A couple weeks ago I ran across this excellent recipe on Wit & Whistle for homemade granola bars. Of course, being the culinary tinkerer that I am, I couldn’t simply leave well enough alone and adapted it to my tastes (CHOCOLATE!) and what I had on hand. While I was at it I also made some handy conversions from volumetric to weight measurements for geeky folks like me who like to use kitchen scales. The result: easy-to-make relatively healthy absolute deliciousness!
Chocolate Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats (6.65oz / 190g)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (6.4oz / 180g)
1/2 cup wheat germ (2.25oz / 65g)
1 cup whole wheat flour (5.1oz / 145g)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (4oz / 120g)
3/4 cup chopped nuts (3oz / 82g) – I prefer toasted pecans
*1/2 cup dried fruit (varies) – optional, reduce chips and nuts to 1/2 cup each if using
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 9×13 inch pan two pieces of aluminum foil, forming a sling. Grease or coat the pan in nonstick spray. Prepping the pan this way should allow you to remove the bars from the pan easily.
In a small bowl mix the honey, egg, oil, and vanilla. In a large bowl mix oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cocoa, cinnamon, flour, chocolate chips, nuts, (fruit) and salt. Make an indention in the center of the dry mixture, and pour in the wet mixture and mix well. (Don’t be afraid to use your hands to get everything coated.) Press the mixture into the pan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the edges are well-set. Cool for about 5 minutes and cut the bars while they are still warm.
*Note: I didn’t have any eggs when I first made this recipe and decided to forge ahead anyway. I gave them a little longer to cook, probably closer to 35 or 40 minutes, but otherwise didn’t change the recipe any. They turned out pretty (as you can see in these pics) and were probably just a little more crumbly than if I had used egg. In other words, these could easily be vegan (depending on whether you consider honey to be non-vegan.)
As you can tell, this is a great recipe for experimenting with, so go ahead and tweak it to your liking. If you do make them, be sure to let me know how they turn out!