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Chewy Granola Bars

Reviewed: Dec. 27, 2012
I feel bad rating this as a "like it" because it was a great starter recipe, but the original just didn't turn out as soft/ chewy as I wanted. I wanted a bar that would hold together but have the softness/ chewiness of a Cliff bar (but with oats). After reading other reviews, I upped the butter (melted) and (raw) honey both to one full cup each, replaced 1/2 cup oats with 1 cup brown rice crispies, decreased the brown sugar to a scant 1/4 cup, used all fine-ground whole-wheat flour instead of AP, and added 1/4 cup each ground golden flax meal, red flax seeds, and wheat bran. To the dry ingredients (which I mixed together thoroughly before incorporating the wet) I added 1/8 tsp fine sea salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp ground cloves. I stuck to the 2 cups add-ins (dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, chopped whole raw almonds, and a small sprinkling of chopped dark chocolate). Pressed it HARD into a 9X13 pan and baked for about 16 minutes, pressed firmly into pan again, and baked another 3 minutes just till the sides looked like they were barely starting to brown... it will seem too soft at first but hardens as it cools!!! Cool 10 min, sliced into thin bars (I got 24 pcs) using a plastic fork (it doesn't stick this way) and then let it continue to cool for another hour in a cold kitchen... then re-sliced them, squishing slightly to keep their shape, and wrapped into individual bars with plastic. SO GOOD! Perfectly gorgeous, chewy and delicious!
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