I try not to keep many snacks in the house, aside from fruits and veggies, but granola bars are one of our favorites and I just can't NOT have them in the house. But I've never been super impressed with store-bought granola bars so I make my own and they are FANTASTIC. At least, we think so. This recipe makes a lot of thick and chewy granola bars, feel free to halve the recipe.
Homemade Granola Bars
6 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup oil (vegetable or grapeseed works well)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 cups of add-ins (nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, etc)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the oats in a 9x13 baking pan and toast (stirring once) for about 15 minutes.
While the oats toast, heat the oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and heat until the brown sugar has dissolved. Stir in peanut butter and set aside.
Add 3 cups of add-ins to the toasted oats and stir. I chose dried chopped figs, raisins, dried cranberries, pretzel pieces, sunflower kernels, almonds, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir to coat. With a spatula, press the oats into the pan. Flatten and press the mixture until it's smooth and even. Let cool for about an hour. Then cut into bars.