Homemade Granola Bars

I found this recipe over on Lynn's Kitchen Adventures and have made it twice already since last week! They are that good.

I've made a few changes though and will list what I do after the recipe.

1/2 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
2 Tb honey
2 Tb corn syrup
2 1/3 cups quick cooking oats

Grease an 8x8 pan. In a pan on the stove combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, and corn syrup. Stir constantly over medium heat until butter melts, sugar dissolves, and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and add oats. Stir well until oats are well coated. Spread mixture into 8x8 pan. Bake at 350 for 22 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and cut into bars. Cool for about 1 more hour in the pan. Then remove bars.

If you wait to cut and remove bars from the pan until the pan is completely cooled, the bars will be very hard to remove.

They aren't the most healthy thing to eat with all the sugars and corn syrup but at least you know what's going in them and you could add to them to make them a little better, like nuts or dried fruit.

Here are my variations:

--I've added chocolate chips and coconut after I get the oats coated well. The chocolate chips will melt but you still get a really nice chocolate flavor and a bit of chocolate here and there. The coconut added a little extra sweetness but I don't think you need very much because my first batch seemed a little too sweet (if that's possible!)

--An 8x8 pan doesn't last very long so I doubled it last time for a 9x13 dish. However, trying to make it a little more healthy I only did 3/4 c butter (instead of 1 cup), 3/4 c brown sugar (instead of 1 cup), and not quite the 2 Tb of corn syrup. I'm still playing around with measurements.

--They are pretty crumbly. Maybe I need that extra corn syrup and butter but they still tasted really good and if you press them into the pan before you bake them they stay together okay. I'd rather have less calories and sugar and have them a little crumbly...depends on how you like them.

--Another personal decision: the first batch I baked for the directed 22 minutes. However the edges got really crunchy and we like our granola bars more chewy. The second time I made these I only baked them for 18 minutes and they were much better.

--I don't know if it really matters when you remove them from the pan. I've waited longer than an hour and it was fine.

--When I remove them I put them in a little square of plastic wrap and wrap them individually. It makes it easy to grab and eat and it's something easy for the hubby to pack for work.

I'd love to hear if you try any additions that turn out yummy!

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