Snickerdoodle Cookie Granola Bars

I’m a big fan of snickerdoodle cookies. And granola bars.

And I’ll never say no to granola bars that taste like cookies.

I decided to combine two favorites into one as I was leaving Aruba, figuring they’d make nice snacks for the twenty two hour journey back to California. And boy, did these extra chewy, no-bake granola bars ever hit the spot. They really do taste like snickerdoodles in all their cinnamon-and-sugar scented glory and the best part is that they come together in five minutes and are easily kept both vegan and gluten-free.

To make them, combine butter, brown and granulated sugars, and corn syrup in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat for three minutes total, stopping after each one-minute interval to stir the ingredients. After the first minute, not much will likely have happened and the butter probably won’t even have melted yet, but after the second burst it will have softened and liquified. Give everything a good stir and return the bowl for the third minute. Keep an eye on it because you’re essentially making caramel sauce in the microwave and the bubbling that occurs helps create a sticky sauce, which is key to the granola bars holding their shape and sticking together. I don’t anticipate the mixture bubbling over and mine was no where close, and I use this technique in other granola bar recipes without issue, but microwaves vary.

To the hot caramel sauce, add vanilla, cinnamon, cream of tartar, optional salt, and quick-cooking oats. I usually use old-fashioned whole rolled oats in my recipes, but for these bars, quick-cook is the way to go. The oats are smaller and broken down, and they stick together much better than larger old-fashioned whole oats. Give everything a good stir and then slowly add three-quarters cup of flour, stirring to incorporate it. The mixture will be thick and it will be moist, but it shouldn’t be fall-apart sloppy and gloppy.

It sets up very dramatically after being pressed into the pan as it cools but if necessary, add up to four additional tablespoons of flour, or one-quarter cup, if your batter seems very wet. Don’t exceed four additional tablespoons because that could dry it out too much and cause the granola bars to be crumbly and not hold their shape well.

It’s likely that substituting some vanilla or plain protein powder could replace some or all of the flour. However, because protein powders vary greatly in how they work; some bind things beautifully, some turn food into sludge, and some turn it crumbly, you’d need to experiment. I’d start with acouple tablespoons and work your way up if you’re feeling adventurous. I was not and needed to pack.

Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch square pan and spread it out, firmly packing it down and smoothing it with a spatula. Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least two hours  so the bars can set up before slicing them or pop the pan into the freezer for a shorter duration.

Slice the bars into whatever shapes you prefer. Ten to twelve rectangular bars the size of a Quaker Chewy Granola bar is my yield and then I wrap them individually in plasticwrap, put them all together into a gallon-sized Ziplock, and store them in the refrigerator. They are shelf-stable for a week or so, but in the refrigerator they’ll last a month, or can be frozen many months. However, a dozen little granola bars won’t likely be lingering for too long.

Optionally drizzle the bars with melted white chocolate, either individually or just do the whole pan at once. I prefer white chocolate here and find it’s a better complement to the cinnamon-and-sugar flavors than dark chocolate, but it’s chocolate and there really is no wrong kind. I was tempted to dunk half the bar in melted chocolate or dip the bottom surface of the bar into chocolate like many storebought granola bars have that perfectly smooth and luscious chocolate bottom, but I wanted to keep them in the realm of healthy and was judicious about my chocolate usage. Sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks.

The notes of caramel from the melted butter and brown sugar, combined with the cinnamon and a bit of tang from the cream of tartar, give such richness of flavor. The white chocolate drizzle is a nice touch and adds just a bit of additional sweetness because on their own, the bars aren’t overly sweet.

I love texture and the oats add an incredible amount. They’re fabulously dense and I have to chew-and-chew each bite, which is nice because it prevents me from being able to inhale three bars in three minutes. Interestingly, they don’t really taste like Oatmeal Cookies and are much more like Snickerdoodle Cookies or Sugar-Doodle Cookies, some of my all-time favorites.

They’re satisfying and hearty and make great pre- or post-workout snacks, and I feel satisfied without feeling like I just un-did all the benefits of my workout. I was also pleasantly shocked how well they held up going from ninety degree humidity to x-ray machines to the bottom of my carry-on to overhead bins.

I had to hide these from myself on the plane.

Snickerdoodle Cookie Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
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.
Serves: one 8-by-8 inch pan, 10 to 12 bars
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.

Related Recipes:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Produces Quaker Chewy-style granola bars, with very similar texture, and they’re a reader favorite and one of my own favorites. Use ingredients you have on hand and enjoy, from peanut butter to almond butter to sunflower seed butter; to raisins to white chocolate chips to coconut flakes; to M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces for a more candy-like bar; you can customize them very easily with just about anything that strikes your fancy

Sunflower Seed Butter Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF, peanut-free) Made with one of my favorite nut butters, sunflower seed butter. It has a distinctively bold, yet slightly sweet flavor. By combining sunflower seed butter, agave, and Medjool dates with oats in a food processor, these no-bake granola bars come together in minutes. Fast, easy, very chewy and texture-filled

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

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

Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies – These cookies are much more than the sum of their simple parts and ingredients and they’re easily one of my favorites from 2012. Another bonus of these soft, chewy, and easy cookies is that the batch size is only 11 cookies. Perfect for our family because we don’t need dozens and dozens of cookies just laying around

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies – Similar to the above recipe however before baking the dough was rolled in a cinnamon-sugar coating and white chocolate chips are in the batter. They’re not quite as chewy or thick and plump as the Sugar-Doodles but the flavor is perfect and they have white chocolate chips

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars with Pink Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting – Snickerdoodle cookies, baked into bar form. Bars are faster to bake than individual cookies and no dough chilling is required. Dense, thick, easy and the sweet yet tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement

Thanks for the Elegant Food Gift Box Giveaway entries

Do you have a favorite granola or granola bar recipe? Fan of snickerdoodles?

Feel free to link to your favorite recipes. 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.

And I’m a huge fan of snickerdoodles and when done right, very little can compete with a perfect snickerdoodle.

Happy New Year!

106 comments on “Snickerdoodle Cookie Granola Bars”

  1. Also, because I am nerd and the comment above with the nutritional stats just seemed impossible to me, I used my software to calculate and here is the breakdown for 12 bars, if you are curious:

    Servings: 12
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories: 235
    Total Fat: 10.15g
    Cholesterol: 21mg
    Sodium: 169mg
    Total Carbs: 33.53g
    Dietary Fiber: 1.42g
    Sugars: 16.80g
    Protein: 2.47g

  2. I wish you a ☆ :: * Happy-New-Year * :: ☆ From Japan.!! God bless you during 2013!
    Ryoma Sakamoto.

  3. These look awesome!! Can’t wait to try! Your sugar-doodles didn’t disappoint:)

    Happy New Year!

  4. Delicious looking! Granola bars that taste like snickerdoodles? Definitely a big yes in our book! I love how you put white chocolate on top and the cinnamon – load it up! The more the better! Always on the hunt for granola bars that are easy to make that taste fantastic. Winner!

    Welcome back to Cali! Hope your trip was safe and sound! :-)

  5. These sound so good! Great idea combining two favorites :)

  6. Wow, these look like a unique and delicious granola bar flavor. I love how cleanly it looks like you were able to cut them which would make for easy transportation! Happy New Year!

    • I love clean cuts. They are just ‘my thing’ Weird but whatever. If you take pics of food, you know how it is when you get a nice clean cut and no messiness :) And with these, I didn’t even have to try that hard. They are just naturally very portable!

  7. Best. Idea. Ever! Love snickerdoodles and LOVE that you somehow used your magic to create them into granola bars. I would be snacking on these bad boys for the entire 22 hour flight. Welcome back to CA!

  8. I’m in love with this concept! Snickerdoodles are one of my absolute fave cookies so I love it in any form, especially this!

  9. Ah-mazing! I love dramatic set-ups when they arrive in bar form. :D

  10. These are my kind of granola bars! I love snickerdoodles and the idea of eating them in granola bar form sounds wonderful!

  11. Granola bars that taste like cookies?! YES PLEASE! I could eat seriously eat this all day.

  12. ok I know you said to use quick oats…but I buy my old fashioned oats in bulk…so I may end up regretting it but I am going to try with the old fashioned oats…since I still have like 20lbs to use up so I just can not bring myself to buy the quick…is this way tmi… i know i know but i always try to listen to you…again love how you explain and talk about the recipe…hope you had safe travels back home.

    • I think you may regret it because they will not stick together nearly as well or get that compactness & density. You could always grind your whole rolled for 10 secs in a food processor/Vita and break them down a bit which is what I’d recommend for this particular application. 20 lbs…whoa. You love your oats :)

  13. Yum these sound delicious, gotta make em soon!

  14. Incredibly delicious!! I made these this morning…and I am not sure they are going to last in my house until tomorrow! :) They are so yummy–love all the buttery chewiness, and the amount of cinnamon! I have loved reading your blog for quite a while, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to make one of your recipes. I can’t wait to try more (I’ve been wanting to make your cranberry bliss bars ever since you posted it)!! Thank you for sharing your great recipes!

    • I am so glad to hear you made them and are loving them – and yes, they hardly lasted with us either (only because I knew we needed airplane snacks so I hid them from ourselves for a day!). And thanks for reading my blog & saying hi and making these. And you cannot go wrong with the Cran Bliss Bars. They are one of my personal faves of 2012, without a doubt!

  15. I made these yesterday morning so we would have a homemade Sunday afternoon snack and I was thrilled with how they turned out. I never thought I could make a decent granola bar at home so I never bothered to try but these were delicious and formed perfectly. And they really only took five minutes to mix up. I didn’t do any white chocolate drizzle, maybe next time. I’m wondering about mix-ins like slivered almonds or dried berries, would I reduce the amount of oatmeal?

    • So glad you tried them and that you loved them & had such good success! It depends on how many sliv almonds or berries (and their size) – like big fat golden yellow raisins are going to be hard, but fragments of dried cranberries or smaller raisins will be easier – on if you’d need to decrease the oats. I would say add 3 c oats and the flour, stir in the berries/nuts you plan to use (1/2 cup give or take) and then if needed add more oats to get things to stick!

      • Because I really love gingersnap cookies, I decided to try to make a gingersnap version of these Snickerdoodle Cookie Granola Bars last night and I was really thrilled with the results. I used all brown sugar instead of white and brown and replaced 1/4 cup of the corn syrup with molasses. Then I used my gingersnap spice ratio, which might be a little strong for some people, two tsps cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cloves and a half tsp ground ginger. They are delicious.

      • Your gingersnap spice ratio sounds wonderful! 2 tsp/1 tsp/1 tsp sounds about perfect for batches of things like this or cookies. And glad to hear they held together by using all brown sugar and replacing 1/4 c syrup with molasses. What a great field report! Thanks for that! And I LOVE gingersnap/molasses things. I actually want to make gingersnap cookies now…but I fear people are ‘over it’ after Jan 1st!

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  19. I made these with half brown rice syrup and half honey and cooked mine on the stovetop instead of the microwave. They turned out great. Dense, chewy, delicous, cinnamony and sweet without being too sweet. Thanks, Avery!

  20. Not sure if another person commented BUT it works great with agave! Held together great. These are the best no-bake bars I have tested from blog world.

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  22. Love the Snickerdoodle granola bar recipe. Going to try to adapt it to a sugar free version tomorrow.

  23. I tried these over the weekend. I used Splenda instead of sugar. Absoluty amazing!

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