In my mind, the word “granola” reminds me of my experiences with rock-hard cereal filled with various nuts, birdseed, tough raisins, sticky honey, and if the local co-op had it, coconut flakes.
Back in The Day, my apartment building was filled with college students, so once a month we’d pool our resources and efforts together and make a huge batch of granola, which was divided up between us all.
Usually over-baked and under-whelming, our homemade efforts were hard on our teeth but soft on our college student budgets, so in spite of our grumbling, we ate it every day.
The best way to shake off those old disco-era granola nightmares is to try these soft, chewy, sweet and spicy granola bars. With my sincere apologies to the Rolling Stones and the Ohio Express, you’ll soon stop singing “Too Tough” and will happily start humming “Chewy Chewy”.
Cinnabliss Granola Bars
These soft, chewy granola bars can be added to a lunchbox, or crumbled over ice cream for a quick dessert. They keep well in a sealed container on the countertop for a few days, then they are off to the fridge – if there’s any left, of course. Refrigeration will not alter their taste or texture.
Makes 20 snack bars
2 1/4 cup rolled oats quick cooking
1/3 cup unsalted margarine room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoon sugar free chocolate syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar packed
1 cup cinnamon mini baking chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9 baking pan.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Mixture will be stiff.
Press the mixture into the greased baking pan. Press it down firmly and evenly. The mixture should be between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick.
Bake 10 minutes.
Remove pan from oven. Press the mixture down with the back of a wooden spoon to eliminate any gaps or cracks.
Return pan to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, and using the back of a wooden spoon again, press the mixture down one last time.
Let pan cool before cutting the granola into 20 squares. (You can cut them any way you like, but the nutrition label is based on 20 squares).