I don't know what it is with granola bars. I seem to have the worst luck. They never want to cook properly, or they just plain fall apart.
These Pumpkin Granola Bars from In Katrina's Kitchen were no exception to the rule. It took 40 min for the bars to set up, when the original recipe calls for a bake time of a mere 25 min.
The strange thing about this is that the one substitution I made should have aided in the setting up process of these bars. Instead of honey I used homemade maple flavored pancake syrup. This syrup was made with mostly corn syrup, something that sets up much better than honey.
Once I baked the bars for 40 min I thought if I let them cool completely they would set up how I wanted them to. When they reached room temp I cut them into 12 bars. 12 very floppy bars that barely held together.
So back into the oven these little guys went. I placed them, spread out on a cookie sheet. They stayed in the oven for another 30 min, flipping them once at the halfway point.
This extra bake time made them crispy on the outside. I was afraid they would be hard all the way through like a biscotti. Nope! They were quite soft in the center. Yay! No one was going to break a tooth on them.
Sadly, by this point I was so frustrated with the bars that I no longer wanted to eat them. Luckily my family were happy to oblige. They made a great treat for Mrblocko and Blockette's lunches.
I'm posting the recipe as is from the site and you can decide if you need/want to add any additional bake times.
Pumpkin Granola Bars from In Katrina's Kitchen
2 c old fashioned oats
1/2 c chopped walnuts (I used toasted pecans and almond pieces)
1/2 c ground flax seed
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t salt
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t cloves
1/2 c pumpkin
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c honey or maple syrup
1 t vanilla
1/2 c mini chocolate chips
Pre-heat 350F and spray 8x8 pan. In large bowl, mix dry ingred: oats thru cloves. In med bowl, mix wet ingred: pumpkin thru vanilla. Slowly add wet to the ingredients til combined. Add chips and pour into prepared pan. Bake 25 min til lt brown. Let cool completely before slicing into 12 or 16 pieces