Everything Bars

By Samantha Ardry
December 23, 2014
4 Comments


Author Notes: I was a baker in a very busy, small artisan bakery. Typically we didn't have much time to have a leisurely meal during the day, so these "granola bars" really did the trick. What I love about them is they look like a typical granola bar, but they are taste like a super indulgent treat. When I made them, everyone in the shop couldn't stop nibbling at the pan (I always had to make a separate pan of these babies for all of us bakers to munch on). They are my ideal snack: crisp yet chewy, sweet with salt and chock full of texture. This recipe makes a lot of bars, but trust me, you want them all. They freeze well and also keep extra long in the fridge.Samantha Ardry

Makes: 1 - half sheet tray (about 40 bars)

Ingredients

  • 26 1/4 ounces creamy peanut butter
  • 15 ounces honey
  • 1/2 ounce vanilla extract
  • 17 3/4 ounces old fashioned oats
  • 7 3/4 ounces chopped walnuts
  • 7 3/4 ounces mini chocolate chips
  • 7 ounces raisins, dried cranberries or both
  • 6 1/4 ounces sunflower seeds
  • 3 3/4 ounces flaked coconut
  • 2 1/2 ounces sesame seeds or flax seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat a conventional oven to 350 F. Grease a half sheet tray (13 x 18).
  2. Measure 11 1/2 ounces of the old fashioned oats and grind in a food processor to make oat flour. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, briefly cream the peanut butter, honey and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, including the remaining 6 1/4 ounces of oats and the oat flour. Toss to combine and then slowly add to the creamed mixture. Scrap the bowl as necessary to evenly distribute everything.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the sprayed pan and press down with your hands until the mixture is even and flat. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the edges lightly brown. Let cool completely in the pan. I advise chilling the pan for a couple of hours or even overnight to make the edges more crisp. You can cut to whatever size you please, but I usually cut them into 40 bars that are roughly 1 1/2 x 3 3/8 inches.

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Reviews (4) Questions (0)

4 Comments

iris K. February 18, 2017
My bars fell apart and am wondering if you might have any suggestions about why this could have happened. I triple checked the ingredients and the oven was set correctly. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 
Author Comment
Samantha A. February 21, 2017
Hi Iris, <br />I'm so sorry to hear that your bars crumbled. Was the mixture moist when you put it in the pan? If it was dry, that would explain the results you got, and something might have been mis-measured. If not, and the mixture was in fact moist and easy and press into the pan, my best guess is that they might have been over-baked. If you try to make them again, I would bake them for a bit less time, or perhaps lower the oven temperature a bit. Do you have an oven thermometer? It might help get a more accurate reading. I have two ovens and both heat very differently. Hope these suggestions help!
 
Mrs B. March 8, 2016
These look wonderful, but I'm not crazy about honey. What do you recommend that I use instead? I don't need the bars to be very sweet, especially with the chocolate chips, raisins and coconut providing sweetness. Thank you.
 
Author Comment
Samantha A. March 11, 2016
The honey really helps to bind these bars together. I have used agave nectar and Lyle's Golden Syrup before, both with excellent results. You could also try brown rice syrup or corn syrup.