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Granola Bars Not Sticking Together

arielleeve Sep 5, 2010 06:34 PM

Hi all,

I have been trying to make homemade granola bars for some time now. I've been using a combination of Alton Brown and Ina Garten's recipes (see http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/granola-bars-recipe2/index.html and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in... ), which are quite similar, because they're the only ones I could find that seemed reasonable and they had both gotten good reviews.

My problem is, on each of the three occasions that I attempted the granola bars, they have failed to hold together when I tried to cut them into bars. They just crumble into what is basically loose granola. I have tried everything I can think of -- pressing them into the pan VERY firmly before baking, leaving them in the oven a little longer, letting them cool overnight before cutting them -- but I don't know what else to do to make them stay together. Is it the recipes I am using? I watched both chefs cook these bars on their show and I am following their directions to a T and yet do not come near approximating the stiff, crunchy looking bars that they have made. Help!

  1. h
    HillJ Sep 5, 2010 07:29 PM

    arielleeve, although I haven't tried either of the two recipes you highlight myself, I find most homemade bars either suffer from being too dry by overbaking or by not having enough of a binder that gives the bar moisture and flavor. I always use brown rice syrup or honey as a binder, no butter. And, I refrigerate the bars, covered with plastic wrap,to keep them moist. Most "granola bars" really are more granola than bar-meaning, they make wonderful toppings for yogurt, ice cream, etc. but as you experienced lack the means to stand up to a hand held bars.

    If you would like a recipe for an excellent, healthy, chewy bar similar in ingredients
    to the ones you have tried but really good at holding up go to 101cookbooks.com and search for her energy bar. She uses the brown rice syrup in the ingredients list. The author also has a brown rice krispie treat with pistachios that is fabulous.

    Good luck & happy baking!

    4 Replies
    1. re: HillJ
      arielleeve Sep 5, 2010 07:35 PM

      Thanks for the response. I really love 101 cookbooks, especially as I am a vegetarian and she is very veg-friendly. I think I've seen that recipe before. I don't have any brown rice syrup on hand, but I do have some organic corn syrup -- do you think I could use that as a substitute?

      1. re: arielleeve
        h
        HillJ Sep 5, 2010 07:38 PM

        I wouldn't sub on this one; and corn syrup doesn't add any flavor value. Hold off until you hit the WF or health store for the brown rice. Otherwise, if you enjoy honey, sub honey.

        Her big sur bar is also delish!
        http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

      2. re: HillJ
        Pia Sep 6, 2010 04:25 AM

        I made crunchy granola bars recently and didn't use butter or oil, and they stuck together with no problem. I looked at a recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and Deb (the author) and several of the commenters mentioned that the more butter or oil you use, the less the bars tend to hold together. I noticed the 101 Cookbooks recipe only uses 1 tablespoon of oil.

        1. re: Pia
          h
          HillJ Sep 6, 2010 04:54 AM

          I agree Pia, less oil or fat tends to help the crumble factor.

      3. h
        HillJ Sep 5, 2010 07:41 PM

        http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...
        My family loves these

        1. ipsedixit Sep 5, 2010 10:44 PM

          Try this.

          After you've baked the granola, let it cool to room temp, and cut into bars, rebake it for another 5 minutes. I call it the biscotti-method of baking granola bars.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit
            h
            HillJ Sep 6, 2010 04:55 AM

            Twiced baked are delicious too; especially if you prefer crunch over chewy.
            Then you can dip the baked bars in chocolate, peanut butter, caramel. Or sandwich two bars btwn some ice cream or frozen yogurt.

          2. celebreaty link Sep 6, 2010 06:14 AM

            hi ariellleeve,

            i'll be posting soon to my blog page www.celebreatylink.wordpress.com my chewy 'n crunchy granola bar recipe soon. you'll love making them!

            1. h
              HillJ Sep 20, 2010 03:07 PM

              http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/22/din...

              If you watch the video, I think you'll find this step by step granola bar primer very helpful and completely adaptable to any ingredients you prefer.

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