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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chewy Chocolate Chip Homemade Granola Bars

Since I first shared Catherine McCord’s chocolate chip granola bar recipe with you. I have made a lot of granola bars. We are going through them like water! I am loving it because they are cheaper than store-bought granola bars and I love that we aren’t throwing out a wrapper with every granola bar we eat, instead using our reusable Lunchskins pouches.

homemade chewy chocolate chip granola bars |

Catherine’s recipe is perfect just the way it is, but I still couldn’t stop myself from experimenting! The original recipe I shared is a nice combination of crispy and chewy. I actually think crispy is probably a good description, although it’s not crispy like a Nature Valley granola bar, so I hesitate describing it purely as crispy. ANYWAY…I wanted to see if I could make a chewier granola bar based on the recipe, and I did!

homemade chewy chocolate chip granola bars |

I think I  prefer the chewier version myself, but every time I quiz Cate and Nate about which one they like better, they can’t decide. So, this new version is not an improvement over the previous version, it’s just different. If you’re looking for a chewier granola bar, then this version of the recipe is for you!

homemade chewy chocolate chip granola bars |

Click here for a gluten free version of this recipe, which also contains less sugar, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.

Click here for another version of this recipe that is also gluten free and has even less sugar, Chocolate Granola Bars.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Homemade Granola Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I adapted this recipe from Catherine McCord's granola bar recipe, to make it more chewy and changed up ingredients just a smidge.
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 24
  • 4 cups rolled old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown crisped rice cereal (you can use regular crisped rice; I like brown because it’s a little healthier, I get it at Sprouts and Barbara’s Bakery is my favorite brand)
  • ½ cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • Generous ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (regular or mini)
  • Generous ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil (you can also use canola oil as a substitute, but the best texture comes with coconut oil)
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. Combine oats, crisped rice, flour, coconut, brown sugar, chocolate chips and salt. Mix well.
  3. Combine oil, honey and vanilla. Whisk well. Add to dry ingredients and mix well (stir a lot...and then stir some more!).
  4. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour granola bar mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. Press mixture out into a large, uniform rectangle, about 9”³ x 13”³. If your hands are damp when you push the mixture into shape, it won’t stick to your hands as much.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and dry to touch (watch out, it’s hot!). (I bake for 14 minutes, then rotate the pan, then bake for 14 minutes more.)
  6. If you use canola oil or your coconut oil was in liquid form, the bars may spread a bit during baking. As soon as you take them out of the oven, use a spatula to push all the edges back in, so you get your original rectangle.
  7. Cool on the baking sheet for 10-20 minutes until completely cooled. Slide granola bar along with parchment paper onto a large cutting board. Cut into bars using a long serrated knife - bars need to be completely cooled before you cut them.
  8. Makes 24 bars (8 rows, 3 columns). Bars will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.
  9. Tip: I use the parchment paper I cooked the granola bars on torn into smaller pieces to place between layers in the container I store the bars in.



  1. 1

    I love (and appreciate) how you are always experimenting with recipes to get them just perfect for us! Thanks for sharing “the best”. 🙂

    I also drool over your cutting board every time I see it in your pictures!

    • Jane Maynard

      thanks, carolina! glad you like my experimenting!

      and I do love that cutting board with all my cooking heart! 🙂

  2. 2

    I’m so excited to try this! My boys definitely like ‘chewy’ so thanks for the innovation. Just a quick question – where does one find BROWN crisped rice cereal? Thanks!

  3. 3

    Have you tried putting these in the freezer? I’m wondering how they’d do?
    It’s just my husband, me and a 21 month old boy, named Owen 😉 So I don’t expect us to fly through these. Wondering if they’ll hold up to put in the freezer for a few weeks.

    • Jane Maynard

      We haven’t had them around long enough to test the freezer!

      That said, I don’t see they would NOT work in the freezer, I’m sure they’d do great. But they DO last for several weeks if you keep them in an airtight ziploc or storage container, so you might not even need to freeze them anyway.

      hope that’s helpful! 🙂

  4. I’ve been making no-bake granola bites lately, but these look SO good. I think I’ll put them on my menu for snacks next week!

  5. I’ve been doing some test runs on homemade protein/granola bars. This is another great addition to the variety I can mix up for the kids and hubby! Thanks for this great recipe!

  6. 6

    Any suggestions for a gluten free flour to use? We go through expensive store bought gf bars like water at my house . Would love a chewy homemade version!

    • Jane Maynard

      hi dori! I would just try a gluten-free all purpose flour and see how it goes. there isn’t much flour in the recipe, just enough to help bind it together. I imagine an all-purpose, basic GF flour would substitute well! I think the original recipe calls for whole wheat flour so that it’s just a bit healthier, but I think regular flour would work fine. this is very stream of consciousness….hope it’s helpful! 🙂

  7. 7

    Thanks Jane! Going to try these tonight

  8. 8

    Used almond meal instead of flour. Worked great and gave more of a nutty flavor!

  9. 9

    Can I change the honey for Maple syrup? I have a honey intolerance so was wondering.

    • Jane Maynard

      hi gordanna! I haven’t tried maple syrup myself, although I had that very thought this week when I was making them. honey is thicker, so if I were to try maple syrup, I would do it with coconut oil instead of regular oil so that the wet mixture isn’t too runny, if that makes sense. that all said, I bet it will work no matter what. if you do experiment, let me know how it goes!

  10. 10
    Kelly B

    Do you think it would work to pack the mixture into a parchment lined 9×11 pan?

    • Jane Maynard

      I don’t know why it wouldn’t! I think that would work great. the size is probably about right for this recipe. I would definitely line the pan with parchment paper and then let it cool completely before removing from the pan to cut. if you try it, let me know how it goes!

    • Kelly B

      Finally got a chance to try out this recipe this afternoon. Yum! This is definitely my new granola bar go to. 🙂 I lined a 9 x 13″ cake pan with parchment paper and pressed the mix down with a spatula. It worked like a dream! When they cooled, I just lifted the bars out by pulling up on the excess paper. Thanks again for the recipe!

    • so glad you like them! and I think I just might try the 9×13 next time, I’m so glad you did!

  11. 11

    You know me, always late to the party, but I can count on your blog to wait for me. Can’t wait to try these because I have tried a few recipes and had given up finding one that I wanted to make a second time.

  12. 12

    Do you think real maple syrup would work in place of honey? I’m allergic so I can’t use honey.

    • Jane Maynard

      someone else asked the same question. I think it is worth a try! since it’s thinner than honey, I would recommend using coconut oil for sure in combination with the maple syrup (rather than canola oil) just to try to keep the liquids a bit more viscous. if you try, lmk how it goes!

  13. 13

    Since someone asked about flour (for gluten free) I thought I’d mention that I actually made a similar version to this but it is no bake and has no flour or oil. But it does have butter. 😉 Instead of baking it just goes in the fridge to harden then you cut them up. I guess the downside is you actually have to keep them in the fridge. We keep them in the freezer and take them out as needed for lunches or snacks.

  14. 14
    Rachel M

    Thanks very much for this recipe. I just made them- in a 9×13 pan and followed exactly according to the recipe and they totally fell apart when I tried to cut them. I am going to try them again, cooking on a flat sheet which I can then slide onto a cutting board. Any other tips?

    • Kelly B

      When I cook it in the pan, I push it down with a spatula, so everything is compact and the surface is flat. You also have to make sure they are completely cool before cutting. It also helps to cut with a serrated knife.

    • Kelly B

      I also line the pan with parchment paper, so you can just lift the bars out of the pan.

    • hi rachel!

      first off, kelly b, thanks for responding so quickly! those are great tips for the pan!

      rachel – kelly likes the 9×13 pan and I tried it once, but I actually like using the cookie sheet better, so I think it’s just a matter of what works for you and what you like better. kelly’s tips will definitely help.

      also, what kelly said – the bars need to be completely cooled before cutting or they will totally fall apart.

      let us know how batch two goes!

  15. 15

    I’ve made these granola bars several times and my family and friends love them! I have tried Coconut oil and Canola oil with very different results. I guess my preference is to use the coconut oil but the recipe doesn’t specify if you are using a “liquid” coconut oil or the more solid one. Can you clarify which one you use? I’ve used both and the solid is more difficult to incorporate into the mixture but the bars held together a little bit better than with the oil. Thanks!!

    • hi hilary! so, my coconut oil is either solid or liquid depending on the weather – the same oil totally changes during the different times of year. I definitely like it best when it’s solid, so I guess that’s my answer! the mixture requires a lot of stirring, but I do like the final texture of the bars best when the coconut oil starts out in that solid state.

      that said, even when the coconut oil is liquid, I think the texture comes out better than canola oil. I haven’t used canola oil for this recipe in quite some time.

      anyway, hope that is helpful! 🙂

  16. 16

    Hi! I am soexcited to make these with my son! He is a snacker and i want healthier choices! My thing no one in my household likes coconut flakes, could that be substituted with cranberry? Thanks!

    • Jessica

      I am wondering the same thing! My daughter can not eat coconut.

    • Heily! I am so sorry I missed your comment/question! So glad Jessica responded so I finally saw it. Yes, I would definitely play around with the mix-ins! I’m sure you could omit the coconut. I would maybe increase the amount of oats OR krispies by 1/4 cup, just to keep the dry-wet balance similar.

      cranberry would be wonderful – in fact, the kids and I are planning to do cranberry white chocolate for our next batch!

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