Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

After I graduated from college I did a short stint at an advertising agency and then I took my first full-time job in the cube-laden world of corporate America. As most young, eager college graduates, I looked at my new opportunity as a mountain of potential. I felt like a bona fide grown up – I got up early every morning, got dressed in my business casual attire, went to meetings, and became better at what I did. Ahh, the enthusiasm of the young buck (in my case, young doe, of course). By the end of my time in corporate America I had a plethora of stomach issues, was getting migraines about once every 7-10 days, and loathed my boss’ voice more than anything in the world. If I got to my desk in the morning and the red voicemail link was blinking (she was notorious for leaving messages at 5am, because she enjoyed working that early), I got nauseous. When I heard the wheels of her little pull-along briefcase rolling down the cube aisle I wanted to hide under my desk. The phrase “going above and beyond” was showing up in my nightmares. Clearly, corporate America had taken a toll on me. The one constant through all of my time spent there? Through the good, the bad, and the ugly?

Chocolate chip granola bars.

I always had a box stashed in my desk drawer just in case I got a case of the hungries and had to rush off to a meeting or needed an afternoon pick-me-up. I loved that they were soft and chewy, and of course that they had chocolate in them. I am honestly not sure if I’ve eaten even one since I stopped working in an office, but they’re the one food that I associate with that time in my life. They got me through some killer afternoons.

Recently, one of my best friends mentioned that she was trying out some of my granola bar recipes to find a homemade replacement for her husband’s infatuation with the same packaged chewy chocolate chip granola bars that I loved. I wasn’t sure that any of them would be an exact match, but lo and behold less than a week later this recipe popped up on Lauren’s blog. I was certain that it was fate and set out to make them immediately so I could report back to my friend on a possible recipe for her. The verdict? These taste pretty much EXACTLY like the ones I lived on for years. They have a tad bit more honey flavor, but aside from that the flavor, the texture, the appearance – a spot-on match. I was astounded, actually! Throw in the fact that these can be whipped up in 10 minutes and require no oven, it’s pretty much a no-brainer to make these instead of going to the store to buy the packaged version!

This recipe is dedicated to everyone toiling away in a cubicle. Make these, keep them at your desk, and enjoy a homemade, non-processed treat when you get a craving in the middle of the work day.

Four years ago: French Bread

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Yield: 10 bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Directions:

1.Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, stir the oats and rice cereal together; set aside. In a small saucepan, melt the brown sugar, honey, and butter together over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Pour the melted mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour the oat mixture into the prepared pan and press down to ensure that the ingredients are tightly compacted in the pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with the miniature chocolate chips and press down on the top lightly with the back of a spoon.

4. Cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

(Recipe adapted from Lauren's Latest)

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111 Responses to “Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on February 28, 2012 at 12:14 am

    They look great here, Lauren’s looked great, and I’ve been making homemade granola bars for years…the ingredients are better at home and the price is better, too, than buying them. Not to mention…they taste better!

    Reply

  2. Amy's Cooking Adventures on February 28, 2012 at 12:29 am

    These look just delightful! I’ve never made granola bars before, but these make me want to change that!

    Reply

  3. Morgan {Confections from the Cody Kitchen} on February 28, 2012 at 12:30 am

    i eat a quaker oat bar every morning so these are right up my alley!! on my to-make list :)

    Reply

  4. Ashley @ Wishes and DIshes on February 28, 2012 at 12:44 am

    OMG i love these and I must try soon!

    Reply

  5. Laura on February 28, 2012 at 12:49 am

    PERFECT! I just made a batch for my kids to try out tomorrow morning. I can’t believe I had all the ingredients on hand! Looks delicious.

    Reply

  6. E on February 28, 2012 at 2:47 am

    How do you store these and how long do they last you? I’d to love to make these to ship off to my hubs who’s deployed.

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 28th, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Hi E, I have storage tips listed in the recipe above. Room temperature for about 5 to 7 days. I think you would be fine shipping them overseas.

      Reply

      • E on February 28th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

        Thank you kindly!

        Reply

  7. Blog is the New Black on February 28, 2012 at 5:37 am

    These look exactly like the type of granola bar that I adore, too! YUM!

    Reply

  8. Kiri W. on February 28, 2012 at 6:01 am

    These look perfect! :) I really should try making granola bars myself, I am sure it’s so much healthier without preservatives. Great recipe!

    Reply

  9. Katrina on February 28, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Love how easy these are! Chocolate chio granola bars will always be my fav.

    Reply

  10. Lori on February 28, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I don’t have any quick cooking oats in the house. Do you think regular old fashioned oatmeal will do? If not do you think toasting it in the oven would help?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 28th, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Hi Lori, Unfortunately regular old-fashioned rolled oats won’t work – they are a bit too large/thick/chewy in texture.

      Reply

      • Ronda on May 7th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

        Just pop them in a food processor for a few seconds…perfect!

        Reply

    • Lorraine on June 19th, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      I use organic rolled oats and they are still very yummy and chewy. Kids love them and so do I

      Reply

  11. Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box on February 28, 2012 at 7:04 am

    From someone slaving away at a desk right now – thank you for sharing this recipe! These are so easy and would definitely cheer me up on a dull afternoon.

    Reply

  12. Jill on February 28, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I love when I come across fabulous recipes and realize I already have 80% of the ingredients in my cupboards :) I’m also tempted to add in some peanut butter, as pb & choc granola bars are my favorite!

    Reply

    • Sandy on February 28th, 2012 at 11:23 am

      I was thinking the same thing. Do you think you can just add the PB or do we need to substitute it?

      Reply

      • Melanie on February 28th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

        From other various recipes I’ve seen that add PB, it’s usually substituted for half of the butter or something along those lines. I’d think you’d have to do something pretty strange to mess up a simple recipe like this one. :)

        Reply

      • Michelle on February 28th, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        Hi Sandy, I would sub out half of the butter for peanut butter, and you could add some peanut butter chips.

        Reply

  13. Catalina @ Cake with Love on February 28, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I want to try this, I am going vegan for lent (my religion requires this) so I think these will be great with earth balance too.

    Reply

  14. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray on February 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Coming to you live from my cubicle…thank you. ;)

    Reply

  15. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on February 28, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I meant to make granola bars in September – an attempt at making super awesome homemade snacks for oldest to bring to preschool for snack… it never happened. I’m totally giving this a shot sometime!

    Reply

  16. Tracey on February 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Ugh I know that feeling with the blinking red light – I always dreaded it so much. Glad you’ve found something that makes you happier :) These granola bars are on my to-do list too, yours look great!

    Reply

  17. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on February 28, 2012 at 9:51 am

    These are perfect!! This is a great snack to take to work! I totally love this!!

    Reply

  18. Shannon @ sweetlessons on February 28, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I’m putting these on my to-make list right now! Granola bars was one of the foods that got me through five years of grad school :)

    Reply

  19. Teresa on February 28, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I’m laughing in my cube as I read this. It’s all so true. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks!

    Reply

  20. miki on February 28, 2012 at 10:51 am

    these look great! planning on making a batch this weekend.

    Reply

  21. Sandy on February 28, 2012 at 11:25 am

    You all have made me so glad not to be in the corporate world. The stay-at-home world gets a little dull sometimes but at least I don’t hate facing the day. Thanks for helping me to think about the other side.

    Reply

  22. Laurie B on February 28, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I can *TOTALLY* relate to this! I’ll be making these this weekend!

    Reply

  23. Becks on February 28, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Looks delicious! would have to try!

    Reply

  24. Dana on February 28, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I never knew it was that simple. prefect for a afternoon snack for my girls! :-)

    Reply

  25. CouponClippingCook on February 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    These are such a healthy snack and they sound easy to make too. Lucky for us that you’re not in the cube-laden world anymore.

    Reply

  26. Mireia on February 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Your recipes always end up in my pinterest! Looks great!!

    Reply

  27. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on February 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    These look perfect! I love granola bars; adding Rice Krispies to my grocery list right now!

    Reply

  28. Lucyinaz on February 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I’m so excited to try these! One of my kids is allergic to nuts & coconut and it’s become increasingly difficult to find them at the store without either.
    Thank you so much!

    Reply

  29. Erin @ Brownie Bites on February 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Isn’t it funny how we hold onto certain stimuli from stressful times of our lives? I can’t look at purple low-calorie Gatorade outside of work, because it’s what I drink on particularly hot and stressful days to keep me alive. Working on getting away from that job..

    These granola bars look fluffy and wonderful. I have never ever tried to make them homemade!

    Reply

  30. Asiya on February 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Back when I was working in the Actuarial Field I also lived off granola bars…actually being a stay at home mom it is still my go to snack (just finished eating one). This looks so easy to make and I much prefer to make at home since I know what is going in. Pinned this & will be trying them out soon. Thx for sharing!

    Reply

  31. lisa b. on February 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    i made these once i saw them on lauren’s blog and my kiddos LOVE them! we like the oatmeal raisin version she has on there too! yummy!

    Reply

  32. Amber, RD on February 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Yummy! I used to eat Quaker Chewy Granola Bars every afternoon. I haven’t bought granola bars in a long time. Looks like I can make them myself now! Hurray!

    Reply

  33. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh on February 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I need to actually make these. I’ve got a bunch of bookmarked recipes and need to stop being lazy! I’m sure once I make them, I’ll never buy Trader Joe’s version again!

    Reply

  34. modernworkinggirl on February 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Aw, thanks for the kind thoughts to those of us still toiling sitting on our bums at a desk all day :) These almost make up for the pain of it!

    Reply

  35. Namitha on February 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Never knew that corporate world is America is same/worse than that in India ! I have 2 kids and they love choco chip granola bars.Now I can make them at home with the help of your recipe..yayy !

    Reply

  36. ahnkadragon on February 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Saw these on her blog too and made them right away. Mine were a crumbly mess=( They taste wonderful though and my roommate decided it made a great cereal. So I followed his advice and had a bowl full covered in milk. Yum! I’ll have to try making them again with a bit less butter and little more cooking time. At least I know if that doesn’t work I’ll have a delicious bowl of cereal in my future=)

    Reply

  37. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet on February 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    These are now filed under “Make Immediately”. Yum!! My kids will think I’m a rockstar! Thanks!!

    Reply

  38. mrs. g on February 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    These sound great and simple to make but… I almost ashamed to admit that I’m not a big chocolate fan. Do you have a recipe that would use peanut butter in it? Maybe just switching the choc chips with peanut butter chips would work? I’m giving it a try this weekend. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 28th, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      You could definitely swap out the chocolate chips for peanut butter chips, and exchange half of the butter, and maybe a little of the honey for peanut butter.

      Reply

  39. Lacy @ NYCityEats on February 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Ah corporate American, isn’t it lovely?! If these bars got you through it, I need some ASAP! They look incredible. Chewy granola bars are my fav, must try!

    Reply

  40. Kristen on February 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    These bars are so good!

    Reply

  41. Jen at The Three Little Piglets on February 29, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Sweet! My family loves these things but with three kids a box doesn’t last long at all!

    Reply

  42. Baker Street on February 29, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Ah… adding chocolate chips just makes these perfect. Gorgeous clicks M! :)

    Reply

  43. LSA on February 29, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I made these last night with cinnamon and raisins instead of chocolate chips. They smelled wonderful, however I’m having problems getting them to set. Tried to take them out of the pan this morning and they’re falling apart. Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 29th, 2012 at 10:31 am

      It sounds like they may not have been packed down enough. I used the back of a spoon to really press the mixture into the pan. Once they were cool I was able to loosen one side of the pan and pull the whole pan of granola out in one piece and then cut. I would try refrigerating or freezing briefly before trying to cut.

      Reply

  44. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on February 29, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I used to keep a granola bars in my cube too! Thanks for recipe!

    Reply

  45. megan @ whatmegansmaking on February 29, 2012 at 9:38 am

    oh yum, I need to try these! I can’t believe they taste like the store-bought ones, I haven’t found any that come close!

    Reply

  46. Kathryn on February 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I made these last night and just tried them and I have to say – DELICIOUS! I didn’t have mini choc-chips so I just used regular and they were fine. They were SO easy and quick. A new favorite!

    Reply

  47. Courtney on February 29, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I too am toiling away at my entry-level job and can so relate to loathing hearing the sound of your boss’s voice! I totally need a granola bar like this to get me through. Your blog is wonderful by the way. I check it at least once a week!

    Reply

  48. Ally on February 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    These look amazing Michelle! Love your packaging, too!
    xo
    http://allykayler.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  49. Claudia Pletting on February 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Oh my gosh. These are so good. Just had my first bite!
    Since I don’t use quick oats, I put old fashioned oats in the blender and pulsed a few times. It worked perfectly. Also, I crushed a 70% chocolate bar (I didn’t have any chocolate chips) and put on top.
    And..you are right….you really need to push the dough down and you won’t be disappointed.

    Thanks again for your recipes. Always the best!

    Reply

  50. Lori on March 1, 2012 at 6:56 am

    I made a batch last night and experiemented with old fashioned oatmeal. I put my rolled oats in my food processor and pulsed it a few times to break it up a bit. I then followed your directions. My son loves them and is walking out the door this morning with a fistful on his way to school. It’s a hit!

    Reply

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