Who doesn’t love granola bars? I remember eating them as a kid, more in the summer than any other time of the year – but perhaps that’s because we were home all day long, exahusting ourselves from running in and out and playing in the hot summer sun.
My kids love them too – if allowed, they would eat tray, after tray, after tray… and then complain that their belly hurts from eating too much. These homemade granola bars are super simple to make, soft, chewy, and totally adaptable with your favorite mix-ins. They are also much better than store varieties – not only because you can customize to your liking, but for the sheer reason that they don’t have any crazy ingredients.
I love using coconut sugar in mine, but you can definitely use brown sugar too – whatever works best for your family.
Get started by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your square pan with parchment, and lightly grease with butter or a quick zap of cooking spray.
Chop your mixed nuts and spread them out on a baking sheet along with your rolled oats; bake for 7-10 minutes, then set aside. While the granola mixture is toasting, add the butter, honey, sugar, extract and salt in a small saucepan and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
Chop your dried cranberries and blueberries, sprinkle on your toasted oat mixture, and then pour on your butter/honey mixture. Mix well, and allow to cool before sprinkling on your mini chocolate chips. Toss to combine, then spoon the mixture into your prepared pan, and press firmly with a rubber spatula; your goal is to make an even layer with a liberal amount of pressure.
Refrigerate for two hours, and then lift the parchment from the pan and cut into bars.
We like to wrap ours individually in parchment and store in the refrigerator; they certainly don’t last long!