Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are a highly addicting and simply irresistible homemade gluten free granola bar recipe! Baked peanut butter granola bars have the perfect sweet and salty mix with oats, honey, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and dried fruit.
Preheat oven to 350º. Line an 9X13" pan with a large piece of foil or parchment paper. The paper should be long enough to lift the bars out of the pan. Lightly grease with cooking spray.
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients, including oats, rice cereal, brown sugar, oat flour, salt, nuts, coconut, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips.
In another microwave-safe bowl melt butter. Alternatively, melt on the stovetop in a small saucepan. After butter is completed melted add peanut butter, vanilla, corn syrup, honey, and water to warm butter. Stir until smooth.
Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredient bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the granola to the prepared pan. Use a large piece of plastic wrap to press down on top of the bars, all the way to the edges, before removing to bake.
Bake bars 25 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Cool completely in pan.
After cooling transfer the pan to the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Then lift the bars from the pan and cut. At this point they may be stored at room temperature. The initial refrigeration just helps further solidify the bars before cutting.
Wrap bars individually in plastic wrap and place in airtight container to store at room temperature for a week, refrigerated up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 3 months.
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*Make your own oat flour by processing 1/3 cup oats in food processor until finely ground. **Add your preferred add-ins and quantities as long as it adds up to 2 1/3 cups total.
Tips for Making the Best Peanut Butter Granola Bars
For an extra treat dip bottoms in melted chocolate. Place on wax paper to harden completely before storing.
Peanut butter lover? Use chopped peanuts in the recipe. Melt 1/4 cup peanut butter chips and drizzle on top.
The recipe calls for quick cooking oats which are smaller than rolled oats. Old fashioned oats may be substituted but they may break apart more.