Playgroup Granola Bars Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 1)
Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2007
This recipe is really great, but I have some changes that can make it near perfect. I used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, canola oil in place of vegetable oil, and I reduce the brown sugar to 1/2 cup and they are still super sweet, and even down to 1/3 cup and they're still yummy. For flavor I always use 1 tsp. of cinnamon and a whole cup of raisins. To make them chewy still use a 9x13 pan but don't spread the mixture into the entire pan- leave about an inch and a half empty space on one end. (The batter will cook exactly as it sits so you don't have to worry about it spreading. Also, you must be careful not to overcook these. Thirty minutes is way too long, but since every oven is different I can only really tell you that you need to take them out right when you see the edges becoming brown (the middle may still appear undone.) For me that is 18 minutes. If you do that they will stay chewy forever--just store them in a ziploc bag. And my last bit of advice is that you can get really creative with this recipe. For example, instead of raisins add dried cranberries and slivered almonds. Or up the cinnamon and add chopped dried apples. Or you could add peanut butter and freeze dried banana bits (like you find in the toddler section). Or you could play around with some canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Just have fun!
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Reviewed: Jul. 8, 2007
This recipe is a wonderful start! What I love about it is all that you can do with it. I've been making this for months now. What I usually do is throw in whatever leftover bananas (goes great with the vanilla), applesauce, trail-mix, etc. into the mix! (this week I put in blueberries) Some weeks I put about a 1/4 cup peanut butter with the wet ingredients. Sometimes I put lemon, almond (especially yummy) or rum flavoring with the vanilla. Most times it comes out like a granola bar, sometimes like a cookie bar, but it's always good. I sometimes use whole wheat flour too. The only time I messed up this recipe, it came out a little dry and wouldn't cut without crumbling. I just crumbled it up, threw it back in the oven for a bit and had some mean granola. A good tip with this recipe is to measure out the vegetable oil first and then use the same measuring cup for the honey....it prevents the honey from sticking. Always wonderful, I have some baking right now.
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Reviewed: Jul. 15, 2006
I've made these bars twice now; the first time, I followed the directions exactly and I found the finished product a little to crumbly for my taste. The kids and hubby devoured them and immediately requested more. The 2nd time I added 1/2 cup of apple sauce to the mix . This made the bars much easier to cut and gave them a more chewy, cookie-like texture. The fam. inhaled these, as well. In the future, I guess I'll add apple sauce and make them more chewy depending on the mood of my kids that day, (my husband prefers the crunchy). Thanks!!!
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Photo by natsmom

Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Reviewed: Sep. 21, 2006
This is the best recipe that even comes close to the expensive store bought bars. I used 3 cups of Old Fashioned oats which gave it a beefer texture (I like). I also replaced the flour with whole wheat pastry flour. As for the oil, I've made it both ways, with and used applesauce as a substitute....I prefer the applesauce, but increased it to 1 cup. As suggested by other reviewers, I lowered the brown sugar to 1/2 c. I also replace the honey with Splenda. I used cranberries and walnuts instead of raisins, plus increased cinn. to 1t and added 1/4 t allspice as others suggested. To make them heart-healthy, I lowered the wheat germ to 1/4 c and added 1/4 c ground flax seed. MY husband and I love these...my 3 and 5 year old prefer dried blueberries in theirs. I've probably made these a dozen times, tweeking things each time.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Reviewed: May 26, 2007
I've made these twice now and the second time I made them I tweaked the recipe a bit and came up with a great granola bar! Instead of the wheat germ I used natural wheat bran, added 2 tablespoons of flax seed, whole wheat flour instead of the all purpose, and instead of the oil I used 1/4 cup of organic crunchy peanut butter and 1/4 mashed banana. I also tossed in some craisins instead of raisins and some mini chocolate chips...delicious!
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Photo by maya

Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Reviewed: Feb. 8, 2007
Very good recipe, I've made these at least 5 times in the last month, I made several variations... I made them with pure maple syrup (prefer honey) Made them with chopped walnuts, very good. I also add sliced almonds on top & lightly pat down, good & very pleasing to the eye too. ;) I made them with chocolate chips, we did not like these very much, even my little ones prefer raisins or craisins. I also tried adding half applesauce in place of the oil and they are not near as good, way too dry. I use "Old Fashioned oats" & double the recipe & bake on a foil lined jelly roll pan, I spray lightly with pam. I get rave reviews from all who have tried these, I make them & send them to work with my husband,- his co-workers love 'em! as do my children & their friends! you will not be disappointed, you can really add whatever you like to make it "your own". I'm going to try dried blueberries next! YUM!
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

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Photo by MommyFromSeattle
Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2007
Great coming out of the oven, nice n' chewy, but gets dry the next day. Doesn't keep as well as I would like - and a little dry and lacking spices/flavor. This would have been better with just dried fruit such as chopped dried apricots, raisins, dates, cranberries etc. Moms, try the "Gobble Up Granola Snacks" from this site. Much more flavorful, soft n chewy and super easy to make. Look it up.
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Photo by MommyFromSeattle

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Bellevue, Washington, USA
Living In: Seattle, Washington, USA
Reviewed: Aug. 1, 2007
i love this recipe. the first batch i made with mini chocolate chips and walnuts. the second just the raisins. it is amazing one taste like a cookie the other taste like a granola bar. i cut the sugar down to 1/4. and i added 1 tbs vanilla. that is all i did different. thank you so much for such a versitile recipe.
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Photo by amie

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Morton, Washington, USA
Living In: Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2005
Wonderful! I was craving crunchy granola bars and found this recipe. I found it a little sweet; next time I'll decrease the sugar to probably 2/3 or even 1/2 cup. I used 1/2 c raisins and 1/2 c chocolate chips, decreased the amount of wheat germ to 1/4 c and added 1/4 c of rice protein powder, to bump up the amount of protein. I'll definitely make them again. Do be sure to cut them before they get cold - they do make crunchy bars!
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Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2006
This is a great base for granola bars. I added stone milled flour instead of white and reduced it to 2/3 cup, cut the sugar to 1/2 cup, added 1/3 cup each flax seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Any dried fruit is also a great addition. We pack them on hiking trips, they are very filling and keep you full. They also freeze well, but they seem to dissapear right from the freezer!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada

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