Snickerdoodle Cookie Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: one 8-by-8 inch pan, 10 to 12 bars
 
These very chewy and soft granola bars taste like snickerdoodle cookies and are every bit as satisfying, but are healthier. They're no-bake, come together in 5 minutes, and can easily be kept vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free. They're lightly sweetened and full of cinnamon-sugar flavor, just like snickerdoodles. They're very portable, make great snacks to take on-the-go or to toss in lunch boxes, purses, or gym bags. They're a new favorite granola bar because they are so easy and really do taste like snickerdoodle cookies.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter (or vegan butter or margarine)
  • ½ cup light corn syrup (brown rice syrup or honey may be substituted)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 3 and ½ cups quick cook oats (Quaker, Bob's, or similar)
  • ¾ cup plus up to 4 tablespoon all-purpose flour (or Bob's or similar; protein powder may be used - see below)
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips melted for drizzling, optional (or vegan white chocolate chips; or semi-sweet chocolate chips)
Instructions
  1. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine butter, corn syrup, (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), brown sugar, granulated sugar and heat on high power for 3 minutes total. After 1 minute, stop and stir; reheat for another minute, stop and stir; reheat for the final minute, stop and stir. In the final minute, keep an eye on the bowl just to make sure the liquid doesn't bubble over because you're essentially making caramel sauce in the microwave.
  2. Add vanilla, cinnamon, cream of tartar, salt, and stir to combine. Add oats and stir to combine. Add ¾ cup flour slowly, stirring to incorporate it. Mixture should be thick and although it should be moist, it shouldn't be sloppy. Add up to 4 additional tablespoons flour if your mixture seems very wet; don't over-add and dry out batter too much because it shouldn't be crumbly. Regarding protein powder - substituting some vanilla or plain protein powder could likely replace some or all of the flour, but I have not tested it. Because protein powders vary greatly in how they work and bind ingredients, playing around with a couple tablespoons and working your way up is my recommendation.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and spread it into an even flat layer, pressing it down firmly with a spatula and smoothing the surface. Place pan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or in the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until bars have set up. Lift bars out with foil overhang, place on a cutting board, and slice bars into desired size and shape. I prefer 10 to 12 rectangular bars, about 4-inches long by about ¾-inch wide, similar in size and shape to a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar. Bars will keep at room temperature in an airtight container, wrapped individually in plasticwrap and placed in a gallon-sized Ziplock for up to 1 week (the butter was cooked for 3 minutes so they are shelf-stable); in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  4. Take care that all ingredients used are in keeping with your dietary requirements if bars must be kept vegan, gluten-free, or soy-free.
Recipe by Averie Cooks at https://www.averiecooks.com/snickerdoodle-cookie-granola-bars/