Granola Bars

4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup honey

Add-ins: 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup chopped walnuts
other options include dried fruits, sunflower seeds, coconut, nuts…
Lightly butter a 9×13-inch pan. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except add-ins. Beat hard until combined. Stir in add-ins.
Press mixture into pan — really jam it in there so your bars don’t fall apart. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or so, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing and serving.
Variations- that I have yet to try, but plan too. Since the granola bars are already good, ya couldn’t do wrong with some of these. (Unless you don’t like Peanut Butter, like me!!)
 ■Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and skip the chocolate chips

■Use 1/2 cup natural peanut butter in place of 1/2 cup of butter

I like to just sprinkle some chocolate chips on top, right after it comes out of oven. Allow to soften, then spread over the bars.

Not sure it will be a good idea in warm weather… they will tend to get chocolate all over, I’m thinking!
These are our favorite Granola Bars… Hands down!!! I’ve tried quite a few of them and they just didn’t pass the general population of the house, until I made these. They are soft, chewy and so good. But they are a bit crumbly. So it can be messy, especially when a baby eats them. And yes, he LOVES them too!!!
They last great in the refrigerator, okay on the counter, and for sure in the freezer for a long time.
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