Granola bars are a staple at our house.
I keep a stash of granola bars on hand for lunches and quick snacks, and we go through about a box every week.
Since we go through so many granola bars, I’ve tried quite a few granola bar recipes, and these homemade m&m granola bars are my favorite.
The bars are sweet but not overwhelmingly so. Toasting the oats brings out their nutty flavor, and it helps improve the texture of the bars. They also hold together well (just be sure to firmly press the oat mixture into the pan), and, most importantly, they taste really good.
Homemade M&M Granola Bars
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup peanuts roughly chopped*
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips divided
- 1/4 cup M&M baking pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment or foil. Lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the oats on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
Place the nuts and oats in a large bowl.
While the oats are toasting, add the honey, butter, and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat, and stir in peanut butter, vanilla, and salt.
Pour peanut butter mixture over the oat/nut mixture; stir to combine. Make sure that all of the oats are coated in the peanut butter mixture.
Let mixture cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Stir in half mini chocolate chips.
Pour oat mixture in the prepared pan. Use a rubber spatula to firmly press the mixture into the pan.
Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips and M&Ms over the top of the bars, and gently press into oat mixture.
Chill the granola bars for at least 2 hours.
Lift the bars from the pan, and cut into bars.
I store the bars in the fridge.
*You can use either salted or unsalted depending on how salty/sweet you'd like your granola bars to be.
Slightly adapted from Bless This Mess.