly on the rimmed baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes. When the oat mixture has been toasting for about 10 minutes, combine the honey, peanut butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. If the sugar dissolves before the oat mixture is done toasting, reduce the heat to low.

When the oat mixture is done toasting, transfer it to a large bowl and add the honey mixture and fruit; stir to incorporate. Spread the mixture in the prepared square pan, using the back of a wooden spoon or bottom of a measuring cup to press the mixture into the pan and create a smooth, even surface. Bake the granola mixture for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Using your parchment “handles,” lift the granola sheet out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Using a large sharp knife, Cut the sheet into one-inch wide bars. Next, cut the series of bars in half, lengthwise. Store in an airtight container.

*Update: I originally advocated a higher amount of honey and peanut butter for those wanting a chewier bar. People seemed to have problems when they increased the amounts of honey and peanut butter, though. So, I’m now only comfortable listing the amounts that I’ve tried with success (i.e. the amounts used for the bars in these photos). I can’t stress strongly enough the need to let the bars cool completely before cutting them with a very sharp knife.

112 comments so far. »
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  1. Lynn says on February 09 2008 at 3:56 pm:

    Your granola bars look yummy, way better than store bought!

    Who better to send brownies to than people who’re running 20 miles a day? Much better than someone who sits in a cubicle all day.

  2. Christiane says on February 09 2008 at 4:55 pm:

    Oh I love this recipe. Looks fantastic. I can’t wait to make these!!!

  3. JEP says on February 09 2008 at 5:22 pm:

    I cannot wait to make these—no oil or butter, yes!! These sound better than my favorite Kashi Chewy Trail Mix bars!

  4. Madeline says on February 09 2008 at 5:42 pm:

    These look fabulous! I’ve been looking for a great granola bar recipe for some time now. I can’t wait to make these. Oh, and your photos are gorgeous!

  5. Nemmie says on February 09 2008 at 6:38 pm:

    They look so amazing! Fabulous pictures. Hubs is looking for something new for a quick breakfast in the morning, and I think these will do the trick. Thanks bunches for the recipe!

  6. Michelle says on February 09 2008 at 8:50 pm:

    I decided to use this recipe for first shot at making granola bars. Unfortunately, they didn’t hold together, but the resulting granola clusters ROCK!!!

  7. Molly says on February 09 2008 at 8:55 pm:

    I am hands-down the MOST excited for these tasty little treats! I don’t know how many marathon-running, newly engaged couples you know in California but I’m pretty darn sure these are for us! Can’t wait… you’re the best! :-)

  8. seebeautiful says on February 10 2008 at 5:38 am:

    You have another marathon runner/couple here that can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing. I love your blog and photos!!

    Beth

  9. Monica says on February 10 2008 at 6:33 am:

    OH MY GOSH!! You made your fantastic granola into bars?!?! You must have been reading my mind. I need something like this for my hectic traveling schedule in March and April. Make them NOW! Thank you!!

  10. ourkitchensink says on February 10 2008 at 9:50 am:

    Lynn, Christiane, Madeline, Nemmie, Beth, Monica: Thank you, thank you!

    JEP: These actually remind me quite a bit of the Kashi bars, but these taste fresher and less “industrial” than those. And, as I made them (with the lower amounts of honey and PB), they are not as bendy/chewy as the Kashi bars. I hope you give them a try!

    Michelle: Oh no! Where did they go wrong? You can email me directly at thekitchensinkblog (at) gmail (dot) com — we can try to get it figured out.

    Molly: I am so busted! I thought you’d be too busy running 20 miles to read. At least you already knew that something was en route. Hope you like them!

  11. Angie says on February 10 2008 at 5:23 pm:

    YUMMM!! I wanted to make some granola bars and these look so good….AND healthy! Thanks

  12. Hairy Weisenheimmer says on February 10 2008 at 6:35 pm:

    OMG! Those look beyond yummy! Can’t wait to try them!

  13. Yummy Link: Homemade Granola Bars says on February 12 2008 at 10:00 am:

    [...] everyday for a snack. Now that I’m grown and prone to cooking, I enjoy homemade granola bars. This recipe with almonds, flax seeds, and pepitas looks crunchy and delicious. — The Kitchen [...]

  14. Lemmonex says on February 12 2008 at 10:14 am:

    I hate coconut–do you think it would be ok leaving them out? Maybe sub more nuts in? Thanks!

  15. ourkitchensink says on February 12 2008 at 10:24 am:

    Angie and Hairy: Thanks!

    Lemmonex: The coconut is not very prominent at all, so I doubt it would bother you. That said, I think you’d be fine leaving it out. I might sub in more oats, rather than nuts, it its place. I’d worry that more nuts would start to interfere with the “integrity” of the bars.

  16. Lemmonex says on February 12 2008 at 10:33 am:

    More oats is a great idea. Unfortunately, I hate coconut so much that I cannot even smell it, so I would never bring it in the house. It is just the one thing I cannot eat. Thanks and love the blog.

  17. Vicki says on February 17 2008 at 4:31 pm:

    These are wonderful! Thanks for the recipe.

  18. Shanna says on February 18 2008 at 8:13 pm:

    I tried this recipie using the higher amounts of PB and honey, they turned out hard as a freaking rock! Maybe I pressed them down too much? Frankly, I love chewy granola bars and I think it would have turned out well if I hadn’t baked them at all. The liquid mixture turns to glue when it cools and would probably have held together well.

  19. ourkitchensink says on February 18 2008 at 10:02 pm:

    Shanna: Thanks for letting me know. I’ve made an update to the recipe, above, to address the concerns of you and others.

  20. Make-Your-Own Snack Bars « Chick in the Kitchen says on February 21 2008 at 2:13 pm:

    [...] Another granola bar, from The Kitchen Sink. The photos are very enticing, but I’d need to use much small chunks of nuts and such for my guys. [...]

  21. goldenhearth says on February 22 2008 at 10:31 pm:

    oh my god
    I have been searching for a granola bar to make at our bakery. We make a really popular granola and i can’t wait to use your recipe as a base to use with my recipe!
    These look so amazing. Your photos are very wonderful and look better than pics i have seen in magazines. I will have to omit the peanut butter due to allergies but i bet almond butter would work too.

    i love your pages!

    golden hearth baking co

  22. Mar says on March 01 2008 at 5:58 pm:

    I made these this morning, and they turned out wonderfully.
    Until I tried to cut them that is. It isn’t that they crumbled or anything, I just can’t cut things well. And I used dried cherries without chopping them so they kind of stuck to the knife and caused problems…
    I’m gonna change them up a bit next time I make them, but your recipe gave me a great starting place. I wish I’d realized before how easy it could be to make them.

  23. Patrice says on March 05 2008 at 5:24 pm:

    I will be trying these tonight….my ultimate goal is to replicate the new Kashi cherry / dark chocolate bars….any plans to make a clone of these?

    Patrice

  24. Kate says on March 30 2008 at 10:37 pm:

    I just tried this recipe today and also ended up with granola clusters instead of bars, but they do taste good. I must not have mixed the honey/PB goop in thoroughly enough leading to crumbly parts and overly-hard parts. Quite tasty though and I can’t wait to try different combinations of ingredients. Haven’t made anything like this before.

  25. Withpaint says on April 13 2008 at 5:40 pm:

    I tried these, increasing the honey and p.b. by a little and had no problems…even overbaked them bit and they still came out well. I love these bars. They taste very much like the kind I buy in the health food store. I did not use the coconut since my family is not fond of it.

  26. Shauntel Nash says on April 18 2008 at 10:16 am:

    I just made this this am for my family, and yum! They turned out excellent!

  27. Hanna says on May 06 2008 at 3:56 pm:

    I made these for my boyfriend and since then he’s been treating me like a queen. One problem though, they didn’t really hold, more like granola clusters, I don’t know what I did wrong? What would happen if I used more honey and PB? Or if I didn’t bake them at all? Hm, hm…

  28. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on May 07 2008 at 4:58 am:

    Hanna: It sounds like you’ve had the same problem as some other commenters. Did you let the bars cool completely before cutting? One of my big blog goals once my exams are over is to tinker around with this recipe and address these issues. That said, I hope you enjoyed your clusters!

  29. Feng says on June 04 2008 at 9:18 pm:

    Excellent recipe! I made these bars and everyone loved them! I didn’t have a problem with the granola becoming clusters instead of staying as bars, but I think the sharpness of the knife and letting the bars cool entirely before slicing is really important for that to be the case. Oftentimes I have to restrict myself from lunging for the knife and slicing myself a piece after I’ve taken whatever it is I’ve baked out of the oven!

  30. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on June 05 2008 at 5:25 am:

    Feng: Thank you! I’m so (so, so, so) glad to hear that people are having success with the bars. And, I agree: sharp knife, decisive cuts & adequate cooling are essential.

  31. Rose says on June 05 2008 at 11:25 am:

    Thanks for the inspiration!! I just tried a variation of these today. Terrific!

  32. tallstar7 says on June 11 2008 at 2:20 am:

    OOOOHHHH!! These look amazing! As soon as I get over my current raisin bread obsession, I’m going to have to try them.

  33. Nora says on June 11 2008 at 10:29 am:

    Thanks for the receipe. This is my first attempt at Granola, heres hoping it goes well.

  34. Terri says on June 30 2008 at 9:55 am:

    I made these and only few turned into bars, the rest were yummy crumbles. Today I am going to make them again because they were such a great hit. I don’t think I pressed them hard enough. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  35. Ashley says on July 08 2008 at 9:36 am:

    I have searched long and hard for a good granola bar recipe and have finally found the PERFECT recipe!! These are delicious, easy and so much healthier than store bought. Thanks for the great recipe! I plan on modifying the original recipe to see what other taste combination I can create.

  36. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on July 09 2008 at 4:57 am:

    Ashley: That’s great! So glad to hear. If you have tips for the others who have had problems with crumbles, let us know.

  37. Ashley says on July 18 2008 at 1:23 pm:

    I made this recipe again but substituted tahini for the PB, used apricots (diced) and added cardamom. Awesome!! You need to press the granola into the pan really well and wait until it has completely cooled to cut into in order for it not to crumble. Patience is a virtue!

  38. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on July 20 2008 at 8:57 pm:

    Ashley: Those additions all sound delicious. I’m having a little infatuation with cardamom at the moment, so that sounds particularly lovely. And I agree completely with your tips about pressing and waiting. I hope they are helpful to others.

  39. Rajani says on August 13 2008 at 6:57 am:

    hi Kristin, I love this recipe and tried out a different variation of these bars. turned out really nice. love your blog,

  40. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on August 16 2008 at 7:28 am:

    Rajani: That’s great to hear! Thank you.

  41. Johnetta says on August 28 2008 at 1:43 pm:

    These granola bars were fantastic the first time I tried them. My friends loved them, also. The second time proved a little problematic because I tried to substitute ingredients when I should’ve stuck to the recipe. They came out crumbly the second time. I will try again, though. Thanks for the great recipe!

  42. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on August 29 2008 at 8:03 am:

    Johnetta: I’m happy to hear you got one good batch! What substitutions did you make that cause the crumbly second batch? That might be helpful for others out there to know. Thanks for commenting!

  43. Jeff Feingold says on September 21 2008 at 6:53 pm:

    Delicious but very crumbly. Will try a sharper knife next time. It appears that there is not enough “mortar” binding all the “aggregate”. When you hit an almond it tends to cause a fracture. because the almond tends to loosen or shift because it is not locked into place. Maybe slivered almonds rather than whole?

    Not ready to give up on this one. I have a nice bag of crumbs; should be a great cereal!

  44. Kim says on September 29 2008 at 8:45 pm:

    I’ve made these quite a few times and have had some trouble with them crumbling. I made a few changes tonight and they came out so much better (and a little chewier than normal), so I just wanted to share in case this helps anyone else.

    I didn’t have any sesame seeds, so I omitted those. I left out the coconut and replaced it with 1/3 cup of wheat bran (the kind I used is a flour-like consistency, purchased in the bulk bins at Whole Foods). I think this is what really helped to hold the bars together. I made sure to mix the oat/nut/fruit mixture very well and baked it for 25 min at 315F. The only other thing I did differently this time was to use the bottom of a glass to press the mixture down again a little bit AFTER they came out of the oven. I cut them when they were still a bit warm and used a bread knife (just used pressure to rock it back and forth as opposed to sawing it).

    I love this recipe! Thanks!

  45. Stacey says on October 26 2008 at 6:57 pm:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe, the one I’ve been using is awesome but I’m always looking to experiment! I made flax seed granola the other night — pass. ;)

    Thanks so much!
    Stacey

  46. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on October 28 2008 at 8:31 pm:

    Stacey: Let us know how it goes!

  47. Kristin says on November 03 2008 at 8:35 am:

    I made these last month and they were so fabulous that I am bringing them to the Bake Sale for my kids’ school tomorrow :) Keep up the good work!

  48. nancy says on November 03 2008 at 7:15 pm:

    I made these the first time and they just crumbled upon cutting. The crumble was VERY TASTEY, however. I suspected overcooking was partly to blame.
    The second time I made them I increased the peanut butter and the honey a bit and used slivered almonds instead of whole. I literally kneaded the mix to evenly distribute the warm liquid. I packed them well on parchment in a glass pan, but made them thicker than the first batch, like a Nature Valley Granola bar. I CUT THEM BEFORE I BAKED THEM. And, finally, I only BAKED THEM FOR ONLY 15 MINUTES. NO CRUMBLE PROBLEMs, AND CHEWY TOO.
    I know it sounds like a lot of alterations, but they are minor. Thank you for making your recipe available to use. It is very tasty. I am very excited about these bars and will be making them often.

  49. Vida Soraya says on November 04 2008 at 2:14 pm:

    Beautiful photos and excellent instructions! At home, we’re doing a version with dried mangoes, banana chips and dried papaya for a more tropical flavor. But I love how your granola bars look so tasty just the way they are. Can’t wait to try out your recipe! :-)

  50. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on November 06 2008 at 9:07 pm:

    nancy: Thanks for the variations!

    Vida Soraya: I loved the dried mango idea! Mmm.

  51. Kooking Kay says on November 18 2008 at 9:09 pm:

    Thanks for the recipe! I tried it with the following substitutions, but somehow it came out burnt. After it was in the oven at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, it looked too brown so I took it out. It tastes burnt, and doesn’t look like your lovely photos.

    Here were my mods:
    - No Coconut, No Sesame Seeds
    - Sunflower instead of Sesame Seeds
    - Used half Brown Sugar and half White Sugar (because I ran out of Brown)

    Maybe the white sugar caused the browning? Not sure, but I’ll try this recipe again one more time because it looks so yummy – especially with peanut butter.

  52. Anonymous says on December 05 2008 at 10:39 am:

    I made these yesterday.I was a little bit skeptical after reading all the comments but nevertheless wanted to try it.
    Variations:
    I did not have any pepitas and did not add any coconut.
    I added slivered almonds.
    After they cam out of the oven I wanted to slice them (so tempting) but they seemed to crumble,so let them cool completely and cut them with a sharp knife.As somebody else put it patience is a virtue….truly
    They held their shape very well and they taste soooo……yummy.They are by far the best and close to store bought ones that I have made.
    I will keep making them and Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.

  53. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on December 07 2008 at 8:46 pm:

    Anonymous: Thanks for the report!

  54. Carly says on January 03 2009 at 10:49 am:

    kristin, yours look fantastic! i’ll try again today (mine were crumbly and burnt yesterday… oops!) without any tricky agave substitutions and definitely without goji berries. my goodness – if you were ever tempted to try goji berries in this recipe, for heaven’s sake, resist! don’t do it!! they don’t take the heat very well (understatement) and you’ll be left picking out the burnt remains of the once tasty little guys when it comes out of the oven. burnt goji berries, as it turns out, have extraordinarily little appeal to my palate!

    i’m off to go buy some honey… and some other dried fruit :-)

  55. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on January 04 2009 at 9:17 pm:

    Carly: Thanks! I hope you do try again.

  56. Ashley Nicole. says on January 08 2009 at 12:11 am:

    Hmm. Let’s see what changes I made…

    I used 2 cups rolled oats instead of 2.5.

    I meant to use pumpkin seeds, but.. well.. I had been shelling pumpkin seeds I had saved from Halloween.. but erm… my cats apparently decided to play in them and cat fur granola bars didn’t sound appetizing. Instead, I used a half cup Rice Krispies in place of the pumpkin seeds, plus another cup of Rice Krispies to make up for the half cup of oats I left out and to cover half of the dried cranberries, which I decided not to use. So a total of 1.5 cups Rice Krispies.

    I also threw in a spoonful of toasted wheat germ and some organic wheat bran. I didn’t really measure. Just spooned a bit in.

    I was going to use sesame seeds, but the first time I went searching for sesame seeds for some recipe, it took forever to find. The second time proved just as difficult. So I left those out.

    I had originally planned to leave out the cinnamon, but at the last minute I figured, “These have the three main ingredients of my oatmeal cookies: oatmeal, almonds, and coconut. Might as well keep the cinnamon aspect as well.”

    As for the baking, I baked them for 25 minutes at 315ºF. The bars were very crunchy, which I wasn’t expecting. They weren’t bad. Just crunchy. I think maybe next time I’ll try it without baking, or maybe baking for just five to ten minutes to see what texture I get then.

  57. Sarah says on January 10 2009 at 5:21 pm:

    Like many of the other posters, mine came out pretty crumbly.

    I did wait for it to cool completely, and did use a sharp knife, but less a few nice chunks, it just completely fell apart. :(

    Still delicous, but disappointing! Definitely needs more “glue” to hold it together.. but then if you add more, it gets way too hard! What a dilemma..

  58. Kathy says on January 18 2009 at 3:14 pm:

    Can’t wait to try these! Hubby just went through a major health scare and is trying to recover from congestive heart failure. I’m looking for snacks we can make that are healthy. He can’t have salt, so I’ll have to leave that out, but I have unsalted peanut butter and the rest of it he can have. Okay, I admit I don’t know what pepitas are, but once I figure that out and buy any other ingredients I don’t have, I’m totally making these! Looks like a good recipe for experimenting with different ingredients to create different flavors. I’m so psyched to make these!!! I don’t even care if they turn out as bars or crumbles.

  59. christina says on January 21 2009 at 10:32 pm:

    I HAVE FIGURED OUT THE SECRET TO THESE BARS!!! They are CHEWY! CHEWY! And oh soo good! And the secret you ask, well it turns out that you just don’t bake the bars. Oh, and replace 1 1/2 cups of the oats with rice crispies. If you bake it the sugar that binds everything changes structure and becomes brittle and hard, not gooey. (biochem. student here) I did try baking them, and even a low temp. for a short time yielded the same brittle results. You still need to heat the wet ingredients to create a uniform liquid but that is all. Just add the toasted oats, nuts, dried fruit and anything else to the wet mixture, pack it into a baking tin to set, and then cut when it comes to room temp. They will last a very long time, theoretically. That part has not been tested even though I have not stopped making these.

  60. flavacrisp says on January 30 2009 at 8:24 am:

    So I have made these bars twice – the first time exactly as the recipe states, the second I did not bake for as long. Both were super yummy as granola, but they didn’t make the best bars. The recipe as it is written made better bars, but they were hard as a rock. The second batch did not stay together at all. So the next time I make these I will 1)roughly chop the nuts first and 2)NOT toast the oats, nuts and seeds first. I think they will bind together better when they are raw. Then I will bake for 20 minutes and see what happens.

  61. Melanie says on March 03 2009 at 8:55 pm:

    Yum! I love homemade granola bars – they taste so much better then store-bought! I make mine with sweetened condensed milk instead of honey.

  62. Kay says on March 11 2009 at 4:44 pm:

    When I make granola bars, I press them into muffin top pans. If you haven’t seen these, they are like a muffin pan, but larger and very shallow (so that you can make just the muffin top – the best part). Anyway, they work great for granola bars. I press them in, about 1/4 inch thick. They come out as a nice round disc, just the right size, and don’t need to be cut. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  63. Erin says on April 16 2009 at 6:55 am:

    I have been on the hunt for a granola bar recipe that doesn’t fall apart. I love the flavors in this one – the peanut butter, honey, and sea salt are great. I even resisted my natural urge to ad lib, but they still fell apart, despite following the directions. Any ideas?

  64. Amy says on April 29 2009 at 6:37 pm:

    My husband and I love this recipe! He’s requesting I make it for the fourth time in 2 weeks. About 1/2 of it tends to fall apart on me, and 1/2 stays together so we get the best of both worlds- some yummy granola clusters and some bars.

  65. celeste says on May 11 2009 at 1:07 pm:

    This recipe tastes very good, but I ended up with granola after cutting. Just not enough glue, it seems. My “liquid” mixture was never very liquidy, either. I used turbinado sugar instead of brown–could this be the problem? I had more of a mass in the pan than a liquid, even after adding a bit more honey and a dash of oil in desperation. There was no way to mix everything with a spoon, either. I had to knead everything. I will try it again with the brown sugar and perhaps cut back on the oats as well.

  66. Ronnie says on May 13 2009 at 9:44 pm:

    These are amazing! I can’t believe I’ve been paying $5.00 a box for an inferior product. Thank you!

  67. Angela says on May 19 2009 at 1:17 pm:

    Very tasty, but mine are a bit crumbly. I can manage them, but the kids will make a MESS! Should I make a bit more of the honey-peanut butter mix? They seemed a bit dry from the start.

  68. Ronnie says on June 03 2009 at 1:08 pm:

    I figured out how to make a chewy bar. Just toast oats and nuts, add gooey mixture, and put in pan. Do not cook!

  69. Shannon says on June 07 2009 at 7:16 pm:

    This is an Amazing recipe!! I did tweek it quite abit, after trying the granola recipe I found it too much like muslix.
    We like our granola clumpy and chewy, sooo, this granola bar recipe is great for granola if you chunk it up instead of making bars.
    I doubled the peanut butter, used maple syrup instead of brown sugar, but the sugar works great too. I also added a little more honey and a large spoonful of apple sauce.
    The cook time is quite a bit longer a a result of the extra liquids.
    The result is a clumpy chewy granola with lots of flavor.
    My children love it!!!

  70. Kate says on June 09 2009 at 6:33 pm:

    omg! your bars are so so good i made them and they turned out so great thanks for the recipe! if you like you can try my recipe it wasnt as good but it is a great first time making bars recipe(meaning-godd for new cooks to try):
    2 1/2 cup oat meal mix(dry)
    1 cup almonds
    1 teaspoon seasalt
    1 teaspoon ginger
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 cup honey
    1/4 cup peanut butter(optional)
    1 cup dried raisensor cranberries
    cook @ 325 oF
    and pretty do as it says in the recipe above just using my ingrediants instead.
    anyways thanks for coming up with such a great recipe

  71. Juju says on July 02 2009 at 3:27 pm:

    Hi…I cannot thank you enough for posting this outrageously delicious granola bar recipe.
    I live in Chile…where these kind of store bought treats are non-existant,hence I had to look for a way to make them myself. I am NOT a good cook, and my/your bars are divine. I cannot believe that I made them myself, and again thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  72. Mark says on July 22 2009 at 4:28 am:

    Thanks for the great recipe!

    I did lots of modifications with it but it turned out super tasty. My wife loved them, my kids loved them, I brought some to work to brag…

    Removed the coconut, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sea salt, and half of the dried cranberries. Also replaced the all-natural peanut butter with smooth Skippy peanut butter (with sugar and salt). I did throw in a pinch of regular salt just to be on the safe side.

    Added chopped walnuts (~3/4 cup) for the toasting and oat bran (~1 tbsp) wheat germ (~1 tbsp) and 6 chopped medjool dates (6 dates) for the mix.

    As a bonus, the PB/honey/sugar/cinnamon/vanilla hot mix had delicious leftovers! It tasted somewhat like toffee, and had a similar texture when cooled. I think I’ll try to make toffee with it, maybe mix in hazelnuts… I have a good feeling about this :-)

    Anyway, thanks again!

  73. Esther says on August 26 2009 at 11:33 am:

    Than you so much for sharing this great recipe. No doubt I’ll try it this evening.

  74. Leah says on September 03 2009 at 7:10 am:

    I was at Whole Foods today to buy ingredients for my gazillionth batch of these lovelies when I came across a packaged version of these bars! They looked almost IDENTICAL…but here’s the deal…They had 4 teeny tiny little bars in the bag for $7.00!!!! I couldn’t believe it. If you buy all the ingredients in the bulk section you can make a 13X9 pan many times over. Yay money saving goodness!!! Thanks again! P.S. We don’t bake them after they are pressed as my husband likes them chewy. They turn out GREAT!

  75. Joanne says on September 03 2009 at 11:39 am:

    Beautiful photographs and a really cute story. I bet your caramels were awesome too!

  76. Melissa says on October 11 2009 at 10:43 am:

    I wanted to let you know that I just stumbled on your website while looking for a great energy granola bar. I tried it out AWESOME!
    I also didn’t really use a measuring cup and added a heaping soup spoon of extra peanut butter. It came out to the perfect chewiness I was hoping for. So thank you.

  77. Andrea says on October 26 2009 at 12:02 pm:

    In my attempt to make Kashi bars, costly things they are, I made these last night. Subsituted flax for seasame seeds and cashew for peanut butter. They turned out fabulous – thorough mixing, cooling and a sharp knife lead to perfect bars (had to break one to justify sampling). Way better than anything store bought, and a cinch to make. Thanks for the posting!

  78. Heather says on November 17 2009 at 2:08 pm:

    I made these almost as written (subbed almond butter for the peanut butter; had no coconut or sesame seeds so I left them out; subbed sunflower seeds for pepitas; roughly chopped the almonds before toasting) and they were very yummy. It definitely seemed to me that there wasn’t enough “glue,” though, and I ended up with dry spots in my finished bars. The “glue” never got very liquid, either, it just stayed cloudy and gooey. They cut just fine, though, and stay together relatively well when I eat them. I will definitely be making these again, but will be tweaking to see if I can create a little more glue without making the bars any sweeter — a previous commenter’s suggestion of unsweetened applesauce sounds promising!

  79. Paula says on January 04 2010 at 12:03 am:

    I this post to a friend who is trying to rid her house of processed foods but LOVES granola bars. I sent your link to her and hope she will try them. :)

  80. Fearless says on January 07 2010 at 4:00 am:

    your recipe looks so yummy! i will definitely try this. but what are pepitas? sorry but i really have no clue what these are. thanks!

  81. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on January 07 2010 at 8:37 am:

    Fearless: Pepitas are pumpkin seeds. Let us know how the recipe works for you!

  82. Jan says on January 08 2010 at 7:38 am:

    Tried to make these last night – unfortunately they didn’t work at all for me, I ended up with some granola bar “chunks” but mainly a dish full of rubble! Never mind, I can use it as granola I guess.
    As per other comments, there didn’t seem to be enough pb/honey mix to work through the toasted oats/seeds/nuts, so I wonder if I should have added some more, or some other liquid to mix it all better? I think I’ll stick to making regular granola – I was looking for something “portable” for days when I’m heading out on the road early, but I suspect these would crumble all over me….

    Thanks for the recipe – the taste is good, definitely worth a try………….

  83. Ben says on February 23 2010 at 2:22 pm:

    Thank you so much. I make this recipe nearly every week and it’s SOOO yummy! (:

  84. Clara says on February 24 2010 at 2:53 pm:

    I have just baked these and they are cooling at the moment…. I ate a bit of the hot mixture and it was delicious! I just hope it will hold together! Thank you!

  85. Bella says on February 27 2010 at 12:47 pm:

    I was wondering what I could substitute instead of the sugar? Applesauce? STevia? More honey? Really trying to keep the sugar down.
    Anybody know what the calorie count would be on these?
    Tx

  86. Jill says on February 28 2010 at 7:23 pm:

    I made these for the third or fourth time tonight…I have always ended up with incredibly yummy but incredibly crumbly granola bars. I like the big chunks, so I keep the method and expect the crumbles. Only difference tonight was that I was using Skippy peanut butter (which my kids have petitioned to have in the house) instead of my usual natural stuff. The bars stayed together so much better!!! Wonder if this is the key???

  87. JD says on March 01 2010 at 12:20 pm:

    Does anyone know the nutritional content (calories, fat, fiber etc) in these bars? I absolutely love them but want to know how good/bad they are for me.

  88. Jeremy says on March 08 2010 at 3:36 pm:

    I recently became addicted to Kashi’s granola bars as well and decided that it would be fun and maybe cheaper to make them myself. Google brought me to this recipe, and I now make it a LOT. However in my attempt to emulate my beloved Kashi bars, here is how I have adapted the recipe:
    - I use 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill 5-grain cereal in place of just oats
    - Since said cereal already has the flax seed in it, I don’t add it separately as indicated here
    -The 3/4 cup difference in oats and flax seed I have replaced with puffed brown rice cereal (which is usually in the organic section of the grocery)
    - I only used about a half cup of nuts
    - I add an additional tablespoon of honey, and a tablespoon of water. This helps get everything coated – the baking process later will help reduce any excess moisture.
    - I make my own natural peanut butter by just putting unsalted dry roasted peanuts in my mini food processor until it’s a paste.
    - The last couple times I made these, I didn’t do the pre-mix roasting, and I think I like them better.
    - I mix the dry with the wet “glue” and, instead of the 8×8 cake pan, I pack them into a parchement paper-lined 9×13 cookie sheet (the ones that have the sides…not the flat ones – I think they also might be called jelly roll sheets?). After chilling them COMPLETELY, I then pull them out and cut them into bars. I get about 24. They are still soft and moist enough that they cut easily, and if they crumble a little you can kind of press them back together
    - This is when I bake them – as bars. What you’re really doing is getting rid of excess moisture. How you bake them will determine if you get chewier bars or crunchier, dry bars. I place them on a cookie sheet and bake them for 15 minutes at the 325 indicated. If you take them out at this point they will be chewier. The last time I made these I shut the oven off but left them in for an additional 10-15 minutes and they became dryer and crunchier but still very good for a nice change. Next time I will probably do this step but not quite as long.

  89. Wendy Fong says on March 18 2010 at 7:48 am:

    I love this recipe! Thanks!

  90. andi says on June 30 2010 at 2:11 pm:

    just made these,

    best granola bar i have ever had in my life! :)

    the only thing is next time i would maybe use half honey hal maple syrup b/c the honey flavor is VERY strong.

    but still, ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!

    :)

  91. Granola Bar says on July 07 2010 at 4:44 pm:

    Thanks for the great recipe. I make a lot of granola bars at home and I must say these tasted really GOOD! But if you don’t like your bars that sweet that substitute brown rice syrup for the honey.

  92. McGuava Juice says on August 28 2010 at 4:15 pm:

    Jeremy- Your method sounds like the way to go! I’ve just made three batches of granola CEREAL, and will try bars again soon!
    Kristin at The Kitchen Sink, beautiful and inspiring pictures!

  93. Ava says on October 02 2010 at 11:05 pm:

    hi i made this last night and the result was soo crumbly that every cut i made just turned out to be a granola instead of bar. I omitted all the seeds. Instead i added three more nuts into it. I might have overcooked. but do the leftout seeds really make different?

  94. Carrie says on December 01 2010 at 6:04 pm:

    I really like this recipe!! But like others mentioned..it falls apart, still tasty, but nothing like what you made :(( Just wondering that which brand of peanut butter you used ? and how exactly you made it all together, like bar ?

  95. joann says on January 14 2011 at 8:47 pm:

    i have bought granola crumbles from the health food store and my husband asked me if i could make granola bars so i saw ur recipe and it sound so good do you think it would be an issue to use the granols instead of the oatmeal what do you think about that would i need to change anything else ???

  96. joann says on January 14 2011 at 8:48 pm:

    can i use granola bits that i bought at health food store in placeof oatmeal

  97. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on January 15 2011 at 1:25 pm:

    joann: I would not recommend using granola bits in place of oats.

  98. Skinny Fat Kid says on February 23 2011 at 3:08 pm:

    Made these for the 2nd time this weekend and they were awesome! I had to double the “binder”, but I’m using almond butter, so maybe that made a difference. Great snack!

  99. Wilma says on June 15 2011 at 9:26 am:

    I didn’t have oats but few boxes of Kashi cereal. I did the honey mix. Toasted flax/sesame seeds. Pressed cereal down with hands as flakes are big. Mixed it all together and baked. Awesome! Thanks for recipe.

  100. Rachel says on July 12 2011 at 1:27 pm:

    I made these and the liquid didn’t seem to go far enough to cover the “solids” but I noticed there’s no added fat. Yummy, though! Most other granola and granola bar recipes I’ve tried included oil or butter. I think I’ll try coconut oil next time.

  101. Julie Cleveland says on July 28 2011 at 8:56 pm:

    These were great! The only change I made in the recipe was I used crushed peanuts instead of almonds (roasted unsalted). I used the whole teaspoon of salt but wish I didn’t as they were a bit salty. I think next time I’ll do 1/2 t or maybe 3/4. Also, going on another poster’s suggestion after the toasting I mixed the wet and dry ingredients, pressed it all into the pan and let it cool! No more baking. Parts were a bit crumbly (great with yogurt) but overall it all stuck together nicely and tasted delicious. I can’t wait to make more!

  102. Angela says on August 29 2011 at 3:22 pm:

    GREAT recipe! Mine were a bit crumbly as well, but I probably didnt press firmly enough in the pan. I mixed up the same proportion of the liquid ingredients and smeared it across the bars immediately after removing from the oven, too, and then tossed some chocolate chips on top to melt into the mixture. Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  103. Andrea says on October 14 2011 at 9:53 am:

    After much experimenting with this recipe and reading all of the other reviews, I have finally figured out the way to make these so that they are chewy. Reduce the rolled oats to 1 3/4 cup and substitute the remaining for rice krispies (I used whole wheat ones from Whole Foods). Double all of the ingredients used in the honey mixture except for the salt and add a squirt of maple syrup. After mixing the ingredients press them down using parchment paper and let cool completely. No baking at all after the inital toasting of the ingredients. They come out perfect.

  104. Gillzie says on January 15 2012 at 10:49 am:

    The first time I tried these they didn’t bind together but they made a great tasting cereal. I just tried these again, this time I added a few teaspoons of warm water to the caramel at the end to make a runnier consistencyl. These worked a treat. Nicely bound together and not too hard. Great for breakfast on the move. Thx for the recipe.

  105. Erin says on January 30 2012 at 5:14 pm:

    Just made them, and they turned out great! When I pulled them out of the oven I noticed it had poofed a little, so I took a glass and compressed it again. I’m sure it made a difference in cutting, it barely crumbled at all.

  106. Dark Days 13 – Granola Fail « Methylgrace says on February 29 2012 at 12:59 pm:

    [...] boxed and bulk granolas.   In search of the perfect granola bar, I found recipes that use egg or peanut butter as a binder.  I’ll have to give this another try; seriously how often can I [...]

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    [...] granola bars have been making the rounds on the internet and everyone espouses about how simple they are to make.  It really is true.  It [...]

  108. Katie says on August 20 2012 at 5:27 pm:

    I made these today without baking them since I normally don’t bake my granola bars. I let them sit for 4 hours without cutting them up and they turned out great. They hold together and are chewey- not hard at all. Next time I will try baking them too see how the texture changes.

  109. Rachel says on January 04 2013 at 12:24 pm:

    I have been using the recipe to make granola clusters by spread them out on the baking sheet and break them apart when it is cool. They are much better than any store bought granola.

  110. Helena says on May 02 2013 at 7:56 am:

    I tried your recipe, despite waiting quite a while to cut them they just crumbled. Any advice would be very much appreciated!!

  111. MH says on December 19 2013 at 3:37 pm:

    The best granola bar recipe… No question about it. I love to bake and give away to people and they all love it.

  112. Salty-Sweet Granola "Clusters" | Spache the Spatula says on March 02 2014 at 12:32 am:

    […] Granola Bars… or “Clusters” recipe adapted from here […]

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