You know you’ve done something right when the family fights over who gets the last piece of something you’ve made, like these peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars.
It started with my black bean brownies. I made a double batch on Monday to cover snacks and desserts for the week, but Mr. Crumbs had been sneaking a few and the pan didn’t make it past Wednesday. The kids weren’t happy about that.
Then I made these soft and chewy granola bars and the cycle started over again. Neither my husband nor the kids can stop asking for more!
One of my husband’s favorite granola bars (from his junk food eating college days) was Quaker Chewy Granola Bars. I’m sure you’ve heard of them, right?
Well, when we first got married, those were the only granola bars he ate and they were as close as he would come to touching oatmeal, period.
He’s come around since then, enjoying homemade instant oatmeal packets with walnuts and honey and even a chocolate snack cake that uses up leftover oatmeal, but he REALLY turned a corner when I made these granola bars.
Get this – he told me they were BETTER than those boxed granola bars he used to love!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
I totally agree with him too, and they’re even better than my first attempt at homemade granola bars, because these are:
- naturally sweetened
- made with ingredients I almost always have in the kitchen
- crazy simple to make
- ready in 30 minutes
- no bake (hello not having to use the oven!)
- portable, on-the-go snacks that won’t leave your hands sticky or the car full of crumbs
They’re also WAY healthier. These peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars have just 7 ingredients where their store-bought competitor has 50 ingredients, including 10 types of sugar (the full ingredient list).
Finally, they’re also about the same price as store-bought bars. The recipe below makes 24 bars costing $0.32 each whereas store-bought granola bars cost $0.31.
Considering the simplicity, deliciousness and wholesomeness of the recipe, I consider that penny to be money well spent!
More of my favorite “better than store-bought” recipes:
- Black Bean Brownies (just like Little Debbe Fudge Snack Brownies)
- Homemade Hot Pockets (just like Hot Pockets!)
- Instant Oatmeal Packets (just like Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packets)
- Homemade Lunchables (compare to Lunchables)
- Homemade Spaghetti-o’s (just like Campbell’s Soup Spaghetti O’s)
- Homemade Cheez its (just like boxed Cheez-its)
Updated 6/2017 to reduce honey from 1 cup to 1/2 cup, and add 1/2 cup coconut oil.
No Bake Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
- Yield: 24 bars 1x
- 2 cups oats
- 1 heaping cup crushed pretzels (about 4 oz pretzels)
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips (or roughly chopped regular chips)
- ½ cups peanuts (whole or halved, optional)
- Measure pretzels into a blender (I have this one) or food processor and pulse until they are the consistency of bread crumbs. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer (or just using a large glass bowl*), mix the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and vanilla until well blended.
- Add the oats and crushed pretzels and mix until everything is evenly combined.
- Add the chocolate chips and peanuts (if using) and mix again just a few rounds to incorporate into the mixture.
- Line an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper. Scoop the granola into the pan.
- Moisten your fingers and hands** with water and press the granola down and out into the corners and edges of the pan until it is evenly distributed and pressed together.
- Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the freezer and pull the granola bars out of the pan by using the edges of the parchment paper as handles.
- Cut the granola bars into 24 pieces. Store in the fridge.
* I’ve made this recipe using a regular bowl and a mixer bowl and both work well. I recommend the mixer bowl because the paddle makes distributing the honey and peanut butter a lot easier, but you can always use your hands or a spatula with a regular bowl.
** Getting your hands a little wet before handling the granola keeps the chocolate from melting from your body heat and also keeps more granola mixture in the pan rather than sticking to your hands. You don’t need much water – just stick them under running water and shake off the excess.
*** The consistency of peanut butter will vary depending on what type you used. I used an all-natural peanut butter which contains just peanuts and salt, but if yours has added sugar, the bars may be sweeter. Also natural peanut butter tends to be more oily, so if you’re using a different kind you might need to add the coconut oil as directed in order to have enough moisture for the bars.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum.