September 27, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars are easy to make, and the ones I've tried thus far have been delicious. Since we're approaching fall, these pumpkin ones on Two Peas and Their Pod caught my eye. I pulled some pumpkin from our freezer to make room for this year's crop and whipped these together.

The flavor is OK on these, but the texture just rubs me wrong. They are not crunchy but not chewy like a traditional granola bar. They are more the texture of a bar, I guess, but that's not what I expect from a granola bar.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
3 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk oats, spices, and salt together. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oats, and stir well, until all of the oats are moist. Stir in chocolate chips.

Evenly press oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. The pumpkin keeps the bars moist, so make sure they are golden and set. Remove from oven, and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Remove from pan and let cool completely. Makes 10 to 12 bars.

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