Better Than Granola Bars

I’ve tried so many different recipes for granola bars over the years, and I’ve never found one “the one.” Most of them have been good, but none have been great. My most recent attempt was about a week ago. We discovered that they tasted pretty good with Nutella on top, but there was nothing special about the flavor or texture.

Then I had an idea.

I’ve been making baked oatmeal for years. I love the stuff. The whole family loves it. We eat it warm with a little milk over it, and then we eat the leftovers cold, sometimes for breakfast, and sometimes for dessert. It tastes that good. Oh, and if you ever get invited to a brunch, it is the perfect dish to bring.

I’ve always made it in a pie pan. It’s nice and deep, and we cut it into beautiful slices. This time, I thought, “Why not bake it into bars? I can pack it in a lunch box, or stick some in my purse for a snack.

And so I did.

And it was perfect.

Baked Oatmeal Bars

serves 8-10

3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1 cup milk (warmed slightly or at room temp)
1/3 cup butter (softened)
1 Tb vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup dried sweet cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Beat eggs until light, and pale in color. Add all liquid ingredients (including vanilla), and beat on med-low until well incorporated.

2. With the mixer running, mix in oats, cinnamon, and salt. Switch to low, and mix in cranberries and pecans.

3. Spread mixture into a prepared 9×13 pan. (I use parchment paper.) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (If you decide to make it in a pie dish, you’ll need to bake it 45-50 minutes.)

Serve warm with a splash of milk over it (if you feel so inclined), then refrigerate.

Here’s some chopped up warm in a bowl with some milk. Mmm…

As always, please let me know if you try it!

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9 thoughts on “Better Than Granola Bars

  1. I just made these today. I put a 3/4 cup of wheat germ in there to make them more filling, omitted the fruit (don’t have any), and I added almonds instead of walnuts. I really like the texture of them and I think they would taste great with peanut butter. However, they were not sweet at all (I know there really isn’t any sugar in the recipe unless you add the fruit) so next time I will add some dried fruit and see what happens. I am very happy with the recipe and I would definitely try it again!

  2. Wow…. just to amend my previous post… I forgot the maple syrup. That explains a lot. Oh well they were definitely not bad even without the maple syrup if any diabetics out there were wondering.

    • Haha! Oh no! I hate it when I do stuff like that. Well it’s good to know that they are not bad without the maple syrup. Maybe I should try reducing it farther to save myself some sugar and calories… Have you made them again since? I’m curious to see what you think if you’ve tried them with sweetener.

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