I've tried a couple different granola bar recipes hoping for nice chewy ones, but they always seem to turn out more crumbly than I'd like. I just made a batch using a recipe on the back of a box of Hodgson Mill Wheat Bran--modifying it a bit, of course. Here's the modified recipe:
Chewy Granola Bars
1 cup Brown Sugar
2/3 cup Peanut butter (they said crunchy--I only had creamy)
1/2 cup Corn syrup (I used half honey)
1/2 cup Butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 cups Oatmeal
1 1/4 cups Wheat Bran
1/2 tsp. Salt
3-4 T. Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Raisins (plus a bit of dried mixed fruit I had on hand)
about 2 cups worth of crumbs from the bottom of Frosted Shredded Wheat cereal :)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9x13 pan. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, butter and vanilla; blend well. Stir in oatmeal, wheat bran, sesame seeds and salt. Press mixture evenly in prepared pan. Bake 15-20 mins or until light brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Yield: 24 bars.
MODS: OK, the frosted shredded wheat crumbs might sound weird, but I HATE eating that stuff when the normal part of the cereal is gone, and the thrifty part of me hates throwing it away (hey, I paid for that!) So I've put it in granola before, and we all loved it. I do wish I had cut down on the corn syrup/honey a bit more, as the bars turned out a bit sweet, even for us. I probably could have cut it way back to 1/4 cup. I forgot to add the crumbs until the very end, though, which made the mixture a bit dry. I added a bit more butter for this reason--the total amount used is what I listed above.
The original recipe used sesame seeds, which we don't like. I subbed sunflower seeds, and twice as much of them as what the recipe called for. I also used all oatmeal instead of half that and half oat bran, since I didn't have oat bran on hand. The original recipe didn't call for raisins, either--but what's a granola bar without raisins? I'm thinking next time I'll use a bit more peanut butter and add some mini chocolate chips. What can I say--health food is just more fun when it looks like junk food. :)
I scored the bars when they were still warm, which made the final cutting much easier. They're moist and chewy and I'm sure the kids will be begging for them a lot--which I won't mind a bit since these are so easy to throw together!
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