Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I love granola bars. Especially when they’re no-bake and peanut butter and chocolate chips are involved. I’d go so far as to call these healthy because they’re made with whole grains and there’s fruit included. Raisins count as fruit for me.

I made them when I was in Aruba and I made so many things while I was there that I almost forgot about this recipe until I recently saw it peering at me in my saved drafts.

I thought last week’s Carrot Pineapple Banana Bread was the last Aruba recipe, but this one really is.

You probably have everything you need to make these fast, no-bake, vegan, and gluten-free numbers in your cupboard right now. If you need additional convincing, there’s a big dollop of peanut butter, oats, crispy rice cereal, cinnamon, raisins, and chocolate chips involved.

MY OTHER RECIPES

After making the batter, which takes just five minutes to stir together, pack it into a pan and place the pan in the freezer to encourage the bars to set up faster.

When I removed the pan from freezer and the bars came into contact with the 88F degree heat inside my kitchen, the bars started sweating and glistening a little. It happens to me too in the heat.

The heat and humidity in Aruba was actually a great recipe test because the bars held together, stayed chewy, and didn’t turn into a melty gooey mess even in the very hot and humid Caribbean air, which renders a box of Saltine crackers soggy in mere hours.

In climates without 90F temperatures and 90% relative humidity, these bars are very shelf-stable stored in an airtight container. Or, wrap them up individually in plasticwrap for a portable on-the-go snack. I pack lunches every day for Skylar and Scott and I am always looking for items to include that are new, interesting, transport easily, and on the healthier side of the spectrum. As opposed to this.

The granola bars are dense and very chewy. The rice cereal adds an unexpected and very noticeable pop of crispiness and crunchiness in each bite. I tossed it in on a whim and am glad I did.

You can also try these bars using other cereals; or try shredded coconut flakes, flax seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or whatever little seeds, nuts, or crunchy bits you enjoy in your granola bars.

The bars are ripe for customization and tweaks. I used a raisin medley but try diced medjool dates, dried cranberries, dried apricots, or any dried fruit you love from dried cherries to blueberries.

The chocolate chips can be replaced with white chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips; or use toffee bits, mini M & M’s, mini marshmallows, diced peanut butter cups, or any diced candy if you want to make these more dessert bar and less granola bar.

The peanut butter can be replaced with other nut butters from almond to cashew; Biscoff or cookie butter spread to Nutella. If using a thinner nut butter like almond butter or a thinner spread like Nutella, you may need to use less since those spreads are runnier than peanut butter and could render the batter a bit runnier, or you may need to bump up the quantity of dry ingredients.

The cinnamon, brown sugar, oats, and raisins are perfect fall flavors. Or anytime flavors for me.

The flavors were apparently perfect for the family too because this batch of ten bars was gobbled in 36 hours. Good thing they’re fast to make.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: Makes one 8-by-8-inch pan, about 10 rectangular bars
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup light corn syrup (brown rice syrup or honey may be substituted)
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 2 cups quick cook oats (Quaker, Bob's, or similar)
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal (Crispy Rice Cereal, Rice Krispies Cereal, or similar)
  • ⅓ to ½ cup raisins, roughly chopped if they're large such as golden raisins
  • ⅓ to ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped (or use mini chips)
Instructions
  1. Prepare an 8-by-8-inch baking pan by lining it with foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine corn or brown rice syrup (I suspect maple syrup or agave are not quite sticky enough to properly bind the ingredients so bars will hold together), peanut butter, brown sugar, and heat on high power for 1 minute; stir to combine mixture. Heat for 1 more minute on high power and stir to combine.
  2. Add vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and stir to combine. Add oats and stir to combine. Add rice cereal and gently stir to combine so it doesn't become too crushed. Add the raisins and fold to incorporate. Add the chocolate chips and quickly and gently fold to combine so chips don't begin to melt. Pour mixture into prepared pan and pack it down firmly with a spatula or hands, and place pan in the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until bars have set up.
  3. Slice bars into desired sizes and shapes; I prefer 10 bars cut into rectangles about 4-inches long by about ¾-inch wide, similar in size and shape to a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar; choose any shape and size desired. Bars will keep in an airtight container or wrapped in plasticwrap at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Notes
Optional recipe tweaks and suggestions:

Try other cereals or add shredded coconut flakes, flax seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or other seeds or small nuts.

Try diced medjool dates, dried cranberries, dried apricots, or other dried from cherries to blueberries.

The chocolate chips can be replaced with white chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips; or use toffee bits, mini M & M's, mini marshmallows, diced peanut butter cups, or any chopped and diced candy bar will work if you want to make these more dessert bar and less granola bar.

The peanut butter can be replaced with other nut butters from almond to cashew; Biscoff or cookie butter spread to Nutella. If using a thinner nut butter like almond butter or a thinner spread like Nutella, you may need to use less since those spreads are runnier than peanut butter and could make batter a bit runny, or you may need to bump up the quantity of dry ingredients.

Take care that all ingredients used are in keeping with your dietary path and needs from the types of cereal, oats, chocolate, and add-ins used if bars must be kept vegan, gluten-free, or soy-free.

Related Recipes:

Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bars with Chocolate Chunks (no-bake, vegan, GF) – If you omit the chocolate that’s used two ways on top of these bars, they’re quite healthy. Minus the chocolate, the bars themselves are just oats and dates, bound together by peanut butter, and I love them

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola (vegan, GF) – Crunchy, easy, packed with the flavors of fall, and you’ll never have to buy overpriced storebought granola again

Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter and Oat Snack Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, GF) – Makes just 3 bars in 5 minutes, perfect small-batch and fast recipe

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, GF)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, GF)

Do you have a favorite granola or granola bar recipe?

Making granola and granola bars at home is so easy, cost-efficient, and you can control what does or doesn’t go into the bars. I’ll always control them so more chocolate goes in, of course.

Feel free to link up your favorite recipes.

Thanks for the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + KitchenAid Stand Mixer + $200 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card Giveaway entries – ends Monday

Check back over the weekend for new giveaways each day. Have a great weekend!

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: Makes one 8-by-8-inch pan, about 10 rectangular bars
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup light corn syrup (brown rice syrup or honey may be substituted)
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 2 cups quick cook oats, or similar
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal (Crispy Rice Cereal, Rice Krispies Cereal, or similar)
  • ⅓ to ½ cup raisins, roughly chopped if they're large such as golden raisins
  • ⅓ to ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped (or use mini chips)
Instructions
  1. Prepare an 8-by-8-inch baking pan by lining it with foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine corn or brown rice syrup (I suspect maple syrup or agave are not quite sticky enough to properly bind the ingredients so bars will hold together), peanut butter, brown sugar, and heat on high power for 1 minute; stir to combine mixture. Heat for 1 more minute on high power and stir to combine.
  2. Add vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and stir to combine. Add oats and stir to combine. Add rice cereal and gently stir to combine so it doesn't become too crushed. Add the raisins and fold to incorporate. Add the chocolate chips and quickly and gently fold to combine so chips don't begin to melt. Pour mixture into prepared pan and pack it down firmly with a spatula or hands, and place pan in the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until bars have set up.
  3. Slice bars into desired sizes and shapes; I prefer 10 bars cut into rectangles about 4-inches long by about ¾-inch wide, similar in size and shape to a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar; choose any shape and size desired. Bars will keep in an airtight container or wrapped in plasticwrap at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Notes
Optional recipe tweaks and suggestions:

Try other cereals or add shredded coconut flakes, flax seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or other seeds or small nuts.

Try diced medjool dates, dried cranberries, dried apricots, or other dried from cherries to blueberries.

The chocolate chips can be replaced with white chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips; or use toffee bits, mini M & M's, mini marshmallows, diced peanut butter cups, or any chopped and diced candy bar will work if you want to make these more dessert bar and less granola bar.

The peanut butter can be replaced with other nut butters from almond to cashew; Biscoff or cookie butter spread to Nutella. If using a thinner nut butter like almond butter or a thinner spread like Nutella, you may need to use less since those spreads are runnier than peanut butter and could make batter a bit runny, or you may need to bump up the quantity of dry ingredients.

Take care that all ingredients used are in keeping with your dietary path and needs from the types of cereal, oats, chocolate, and add-ins used if bars must be kept vegan, gluten-free, or soy-free.

123 comments on “Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars”

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  4. So glad you found the recipe and shared it with us! These bars look absolutely fantastic, I’m all for making granola and bars at home and this one is surely next on the list.
    I’m linking one of my favorite granola recipes which has a lot of coconut and dried fruits. http://bakerstreet.tv/2011/09/homemade-granola/

  5. Yummy! I have to try these – they look so good! :)

  6. I love a chewy granola bar! Your cuts are always so perfectly clean. It’s very impressive! I cut things and they looked half chewed by the time they get on the blog, ha!

    • I put everything I can into foil-lined baking pans, then I remove the foil, then I clean-cut it on the counter. Food sites pretty much will reject me on comp if I don’t. FG will occasionally take the artfully ‘chewed on’ bite taken out pic, but not often. Finnicky little buggers :)

  7. Averie! Get out of my head! Just WEdnesday I spent about an hour googling “chewy granola bars” and “peanut butter chewy no bake granola bars” and “granola bars with rice krispies” lol! What a great go-to recipe – a perfect chewy granola bar base for adding in your favorites – I LOVE your idea of adding m&ms for a fun dessert granola bar. Or what about an all peanut butter granola bar half-dipped in chocolate? My head is swirling with ideas!!

    The best part about these bars is that there are NO weird ingredients in them – I hate clicking over on yummy looking recipes to find items that you need to buy at a specialty store. I love the TJs raisin medley – it made your pumpkin granola really pop on screen and brings a pretty contrast of colors to today’s bars. You are the queen of granola bars! I can’t wait to get home tonight and start creating my own! :)

    • I carried a bag of TJs raisin medley down to Aruba with me! I bring 1-2 bags of it with on every trip. Bringing food makes your baggage weight add up so quickly but raisins are ungodly! expensive in Aruba (dates are unheard of) and so I bring them b/c I use them in everything.

      That’s too funny about the granola bar googling situation – we are always on the same wavelength! Krispies, PB, nobake, chewy. Crazy!

      They’re so easy. I don’t dip them in choc b/c I do want more of a granola bar, not a dessert bar. Have the desserts covered in this house :) And also b/c when Skylar holds them, she gets a mitt full of chocolate (mess city!) so I keep it to a minimum but go crazy girl!

  8. Golden raisins are a favorite of mine for adding to baked goods!

  9. Yum. I love that they are climate tested too ;-) I’ve only made granola bars once and it was one of your recipes, another no-bake (maybe that last recipe).

  10. I love how compact they are! Homemade granola bars are SO much better than store bought by a mile.

  11. You sure do make granola bars looks good! I love the combination of peanut butter, raisins, and chocolate chips.

  12. I go through boxes of granola bars more quickly than I care to admit. Homemade versions of anything are always better so I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe! They look scrumptious (love that texture)!

  13. Oh my goooooodness. These look so delish! I love that making granola and granola bars are so easy, yet it’s silly I’ve yet to try it.

  14. I love PB with chocolate – these are my kind of bars!

  15. Hey girl! Your granola bars look amazing. They would be a great treat to take on a hike.

    I wanted to say thank you for the sweet comment you made on Zoe’s post. All the comments made her day, and yours was especially sweet and real. My husband said, “You can tell Averie is from the Midwest, she has that midwestern spirit.” Anyway, I know Skyler is going to be your best cooking pal when she gets a bit older. Zoe wants to cook with me all the time and I just love it!

    Have a great weekend!
    xoxo,
    Jackie

    • That is so sweet of your hubs to say that. I can tell just by looking at your guys, you have that midwest spirit, too. I can honestly see you living on Lake Mtka and having a lake cabin and doing all that MN stuff. I can see you never leaving Marin, either. Who would! But I can see you up in the north woods one day again. I keep thinking about what you told me about your trip and going back there…how it felt so nice to be there.

      I don’t get comment replies from you so always forget to go back and check them out but seriously Zoe’s mousse looked better/easier than the Saveur/Bon App recipe I had been reading 12 hrs prior!

  16. I saw these on Pinterest earlier and just knew they were yours!! I love homemade granola bars and these must be the next ones I make. Gorgeous pictures, as always!

  17. These bars look absolutely professional. I can’t get over how perfectly they’re cut. They would be prefect to send to my daughter at college, thanks for the recipe!

  18. These kind of remind me of trail mix in bar form–yum!! I always have a jumbo container of oats in the pantry and a pretty continuous supply of PB. My husband prefers the preservative/chemical free homemade bars (and I can always add a little protein powder for him) and they are soooo much cheaper and tastier to make yourself! Love this recipe–I just set up my ziplist account this am so this one is going in!

    • Yes if you want to add protein powder, it will firm up the dough/batter in no time. Works as a nice little glue/binder. I don’t cook with it or use it anymore in recipes b/c then if someone doesn’t have that exact type/brand, I get too many questions but ad-lib and use some! It will be great.

      Glad you like the ziplist feature and this made the cut :)

  19. Amazing, Averie! You’ve combined my favorite combo into a granola bar! And I have all the ingredients on hand for a late-night Friday baking session :)

  20. So how is it that I’m just now discovering your lovely site?! I noticed your Pinterest follow, followed back and then followed the links here – YAY!! Gorgeous site! Can’t wait to check out all your other yummy recipes! xoxo

  21. These look fantaaastic. I love the oats + crispy cereal idea.

  22. These look perfect. I’m always looking for a good granola bar for grab-and-go breakfasts! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  23. mmm – these bring back childhood memories of eating those quaker chewy granola bars. i love your addition of rasins!

  24. These look like a perfect energy bar, lots of chunks of great stuff in them! I’m always looking for new granola bar recipes. Can’t wait to try this!

  25. oh that looks just incredible!! yum!

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