Homemade Chewy Fudge Granola Bars
Super chewy chocolate peanut butter granola bars. A simple no-bake recipe!
Today’s granola bars are the epitome of chew! Think store-bought chewy granola bar meets fudgy no-bake cookie. Packed with ordinary ingredients like crunchy peanuts, chewy oats, creamy coconut oil, plump raisins, and melty chocolate. Really really really melty chocolate!
A healthy medley of texture, taste, sweet & salty all in one little snack bar. Simple and innocent as they seem, these have got to be the best granola bar I’ve ever tasted. That’s mighty big praise for a simple little no-bake bar. Store bought have nothing on these.
So what makes them so wonderful? Let me count the ways!
It’s a recipe that comes together in 10 minutes flat; you hardly have to expend and effort to make these. The ingredients are all pantry-staples. Nothing weird and certainly nothing unheard of.
Start with coconut oil. Coconut oil lends the softest texture EVER to no-bake cookies or granola bars. Combined with some chocolate chips, it creates a luscious and creamy base for the rest of today’s ingredients. Plus, it’s a much healthier fat than canola oil or butter. Read here for the health benefits of coconut oil
Please note: there is no underlying coconut taste in these bars. So even if you loathe coconut, no fret! You won’t be able to taste it.
We’ve also got a mix of old-fashioned rolled oats and crispy rice cereal (Rice Krispies). The oats give the bars an unbelievably chewy texture and the crispy rice cereal gives the bars some bulk.
Much unlike the funky gunky stuff you’ll find in store-bought bars, my granola bars are sweetened with maple syrup. Holding the bars together is a hefty dose of crunchy peanut butter. We all know the magic powers of peanut butter & chocolate, so let’s just move right along. 😉
Let’s talk chunks. When it comes to granola bars, the more chunks, the better. In addition to the chunky peanut butter, I threw honey roasted peanuts and raisins into my granola bars. My pantry is nearly always stocked with both because I eat and bake with them so often. Feel free to use whatever chunks you like – coconut, butterscotch chips, almonds, banana chips, seeds, or dried cranberries. The bars are completely customizable to what you like– the sky is the limit here.
The coconut oil makes the bars unbelievably soft. The melted chocolate chips turn into fudge. You have chunky peanut butter and peanuts to give the bars back some crunch. Chewy oats, plump raisins keeping their shape, and crispy rice cereal. One bite is pure texture overload!
Store these no-bake granola bars in the refrigerator. Kept at room temperature, the bars will not hold their shape and get quite melty due to the liquidty components of coconut oil. Served cold, these bars are like biting into a cold candy bar. Exactly what I’m looking for after a long work day or at midnight. It happens.
Molded in an 8×8 baking pan, the bars can be cut into any shape you prefer. I cut mine into easy squares and got 12. Try cutting them into rectangles, like store bought chewy granola bars. Or just go at the whole pan with a fork, knife, and napkin. Or use your chocolate-y fingers!
The bars are completely vegan. If you follow a vegan diet, make sure to check the ingredients on your chocolate chips to assure they’re dairy-free.
To err on the healthy side, I didn’t use too many chocolate chips in the granola bar base. I simply added them back in on top of the bars. These granola bars are LONG gone from our kitchen, so today’s post is torture as I sit here typing. Next batch I’m totally adding M&Ms or sprinkles. (!!!)
Chewy Fudge Granola Bars
Makes 12 squares, depending on size they are cut. Vegan if using vegan chocolate chips. Gluten Free if using certified gluten free oats and rice crisp cereal.
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (or creamy)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 and 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup crispy rice cereal
- 3/4 cup add-ins (I used raisins and honey roasted peanuts)
- 3 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips (optional)
- Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips together until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter and maple syrup. Remove from heat.
- Mix in the oats, crispy rice cereal, and add-ins. Press mixture into prepared baking pan. I used the back of a spatula to evenly press. Top with mini chocolate chips if desired.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or freeze for up to one hour. Cut bars into squares. Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
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