No bake, low fuss, easy to make Homemade Chewy Granola Bars. I’m in real trouble here, people!
These soft, sweet, and satisfying Chewy Almond Cherry Granola Bars are just about the most addicting snack to come out of my kitchen since…Mini Corn Dog Muffins? I seriously cannot stop stuffing them into my piehole. No really, hmmmffhhgroomph. Sorry. See?
Ordinary ingredients like almonds, pecans, and dried cherries, are wrapped in a luxurious blanket of honey, coconut oil and sweet extracts, then pressed into homemade granola bars.
I may never buy the boxed stuff again!
Making homemade Chewy Cherry Almond Granola Bars COULD NOT be simpler. Start with the dry ingredients:
- Pecan halves (could use walnuts)
- Dried cherries
- Old fashioned oats
- Sesame seeds
Add 1/2 cup each of almonds, pecans,
and old fashioned oats into a food processor.
Process the ingredients until they’re coarsely ground – not too much, or you’ll end up with almond-pecan-oatmeal butter! – then pour into a large bowl.
Roughly chop another 1/2 cup each almonds & pecans, then pour ‘em in there too.
Next add 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, which I love for their textured POP,
and 1 cup dried bing cherries. These babies were super big and plump, so I gave them a rough chop too.
Everybody into the pool, and mix it all up!
Next turn your attention to the wet ingredients:
- Coconut oil
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
Coconut oil is a new to me ingredient. I’ve seen it at Trader Joe’s 100 times, but when I went to buy it this weekend to make these granola bars, they were all out! Apparently Dr. Oz was just touting its benefits on his show last week, including helping to promote weight loss and treating skin conditions, and it flew off the shelves. Hy-Vee Health Department to the rescue!
Combine 3 Tablespoons coconut oil with 6 Tablespoons honey in a small saucepan on the stove.
Add other yummy seasonings like almond and vanilla extracts, cinnamon and salt, then let the mixture melt, heat, then foam, which only takes about a minute.
After it foams for 15 seconds, pour it into the dry ingredients.
Stir the heck out of it ’til every last piece of nut, seed, and fruit is covered!
Pour the mixture into a half sheet pan or 8×8 baking dish (don’t go any bigger or the bars will be too thin) lined with enough saran wrap or parchment paper to hang over the ends, then press the heck out of it. I used the flat bottom of a glass bowl to squish the granola into a uniform layer. Wrap the extra saran wrap or parchment paper over the top to cover, then pop in the fridge for a few hours to setup.
When the granola is hard, cut into bars while it’s still in the pan, then lift out.
Chewy Cherry Almond Granola Bars
Makes 16 thin bars
Adapted from Joyful Abode
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup pecan halves (could use walnuts)
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cherries, chopped if large
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
dash of cinnamon
- Add 1/2 cup each of almonds, pecans, and old fashioned oats into a food processor. Process until fine (not too long or it will start to turn into nut butter!) then pour into a large bowl. Roughly chop the remaining pecans and almonds, then add the bowl. Add remaining old fashioned oats, cherries, and sesame seeds, then mix well and set aside.
- Combine honey, coconut oil, salt, vanilla & almond extracts, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the mixture melts, then foams, then cook for 15 seconds longer. Pour over nut mixture and mix thoroughly to coat all the ingredients.
- Line a half sheet pan or 8×8 pan with enough saran wrap or parchment paper to let it hang far over the sides, then pour in granola. Press very, very firmly with your hands or something with a flat bottom (may need to spray it with non-stick spray.) Wrap the overhanging saran wrap or parchment paper up over the sides and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
- Using a sharp knife, cut chilled granola into bars. Wrap individually in saran wrap and store in the fridge or freezer.
These granola bars are dense, chewy, and magnificant (according to Ben!) Plus that classic cherry-almond flavor combo cannot be beat.
The coconut oil has a faint buttery taste, which almost makes the bars taste like – wait for it – cookie dough (cookie dough!!) Edited to add: the coconut oil does not taste like coconut! It has a neutral/buttery taste.
I love knowing exactly what I put into these chewy granola bars too, versus buying a box from the grocery store that could be filled with over-processed and weird ingredients. This is REAL. GOOD. FOOD.
Enjoy the bars as-is, or crumble over yogurt, oatmeal, and alongside your self control which will also be crumbling shortly after your first bite. I’m telling you – absurdly delish! Wrap up any leftovers you will be lucky to have in saran wrap, and store in the fridge or freezer.
What snack are you obsessed with at the moment?