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
3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup milk (warmed slightly or at room temp)
1/3 cup butter (softened)
1 Tb vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
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.
As always, please let me know if you try it!