Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars
This Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars recipe puts the store bought bars to shame. One thing I really love about this recipe is its’ simplicity. I toyed with the idea of adding dried cranberries or even mini chocolate chips but I couldn’t do it. I knew those flavors would interfere with the true flavors of the toasted oats, toasted pecans, and golden raisins.
I’ve been nibbling on these granola bars periodically over the past week. I’ve come to really enjoy having them around my house! They serve as a perfect quick snack, one that’s sweet but not heavy.
Every time I’ve taken a bite out of these homemade granola bars I think about how these taste warm. I’m dead serious! I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s like they’re a fall granola bar. I think of sweater weather, leaves changing colors, reading books by a fireplace. I have no idea where all those thoughts come from, but that’s exactly what I think about as soon as I bite into these granola bars. Which, hey! I’m not complaining! I love fall.
It’s just, the flavors blend so well together! The sweetener in this recipe is honey, brown sugar, and butter. Pair that deliciousness with toasted oats and pecans and you have flavors that are off the charts!
The whole recipe is just a simple masterpiece. That’s straight up the best way to explain it!
I know exactly what you’re thinking. “I don’t have enough time to make homemade granola bars!” While yes, that might be true, I can assure you this granola bar recipe takes only 25 minutes to make. Tops.
I’ll walk you through it.
How to make Homemade Granola Bars
For added flavor and awesomeness lets toast the oats and pecans (or nuts of your choice).
Preheat the oven to 350°F and spread the old fashioned oats and nuts on a baking sheet. I toasted mine for 7-8 minutes. Feel free to toast them for longer.
Once the oats and pecans are toasted transfer them to a large bowl.
Pro tip: to make the most use of your time, make the sauce/bonding agent while the oats and nuts are toasting in the oven.
In a small saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, salt, and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Pour the butter mixture over the toasted oats and nuts. Add the golden raisins to the bowl and stir to combine.
Line a 9″x9″ square pan with wax paper or parchment paper.
Pour the granola mixture into the pan. Using the back of a spoon or a spatula, firmly press the mixture into the pan doing your best to create an even layer.
Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until cool and set.
Remove from the fridge and carefully pull the overhanging parchment paper to remove the granola from the pan.
Using a long knife, cut into rectangles. Depending on the size you want, you can get 8-10 granola bars total.
Storing Homemade Granola Bars
Store wrapped between parchment paper or wax paper (to prevent sticking) in an airtight container or ziplock bag.
The granola bars will keep at room temperature for 5 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
These granola bars are a bit on the sweet side. To reduce the amount of sweetness in this recipe reduce the brown sugar to 1/3 cup and the honey to 1/4 cup.
To make these into vegan granola bars, use a vegan butter or coconut oil (note, coconut oil will give these more of a coconut flavor), and substitute maple syrup for the honey.
As I’ve snacked on these granola bars I’ve thought to myself several times how delicious these bars would taste with a hint of cinnamon in them! If you’d like to add a hint of cinnamon I suggest adding 1/4 tsp to the saucepan when you’re melting the butter mixture.
Want to add a whole new level of flavor? Brown the butter. Do this prior to adding the brown sugar, honey, and vanilla to the saucepan.
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Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup chopped nuts - I used pecans
- 6 tablespoons butter - salted or unsalted is fine
- 1/2 cup brown sugar - light or dark
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread the oats and chopped nuts on the baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until toasted. Remove from the oven and transfer to a large bowl.
- In a large saucepan add the butter, brown sugar, honey, salt, and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring often. Cook until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour the butter mixture over the toasted oats and nuts. Add the golden raisins. Stir to combine.
- Line a 9×9 inch square pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Pour the granola mixture into the pan and using the back of a spoon or a spatula firmly press the mixture into the pan, doing your best to create an even layer.
- Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until cool and set.
- Remove from the fridge and carefully pull the overhanging parchment paper and remove the granola from the pan. Using a long knife cut into bars, about 8-10 bars.
- Store wrapped between parchment paper (to prevent sticking) in an airtight container.
- Can keep at room temperature for 5 days or in the fridge for up to a week or more.