Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Bars

Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Bars
My family is a bit picky when it comes to granola bars. They tend to like the not-so-healthy store bought kind, the kind with weird sounding ingredients. I’ve tried make homemade ones in the past, and while they were perfectly tasty they never had the same consistency that my family seems to like in the store bought ones. I’ve experimented with different variations, trying to come up with something with no refined sugar or corn syrup.

My past attempts have been dismal at best.

THIS attempt however, I would say is a success! The secret is brown rice syrup, which adds the brown sugar flavor that I think I’ve been missing. If you’re wondering where the heck you find brown rice syrup, it’s really much easier to find than you’d think. You can get it at any health food store, but I actually picked mine up at Wal-Mart of all places. It was in the syrup aisle, and is actually a maple syrup substitute made from brown rice syrup. These bars are a bit of a kitchen sink experiment, with white and milk chocolate chips, raisins, and leftover crushed up dulce de leche cheerios. Straight from the oven they were more of a cookie consistency, but the next morning they settled and had a great soft and chewy consistency, which lasted for several days. They were so good that I’m already planning my next batch and all the variations I can try!

*UPDATE: After doing some research, it seems that brown rice syrup may be questionable in it's safety. If you'd like to find out more and do your own research, I suggest you start with this article. For those that decide not use brown rice syrup, I'm thinking agave syrup or maple syrup may be a good substitute that will yield a similar result.

Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Bars
Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Bars
(Serves: 8-10)   Printable Recipe

3/4 + 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (divided)
1/2 cup cereal divided (I used cheerios)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used half white and half milk chocolate chips)
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (can use wheat flour too)
1/4 cup neutral tasting oil
5 tbsp honey
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup cereal (like cheerios)
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Place 3/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup of cereal, chocolate chips and raisin in a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the ingredients.  Don’t go crazy or you’ll change the consistency of your bar.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the baking soda, salt, vanilla, flour, oil, honey, and brown rice syrup.  Mix just until combined.  The mixture will form a soft dough that resembles a cookie dough in texture.

Fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of oats and 1/4 cup of cereal until combined. Lightly press this mixture into the prepared 9×9 pan.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the bars are lightly browned on top.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Cut into bars, serve and enjoy!


Soft & chewy Oatmeal Bars


Belinda @zomppa said...

Looks perfect sweet! Great way to get the oatmeal in!

Zoe said...

Always love the way you present all your bakes... They always look very chic in regardless.

Unknown said...

Aww, thanks Zoe. :)

Baking Serendipity said...

Thanks for the ingredient hint! I love homemade granola bars, but my husband always says that something is missing. I'll have to give this a try!

MyFudo™ said...

Love the chewy-ness and the mix of flavors...Perfect for breakfast!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

I love how easy this is! These sound delightful!

DeAnna Corzo said...

i would like to make them but out of honey, how much sugar should I use?

Unknown said...

Hi Deanna, I haven't made these with sugar, and since the honey adds moisture, the final product won't be the same. But if you want to use sugar instead of the honey, you should be able to use about the same amount plus add a tablespoon or two more.

Jenny said...

Please read about the study done on brown rice syrup that found significant levels of arsenic that is particularly dangerous to small children.

Jenny said...

Whoops. Here's a link:

Unknown said...

Jenny, thanks for the information. I appreciate you giving it in a kind and thoughtful manner. I've had a few rude comments about the brown rice syrup, which is totally unnecessary. I'm thinking agave or maple syrup may be a good substitute. :)

Anna (Green Talk) said...

Amber, thanks so much for posting my article about the danger of brown rice syrup and rice in general. I have a petition on asking for regulations so no one has to worry anymore. ( If you could spread the word, I would appreciate it. Education is power!

On another note, I am sorry to hear people were being rude to you about your inclusion of brown rice syrup in your recipe. As a fellow blog owner, my adage is if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it.

That being said, your photography is so beautiful and the bars look yummy. You can also sub organic coconut palm sugar. It tastes like brown sugar but then you have to add back liquid I would imagine. I defer to you on that subject.

Thanks again for listing my article.

Kelly said...

I just found your blog and I love it! I made these yesterday and I had concerns with the brown rice syrup so I did them with maple syrup...they were delicious! My husband loved them.

Unknown said...

Hi Kelly! I'm so glad you enjoyed them, and it's good to the the maple syrup worked well too, I will have to try that next time. :)

Anonymous said...

How much does this recipe make, approx?? (: (:

Unknown said...

This fills a 9x9 square pan, so depending on how large or small you cut your bars, you should get at least 8-10 bars.

Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie said...

I've had a hard time replicating the store bought bars too. I'll have to try this!

Anonymous said...

FABULOUS!!! Finally a nice chewy granola bar that has lots of flavor and the chewiness that we all love. I could not find the brown rice syrup and substituted dark Karo. I will continue to look for the brown rice syrup because I think it is probably better for us.

Mary Bergfeld said...

These really look wonderful. I love to visit here. I never leave empty handed and always have a tip or recipe to add to my booming collection. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Unknown said...

Hi Mary! Thank you so much for your kind words. I truly appreciate my visitors taking the time to comment and leave feedback. :)

Whitney said...

Have you tried making these with almond or peanut butter for extra protein?

Unknown said...

Hi Whitney, I haven't tried almond butter or peanut butter yet, but I'm sure it would be a great addition. I love homemade almond butter, so I'm sure that would be delicious!

Anonymous said...

Is it neccessary to add oil of the oil??

Amber (sprinkled with flour) said...

Hi, you can certainly reduce the amount if oil used. Keep in mind it will change the texture if your final product though. If you want to keep the same level of moistness, you can try using a little applesauce or pumpkin purée as well.

Lauren Cooper said...

love this recipe! just made these tonight! used craisins instead of raisins and a few other add ins! Also if you google substitutes to brown rice syrup you can find a bunch of great ones! I used molasses! :)

Unknown said...

Hi Lauren!
I'm so glad you enjoyed them :) Thanks for letting me know how your molasses substitute worked, I'll keep that one in mind. :)

Anonymous said...

I love these bars but was wondering whether youknew how many calories were in each bar. I cut them into 16 pieces.

Unknown said...

Hi! I wasn't counting calories when I made these bars, so I didn't calculate the calorie info. You can input the recipe on though to find the nutrtional info, this is how I usually do it when I want to know. I hope this helps! :)

Unknown said...

love oatmeal desserts, love that this uses oil instead of butter. nice job!

Whitney said...

I thought I would let you know, I tried this with almond butter and it turned out great. I used about 1/3 cup (I just eyeballed it) of Maranatha no stir almond butter. I would recommend cutting down the oil quite a bit. I think I used about a tablespoon of coconut oil with it. I also made it without chocolate chips the second time so it wouldn't melt.

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