Inspired by the nut butter bars we love from Big Spoon Roasters, this just-sweet-enough, chewy-but-firm bar is bound together by peanut butter and honey. A few notes on the recipe: First, if you’re looking to eliminate the egg white (which gives the bars structure), we’ve had success using 2 Tbsp. chia seeds in its place: Add them to the food processor when you blitz the oats. Second, since you're wondering, you can use almond butter. Most of us preferred the natural sweetness of peanut butter to the deep, roasty flavor of almond butter, but both work! And, lastly, these bars are salty-sweet and we think 2 tsp. is just right as long as your other ingredients are unsalted. But if you're using salted nuts or salted peanut butter, you'll need to reduce this amount.
2 cups raw nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, and/or blanched hazelnuts)
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
2 cups old-fashioned oats, divided
1¼ cups dried fruit (such as tart cherries, raisins, currants, dates, apricots, and/or blueberries)
¾ cup natural peanut butter (unsalted or low-salt)
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread nuts and pumpkin seeds in a 13x9" baking pan and roast until darkened in color and toasty smelling, 10–12 minutes. Transfer nuts and seeds to a food processor and let sit until cool enough to handle.
Reduce oven temperature to 300°. Lightly oil 13x9" pan and line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on both long sides. Lightly oil parchment.
Add 1 cup oats to nut mixture in food processor and pulse until nuts are broken down to a sandy mixture and no whole oats remain. Transfer to a large bowl.
Pulse any dried fruit larger than a raisin in food processor (no need to wipe out) until finely chopped, about the size of chocolate chips. Transfer to bowl with nut mixture. Add remaining 1 cup oats and stir to combine, breaking up any fruit that is stuck together. Add 3 Tbsp. oil and stir to coat. Add peanut butter, but don’t stir it in.
Bring honey, salt, and vanilla to a boil in a medium saucepan (honey will bubble up) over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until honey is foaming vigorously and smells like caramel, about 3 minutes.
Immediately pour honey syrup over peanut butter in reserved bowl (it will melt the peanut butter). Stir to combine, making sure to aggressively break up any clumps of nut butter.
Stir egg white with a fork or whisk in a small bowl to liquefy. Add to oat mixture and stir until egg white is no longer visible.
Transfer oat mixture to prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer. (Be sure to really compact the mixture into the pan—it helps to use the bottom of a heavy glass or metal measuring cup.)
Bake granola bars until deep golden brown and no longer sticky or wet, 30-35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then lightly score into 16 long rectangles (1 cut lengthwise and 8 cuts crosswise will make bars that are about 6½x1"). Let cool completely in pan, then use parchment to hoist bars out onto a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut along marks to separate bars.
Do Ahead: Bars can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Reviews SectionI thought these were great. Used all unsalted ingredients and didn't have the salt issue many had. They were soft but stayed together well when sliced. Next time, I will put a few nuts to the side instead of adding all into the food processor to be pulverized. I think that will give texture and look like the photo. They actually keep me full which I can't say for most granola bars.AnonymousSan Francisco, CA08/05/20These are delicious. Slightly more complicated than they need to be, but they turned out great. If you want them a bit firmer, I also would suggest leaving them in the oven for 35 or maybe 40, and just keep an eye on them. At 30 minutes they're still very soft.MgnmarieSaint Joseph, Michigan08/05/20I'm very annoyed and agree with the reader who threw out the completed bars! This is a complicated recipe and I very carefully followed the recipe. The flavor is not good, in my opinion, and the texture is EVEN WORSE. They are crumbling and falling apart. I did read the reviews, as they were baking, and so seeing the problem, baked an extra ten minutes. But I don't think anything can save this recipe!AnonymousLos Angeles07/24/20Amazing! I used all unsalted ingredients and added only 1/2 tsp salt (I might go up in salt next time). I substituted almond butter for peanut butter and maple syrup for the honey. I baked the bars for 30 minutes and they're slightly sticky still but I'm okay with that. Maybe next time I'll try baking it longer to get it dryer.After checking out other granola bar recipes, I adjusted the procedure slightly by mixing the nut butter into the heated syrup and then mixed the syrup/nutbutter mixture into the nuts/oats/oil.aokikaren582Fairfield, Iowa07/19/20I am a pretty good baker and LOVE Bon Appetit recipes...I made your Nut Butter Granola Bars yesterday and have to tell you they were not good at all...The texture is off...I thought the flavor was just OK but my husband didn't like the taste at all...I didn't read the reviews before I made the recipe but did after...there is something "off" with this recipe...I spent time videoing ( I've never done that before) while making them to send to my grandchildren in another state so they could make them while they are isolated at home during the CORVID-19...The cost of the ingredients are pretty expensive too...Needless to say I had to throw them out!Very disappointed...AnonymousSan Francisco03/25/20How many calories in each bar?Loved this recipe. My only suggestion would be a tad more honey, and maybe bake for 10-15 mins longer. Maybe add some chocolate chips for those with the extra sweet tooth. I've been snacking on these all week and they hold up pretty great!gingerspice23Asheville, NC10/22/19So good!! This recipe is fantastic- thank goodness it makes a decent pan full because my husband & I both love these. There may or may not have been some negotiations involving the last bar...Regarding salt- I have made these a couple of times using lightly salted almond butter and even some salted sunflower seeds and used 2 tsp Diamond Kosher salt and they were perfect for our taste. If you are using Morton's or another brand/type of salt you probably want to salt to taste (before adding egg white).AnonymousSan Francisco10/09/19The texture of these bars is spot on. They held their shape when cutting and were not too sweet. I replaced the peanut butter with almond and it worked perfectly. I also omitted the dried fruit and it didn't impact the end result. Will make again. The cooking time of 35 minutes worked perfectly.AnonymousDublin, Ireland 09/30/19These are delicious: not too sweet, and hold together really well. I actually added another tsp of salt and think I would add another tsp next time for more salty/sweet action. They definitely need 15 minutes extra bake time. I made them nut-free so that I could bring them to my kid's preschool for snack: I replaced the nuts with more pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and hemp hearts, and replaced the peanut butter with sunflower butter. They're awesome. Gonna try adding some chocolate chips next time.chelseamorseAstoria, NY09/20/19We are so sorry for all of your too-salty results! Based on your comments, we've reduced the amount of salt by 1 tsp. Be sure to use unsalted or low-salt peanut butter, as well. Thank you for making the recipe and leaving your feedback!Bon_AppetitNew York, NY09/16/19Seems like the recipe should be made with unsalted peanut butter, which should be specified! Salted peanut butter + 1 tbsp salt = too salty, whence negative reviews.After reading the reviews, I cut the salt to 1 1/2 tsp. And used tart cherries and dates. Turned out well and would make again.everything everyone else said is true- bake for 15 more minutes, far too much salt in the recipe etc... I used a tsp of salt and that was plenty. Three stars because the texture comes together really well, doesn't have a bunch of excess sugar in it, and I've been looking for a granola bar recipe that checks those boxes for a while. I'm much more an almond butter person, and will try this recipe again with crunchy almond butter at my own peril in the near future.I agree with other reviews that the recipe calls for way too much salt and required 15 min. more baking time. I'll be trying it again but adjusting to 2 tsp salt, 325 degrees and reserving some nuts to chop more coarsely (the recipe photo is not how they'll turn out if following the recipe). To salvage this batch I'm going to melt and drizzle chocolate on top of the bars. Hoping bon appetit will correct the recipe, cannot believe that's actually the salt amt called for.pdxterriePortland, OR09/15/19Too salty, had to add 10-15 minutes of baking time for them to even start to look brown. It's too bad, I spent a fortune on the nuts and dried fruit!Made this today but find them too salty and too moist in spite of adding 15 minutes to the bake time. They are very tasty and filling so I may try fiddling with the recipe ( shouldn’t have to). Used natural almond butter, btw.Anonymousnorth Vancouver, BC Canada09/13/19TOOOOO salty. Did anyone make this? Plus, the photo does not match the description of how to prepare the ingredients. Why does the photo show pieces of nuts, if they are being processed until a "sandy mixture"? I'm going to try again, because I did like the texture, but I will be using the recipe as a loose guideabbysue2518Abbotsford, BC09/13/19Is 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt the correct measurement? I just made these and there were too salty for us to eat. Which is a bummer because there is a ton of ingredients in it :-(I would for sure make them again, but going to try it with a teaspoon of kosher salt and see where we end up.AnonymousWashington state09/12/19Any thoughts on subbing Stevia for the honey?Anyone tried natural almond butter as a sub for peanut?Question: Any idea of the caloric breakdown per bar? I know each person will individualize but a general idea if we closely followed this recipe.ThxSkiffy55New Smyrna Beach Fl09/11/19To anonymous,The steel cut oats would probably have to be partially cooked to soften, maybe soaked in milk or water, otherwise they would be hard and gritty.Question: Could you substitute the old-fashion oats for steel cut oats?AnonymousSalt Lake City, UT09/10/19
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