No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

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My husband went out to play guitar with a bunch of friends tonight and I stayed home with the boys.   It’s a Friday so the boys are allowed to play with their Wii (they’re not allowed to play during the week, so they look forward to Friday afternoons!)   Three of the four like the Wii.   Actually they all like it now because the one that didn’t really like it got Lego Rock Band for Christmas.   Anyway, one of my sons didn’t feel like playing anymore tonight, so I asked him if he wanted to try to make granola bars.   He got really excited so off we went to the kitchen.   I was happy that we had all of the ingredients in the house.

I went to Costco yesterday (there’s one in Manhattan now – hooray!) and got a big box of granola which I used tonight.   A couple of my sons had some for dessert before the granola bars were ready.

These bars are quite good.   I attempted to make granola bars a couple of years ago and failed.    The consistency was poor and I didn’t really like the taste.  These on the other hand are delicious.   The remind me of Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bars.   When I made these, I left the raisins out because my boys don’t like raisins in things.   I also used a mixture of semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.    The white chips were a nice addition.

The mixture is very sticky when you’re pressing it down into the pan.   I wore a disposable latex glove when I did it.  You can also put a Ziploc bag over your hand which will serve the same purpose.   Dampening your hand, or the glove/Ziploc bag will help if you find the mixture sticking to you.

Once the bars set, I found them a bit challenging to cut.  Not impossible, but not terribly easy either.   I had to use a spatula to cut them.   A knife didn’t work well.   I also had to sacrifice a couple of them to get the rest of the bars out in the shape of nice rectangles.  I’ll definitely make these again.

I’ll definitely make these again and I’m not sure I’ll buy the Quaker Oats granola bars anymore since they’re so easily reproducible at home. I also like the fact that mine don’t include: partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, TBHQ, citric acid, corn syrup solids, glycerine, sorbitol, natural and artificial flavor, and BHT. I don’t even know what a bunch of those things are, but I do know that a couple of them scream trans-fats.    Yuck.    I much prefer the simple ingredient list I used below.

No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
From Everyday With Rachael Ray

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 cups granola, such as Back to Nature brand
1 cup rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup thin pretzel sticks
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, or any combination of chips that you like

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the honey and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Add the granola, rice cereal, raisins and pretzels to the saucepan and fold the ingredients to evenly coat with the sauce. Transfer the granola mixture to a 9-by-13-inch ungreased baking pan and press firmly to evenly fill. Gently press the chocolate chips onto the top of the granola. Let the granola mixture set in the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes, then cut into rectangular bars.

Yield: ~18 bars

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26 comments to No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

  • yum! these look so quick and easy! i might try making some with peanut butter too!

  • Great photo – I am going to make these next weekend. They look great.

  • Tasha

    These look so yummy! Going to give them a whirl this week.

  • I’ve been looking for a recipe like this, a no-bake granola bar, and I think I’ll play with it a bit to see if I can reduce the calories without compromising the texture/flavor too much. I like to buy the FiberPlus bars and would like to start making my own at home since they are so pricey. Thanks for giving me a starting point!

  • Yummy! I will give these a try! Thanks!

  • Kim

    As Alton Brown showed on his show about making bars, if you press them into a pan with parchment or wax paper beneath, then remove them by pulling out the paper, then lay the whole brick flat onto a cutting board or large plate. Then, use a large sharp knife or large pizza cutter to cut them into bar shape. Then you won’t have to dig out the corner pieces. Also works well for rice krispie treats! Thanks for the idea. Gonna have to try this one!

  • Hi Kim,

    Thanks for the great tip. I’m going to make another batch of these tonight.

    Diane

  • Definitely going to try these.

    Was going to recommend the same as Kim: parchment paper!

  • Angela

    Does anyone know if I could possibly substitute the honey with corn syrup, or maybe there is a better product to use? My little one can’t eat honey yet so I think it would be cruel to make such a yummy treat to eat in front of her!!

    Thanks!

  • Hi Angela,

    My guess is that corn syrup would work. Maple syrup might be a nice substitute as well.

    Good luck!

    Diane

  • Angela

    Perfect! I’ll give it a try and I’ll let you all know :)

    Cheers!

  • What a fantastic idea! This would be great for snack!

  • Elli

    I can’t wait to make these! They look just like the chewy bars i love and i can personalize them! No more raisin ones, just choc and peanut butter for me!

    Angela: You could try agave syrup instead of honey. It tastes just like sugar, yet is in the liquid form. Plus it is all natural! (find it at a natural foods store.)

  • The parchment paper worked like a dream! I’ve made two more batches using the parchment paper and didn’t have to sacrifice any granola bars! They’re so easy to remove from the pan and cut. Thanks so much for the tip.

    I have another tip to add. Tonight I dumped in a little less than 1/4 cup of wheat germ and Miller’s bran (wheat bran), and the bars are delicious. My sons didn’t even notice. I think I’m going to try to add some cinnamon next.

  • Agave is a great suggestion for a honey replacement.

  • janel

    these were super easy to make, however way too sweet. i would skimp on the sugar and honey. It was just overkill.

  • ***Andrea***

    We love these bars! My husband asked me this morning if I could make more today. Except, I made them today for the second time and used maple syrup( I was out of honey) and they crumbled apart. I now have a huge bowl of granola for my yogurt. I just wanted to mention this because the maple syrup didn’t work. It must not be sticky enough.

    I found your site via Serious Eats for these granola bars =)

  • Thanks so much for the tip about the maple syrup!

  • Allison

    I made these for the second time tonight. Last time I didn’t use raisins at all, but my sons have since developed a love for yogurt raisins, so I used yogurt raisins instead of regular and the bars turned out great! The yogurt coating melts a little, but the boys loved them. I also used about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips instead of 1/2, and I thought it was much better than the first time I made them.

  • StylishCuisine

    Thanks for the tip about the yogurt raisins Allison. I’m so glad your boys loved them.

  • Oh, I make a similar granola bar http://www.thegalleygourmet.net/2010/10/10182010-homemade-chewy-granola-bars.html. I really like the addition of the pretzel sticks…great sweet and salty combination. Oh, and I completely agree with you on the whole unable to pronounce ingredient list…should we really be putting that stuff in our bodies day to day?

    P.S. Little tip on getting them out of the pan? Line it with parchment paper with sides over hanging for easy release!

  • Ingrid

    these are great!! i just adapt the recipe depending whats in my cupboard – love being able to do that with recipes! and i add peanut butter (just cause i love it!). i made these in mini silicone muffin trays and they just pop out easily and a perfect for a bite size snack. thanks for the recipe :)

  • Gary

    When you say they are chewy, when you break them, are they taffy like strings between the pieces? I want one like that.

  • StylishCuisine

    Hi,

    The bars are definitely chewy – when you hold a bar with one end in each hand and try to break it, it will bend rather than snapping. Unfortunately you do not see strings like taffy between the pieces when it breaks

    -Stylish Cuisine

  • Judy

    Hey, I want to make these tomorrow, but I do not have any butter. I only have margarine, how would that affect the bars? Thanks!

  • StylishCuisine

    Hi Judy,

    I think the bars will be fine if you use margarine instead of butter. Good luck!

    Diane

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