So I was at the store the other day and Mr. Fantabulous had said “Hey, how come you don’t make crunchy granola bars? I like them. Peanut Butter ones specifically.” Honestly I’m not sure why I never made them, I was just so used to buying a box of them that I never gave it a second thought. I know.. “You bought prepackaged food??? For shame!” *sigh*… I’m sorry, it’ll never happen again…. I think *wink*
I had my trusty chewy granola bar recipe but after looking at it, it wasn’t what I wanted. So like most of you, I did some research to see what common ingredients went into them. They are all pretty standard with slight variations on sugar or honey. I cross referenced a bunch and then took bits and pieces from each and came up with my own.
Now this is a first attempt and while it’s good, it’s not “quite right”. It’s missing something and I don’t think next time I’d add the wheat germ. Well I would add it for me but not for Mr. Fantabulous. He wasn’t feeling the wheat germ addition. Oops! My bad 🙂
Anywho… I will revamp this and perhaps add some more honey and more peanut butter. This isn’t uberly peanut buttery so you could easily add more if you wanted. Plus for me, I’d need to add mini chocolate chips. I mean seriously, there has never been a more perfect union (other than my marriage to Mr. Fantabulous) then chocolate and peanut butter!
Please give this a shot and let me know what you think it ‘needs’.
Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola Bars
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- 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 egg whites, beaten
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ¾ cup chopped nuts (toasted) – any variety
- Options: ½ cup mini chips, peanut butter chips, coconut
- Preheat oven to 300.
- Put the rack in the middle.
- Line a 13×9” pan with either foil or parchment paper leaving a 1” overhang. Lightly spray with Pam.
- Place the nuts in a large bowl.
- Add the oats and oil to a 12” skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes just until they are lightly toasted. Do not burn!
- Put the oats in the bowl with the nuts and add the salt. Stir to combine.
- Beat the egg whites on medium until light and frothy.
- When the oat mixture is cooled, add the egg whites and mix.
- Place the honey and brown sugar in the skillet and simmer gently over medium-low heat. Stir often as you don’t want it to burn. You only want cook it until the sugar dissolves. ~5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add in the vanilla, cinnamon and peanut butter.
- In one swift motion, pour the honey mixture into the oats and mix until thoroughly combined. (I used a wooden spoon that I sprayed with Pam). You have to work fast. Mix it until everything is incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and pack very firmly into an oven layer. I used the bottom of a metal measuring cup to get it all compacted.
- Bake the granola until golden, 25-35 minutes (just until the edges are slightly browned), rotating the pan halfway through baking. The granola will feel ‘soft’ to the touch in the oven but it will harden once it cools.
- Let the granola cool for 30 minutes or until firm to the touch, lift it out of the pan with the foil/parchment paper and then cut with a very sharp knife.
- Let the bars cool completely before serving.
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