Oh, friends. This recipe. Let me assure you that it is the result of much trial. And, subsequently, much error. If ever you’ve tried your hand at homemade granola bars, you probably know why this is such a triumph. More often than not, from-scratch granola bars come out either hard as a rock, or too soft to hold together. The good news is that finally our family has a go-to granola bar recipe. That’s all. There is no bad news here. :)
There is, however, further good news. That is: I’m sharing this tried-and-true recipe with you, my dear reader, today.
- 7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup sugar (either brown or granulated)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Line two 9x13-inch pans with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Toss oats in extra-virgin olive oil and toast them at 375º for about 30-min (until golden brown), stirring every 10 minutes. Place 1 cup of the nuts in food processor and process into a nut flour--that is, until they are reduced to a fine texture like coarse sand. Add processed nuts to a large bowl. Pour in toasted oats, remaining 1 cup of nuts, coconut, & seeds.
- Mix honey, syrup, molasses, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the oat mixture. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well to ensure all of the oat mixture is coated.
- Pour into prepared pans, dividing mix equally between the two. With greased hands, press firmly on granola to pack tightly.
- Bake for about 20-minutes at 300º. Cooking time can vary. You're looking for a golden brown color. It could take up to thirty minutes to achieve doneness. You can also check for slight firmness that still gives slightly when nudged.
- Let cool completely, first in pan on rack for approximately fifteen minutes, then by lifting bars out of pan and setting directly on the rack to cool completely.
- When completely cool, cut with a bread knife on a cutting board into whatever shape you desire.