I’m pretty sure that as a child I never knew some things existed simply because they were not on our family grocery list. One of these things was the turnip. No argument there, actually. Another was the chewy granola bar. When I was in the fifth grade, a friend gave me the extra one from her lunch. The first bite was such a revelation to me– the soft, luscious, oat-y-ness almost melting in my mouth– that I sometimes crave them still. They even seemed just a little healthier than an actual cookie, so that you could (theoretically) eat them more often! Where in the world had these things been all my young life? Not in my lunchbox, that’s for sure.
Because they are no-bake, these come together in a flash, and just need a quick trip to the freezer to firm up. This recipe makes two, so that you can have one and stash the other away for a snack later on. And they are so much better than the ones that come from the store.
These granola bars are wonderful on their own, but are also great with any add-ins you dream up. I used dried cranberries and white chocolate today. (Other possibilities are pepitas, flaked coconut, orange peel, red hots, peanuts, cacao nibs, dipped in white or dark chocolate…just sayin’.)
Use a mini-loaf pan for this recipe. Spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray, or rub with butter, and set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, light corn syrup, and brown sugar. Microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds, and stir again. At this point, you should have a syrup-y mixture in which the sugar crystals have dissolved. You can test this by rubbing a dab between your thumb and forefinger. If it’s smooth, or very nearly so, you’re good. If not, microwave it for 15 more seconds, max.
Stir salt, oats, and almond meal into mixture until everything is evenly coated. Add up to 3 tablespoons of any extras at this point, and mix well. Press firmly and evenly into the mini-loaf pan. Pop the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove from the freezer, invert the pan, and tap gently to release your granola bar. At this point it is loaf-shape. Lay it on a cutting mat, and cut lengthwise with a sharp knife into two rectangular bars. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy the deliciousness right away, or wrap in plastic and save for later.
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