Last night I hit the jackpot. After scouring the web and various recipes for weeks, I had an idea of what I wanted and how to make it, so I based my recipe off of this Playgroup Granola Bar recipe. I liked that it had both oats and flour in it, so it'd be more dense than the plain oatmeal-based bars, and it has a simple base.
Ladies and gentlemen, these things are fantastic. I made quite a few modifications to the original recipe but the result is EXACTLY what I was looking for. They are crunchy on the tops and sides but still a little chewy in the middle, and are full of healthy deliciousness. Without further ado, here is the secret recipe to the world's most perfect granola bar. I love the spicy apple flavor of mine - it's perfect for fall - but feel free to swap out anything that you like more.
The Perfect Granola Bar
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar (the original recipe called for 3/4 cup but these are plenty sweet)
1/2 cup wheat bran (original called for wheat germ but we didn't have it)
Spices, to taste - I used cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and a tiny bit of chili powder
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (original used all-purpose but in the name of health, use whole wheat)
dried fruit, to taste (I used dried apples but anything would work)
1/4 cup yogurt (I used Greek - actually quark, to replace the oil from the original recipe)
1 tsp salt
1 egg white
1 tbsp almond meal
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp vanilla protein powder (I'd leave this out next time, it's not worth it)
1. Preheat oven to 350 (or 176.5). Spray pan or line with parchment paper
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat bran, spices, flour, dried fruit and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Mix well with your hats and pat evening into the prepared pan. The batter is thick, so it will stay where you put it. *Note - I had to add a lot of water to get it to a mixable consistency.
3. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the bars become golden around the edges. Cool for 5 minutes and cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow them to cool completely before cutting or they will become too hard to cut.
Source: Adapted from All Recipes