• June 21, 2013

    Chewy Cherry Chocolate Granola Bars


    Being flexible. It’s a whole new thing I’m learning, under the tutelage of a squirmy eight-pound human.

    Yes, some days I’m a bit bleary-eyed – but it’s actually been wonderfully liberating to throw organization, productivity and scheduling out the window. Between the 3 am chow time, and the inevitable hunger cries exactly when we were about to load into the car/make dinner/write a blog post/eat dinner/take a shower/finish an email, little peanut has taught me to go with the flow, in a whole new way.

    Baby’s tummy (with the circumference of a walnut) empties quickly and when he wants milk, he wants milk now! As soon as his bum is wet, he wants a to have been changed five minutes ago! There’s just no point in fighting it. He doesn’t care that it’s an ungodly hour, or that I was otherwise engaged. The only choice for happiness is to enjoy the moment, smother him in kisses, and roll with the schedule he dictates. In doing so, I feel surprisingly relaxed. It’s nice.

    He’s also taught me the necessity of stashing snacks in pockets, sofa-cracks and bedside tables, because he seems to just know when I was about to make a meal, and find himself hungry at that moment. Enter Cherry Chocolate Granola Bars…

    I finally perfected the super-chewy homemade granola bar! Here are the secrets:

    First, you pulse some of the oats to a powder before you mix everything together. Second, the right ratio of liquid sweetener (honey or corn syrup) is necessary, and third, you must let the bars cool completely in the pan rather than transferring them to a cooling rack right away.

    Layer the bars between sheets of waxed paper in an air-tight container and store up to a week, or freeze them individually wrapped and they’ll last for months – pop them directly into your lunch box and they’ll be thawed by snack time.


    • 2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats (large flake – not quick or instant)
    • 1 cup whole almonds
    • 1/3 cup honey or corn syrup
    • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ¼ cup vegetable oil
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/8 tsp almond extract
    • 2/3 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
    • ½ cup chocolate chips


    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
    2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey or corn syrup, brown sugar, salt and vegetable oil. Cook, stirring, until brown sugar dissolves (about 2 minutes). Transfer syrup to a large mixing bowl, stir in vanilla and almond extracts and cool to room temperature (if not properly cooled, chocolate will melt…)
    3. In a food processor, place ½ cup large flake oats and pulse to a flour consistency. Add to the mixing bowl with the syrup, along with the remaining 2 cups large flake oats, almonds, cherries and chocolate. Use your hands, moistened with water, to combine all the ingredients well. Press evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.
    4. Allow granola bars to cool completely in the pan, set on top of a wire cooling rack. Cut lengthwise into 6 strips, and then cut each strip in half to yield 12 bars.

    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

    Review this recipe


    Notify of


    Thanks for signing up! Check your inbox to confirm.
    Healthy Granola Bars Recipe October 3, 2019
    Super-Tasty, Very Easy, Healthy Granola Bars

    A healthy, homemade granola bar perfect for lunchboxes. This easy granola bar recipe uses a secret ingredient as both binder and sweetener while adding 30g protein.

    Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches August 18, 2019
    Ice Cream Sandwiches with Homemade Chocolate Wafers

    The best ice cream sandwich out there – a soft and chewy, brownie-like cookie base with vanilla ice cream in the perfect filling-to-cookie ratio.

    Lemon Bars July 23, 2019
    Frozen Lemon Mousse Bars

    Jump to Recipe – Print RecipeFacebookPinterestTwitterEr my gerrrrd, these Lemon Mousse Bars. They’re like a lemon meringue pie had a baby with a cloud. I’m talking meringue base topped with creamy lemon curd, a super-easy (shortcut!) lemon mousse, and a pillow of whipped cream. The fillings are soft, so you assemble the dessert in a […]