I think y’all are gonna love these Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars! This is another recipe that I brainstormed earlier this year during Strawberry Week, and am only now getting around to posting, but better later than never I like to say!
All the ingredients are pretty straightforward, and you likely have them on hand, save for the freeze-dried strawberries. You can usually find them on the snack aisle at the grocery store with the other dried fruits. Alternatively, you can dry your own fresh strawberry slices in a 200°F oven – it’ll just take a few hours. I don’t recommend using another form of strawberry in this recipe for Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars.
Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars recipe:
- Quick-cooking oats, crispy rice cereal: Not steel cut oats! You need quick-cooking oats for this one, or else the bars will be too hard and you’ll end up with oat pieces in your gums.
- Dark brown sugar, honey: These are both sweeteners and adhesives for the Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars. Light brown sugar will work in a pinch, but that’s the only substitute I recommend so the bars: brown sugar is very important to the chew!
- Freeze dried strawberries, white chocolate: The strawberries are key, obviously. They need to be dried! White chocolate is a nice touch, but they’re delicious without it. I used a bar of white chocolate, but chips or melts work fine.
- Unsalted butter, vanilla extract, fine sea salt: You can omit the sea salt and use salted butter for these Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars if you like. Vanilla adds a beautiful warmth and rounds out the flavor of the oats, complimenting the strawberry nicely.
How to Make Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars recipe:
- Prepare for Granola Bars! Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and to it add the oats and rice cereal. Let the oats and cereal toast, stirring and tossing frequently, until everything is lightly browned and fragrant – about 5–7 minutes. Once toasted, transfer everything to a mixing bowl.
- Form the Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars. Add the freeze-dried strawberries and stir to combine. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, honey, vanilla, salt, and brown sugar. Stir until everything is combined into a smooth sauce. Gently fold the hot honey-butter mixture into the oats and strawberries. Fold until everything is thoroughly moistened and beginning to stick together. Transfer the mixture into a greased 8×8 baking dish – or a silicone bar mold if you’ve got one – then press it down, forming an even layer all across. Don’t press too hard, or you’ll make the bars tough.
- Bake ’em. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12–15 minutes, until they’re lightly browned, and you can smell ’em. Like cookies! Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
- Cool, dress, slice. If using the melted chocolate: add the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Continue microwaving in 30 second intervals until completely melted. Use a spoon to lightly drizzle the white chocolate over the top of the uncut bars, or spread it out over the top of them in an even layer with an offset spatula. Let the white chocolate cool and harden. Slice into 2″ wide Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars once the white chocolate has set. Store in an airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to 4 days. Dassit!