Granola Brownies: they’ve got granola in them, so they’re good for you…right?

Granola Brownies: breakfast or snack? You choose.

Last week, I experienced a “fail” on a first-time recipe. I attempted to make homemade granola bars with chopped dates, coconut, almonds and dark chocolate chips. While it tasted spectacular, the bars just never stuck together. Guess my granola mix was too dry. Next time, I’ll add more honey. BUT… from lemons we make lemonade, and from failed granola bars, we make granola (which was great over Greek yogurt, by the way). And since I can can never seem to leave anything alone, I decided to kick it up a notch by making granola brownies. I mean, it makes sense in an unconventional way. Oats are good with chocolate. So are almonds, dates and coconut. And nothing satisfies a craving for sweets like a brownie, so…

Here’s how it all went down:
1 stick of unsalted butter
3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of granola, divided
Optional Ingredient: 2-3 Tbsp. Hershey’s Dark chocolate syrup
(because I’ve learned that nothing makes chocolate brownies taste more chocolatey than adding more chocolate, or a pinch of instant espresso powder)

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate squares (and the optional chocolate syrup, if you so choose). Beat with a whisk until smooth, and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. In a small bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into the chocolate mixture just until combined; do not over mix. Stir in 3/4 cup of your favorite granola (if it’s in bigger chunks, break it up). Press into an 8″ x 8″ baking pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of granola over the top and press gently so it sticks.

Bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the center is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. Using the parchment paper or foil edges, lift the brownies from the pan and cut into squares. If you want nice, clean edges put your brownies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to cool, then cut into squares.

Tip: individual brownies can be plastic-wrapped and frozen for a quick snack to drop into your child’s lunchbox (or your own). It’s perfect for back-to-school snacks, after school snacks, or my-kids-are-grown-and-I-just-want-a-granola-brownie-for-myself treats. Unconventional? Perhaps, but they’re still nutty, and gooey, and delicious. And just like that, a fail becomes a win.

Recipe credit: brownie base is America’s Test Kitchen “Bake Sale Brownies”



Filed under Food & Recipes

16 responses to “Granola Brownies: they’ve got granola in them, so they’re good for you…right?

  1. Mmmm, I love granola. And everyone knows how I feel about chocolate. A winning combo, I say!

    • Agreed. If you love chocolate and you love granola, why not combine the them? They go together like peas & carrots. Mashed potatoes & gravy. Peanut butter & jelly. Peanut butter & chocolate. Okay… who’s hungry now?

  2. you’re killin me!! Those look delicious. I just read another post and they made a berry crisp… and my co-worker just brought in a homemade german chocolate cake. can’t take much more temptation. I WANT BROWNIES, CAKE, AND BERRY CRISP STAT :)

    • Sorry, Katie. Didn’t mean to add to your distress. German chocolate cake is one of my favorites, too. When I was little, that was one of the cakes I always requested for my birthday. German chocolate or red velvet. Mmmm…. good times. Now that I’m adult, I am less of a cake person and more of a pie gal. That berry crisp sounds fabulous to me. Here’s something that may help. Visit my friend Jennifer at Jane Deere blog. She has been posting some fabulously figure-friendly recipes, and she has started including the nutritional information so you can see what you’re getting into. Plus, her food is fabulous AND flavorful. See for yourself:

      • Thanks for sharing the link!! Wow, I’m already in love with the pumpkin crusted tilapia!! And I gave in and had a small piece of cake… and it was amazing. No eaters remorse ;)

      • I know, right? Jennifer’s recipes are spectacular. Let me know what you try! Glad you tried the cake. Better to try a little and be satisfied than to bake one late at night and eat the whole thing in the guest room closet. Am I right?

  3. Kat

    I’ve found that you can mix granola into most anything and provided you can keep a straight face while you’re doing it or telling someone else about it, the end result will be amazing.

    I think these qualify as an every meal-food.

    • I absolutely agree. Granola is a superfood. I love it on Greek yogurt with a little local honey. You can also use it in crumb toppings for fruit cobbles or pies. Chop it up and toss it on top of your muffins before you bake them. Got ice cream? Top it! I like to add it to trail mix, too. I think the flavor and texture of these brownies make them an ‘anytime’ snack. Far be it from me to refuse a brownie for breakfast. Hey… maybe that’s why my non-yoga pants don’t fit.

  4. Granola and chocolate go so wonderfully together. What a great idea to add granola into brownies! These look delicious!

    • Thanks, Erin. I like this combo. Loved the oats with the chocolate, and the almonds, coconut and chocolate chips in my homemade granola just pushed it over the edge for me. I have to say, I love your blog and the fact that you put up a fried okra recipe. I’m a little surprised to see okra from a self-professed picky eater but also thrilled. It’s one of my favorites. Can’t wait to try your version. Looks SO good!

  5. Jeanne…I love granola, and I love granola bars. But I got to tell you….these brownies look so much better! I am not generally a fan of nuts in brownies. But I like something that will give them more texture. I think the granola really does the trick here! They look perfect! And healthy!!! : )

    • You’ll have to try them the next time you’re craving brownies and let me know if this solves your texture issue. Personally, I like it. It satisfies several issues for me – chocolate, nutty, crunchy. It’s all good!

  6. Amy

    Stop it. Just, stop it.
    **bookmarks recipe for later use**

  7. Granola + Anything = Breakfast! I love, love, LOVE granola in the morning, or any old time. I could easily justify those granola brownies as breakfast, with a steamy mug of green/chamomile tea. See, I just did it. AND I happen to have some granola lying around that I could add to brownies.

    BTW–I figured out the key to having granola bars stick together is to take them out of the oven 15 minutes into baking, and gently & evenly press down the risen top with a level spatula. For crunchy granola bars, you can repeat that every 15 minutes or so until the bars are done, then cut them with a pizza cutter after they’ve been out of the oven for 5 minutes, then let ’em cool completely.

    • Thanks for the tip on making the granola bars stick together. My rookie attempt crumbled like a 12 year old girl at a Bierber concert, but they make a fantastic tub of granola so I can’t complain. Next time I attempt them, I’ll use your method. Thanks for the help, Kirsten!

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