Homemade Version of Starbucks Oat and Fruit Bars

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04 May Homemade Version of Starbucks Oat and Fruit Bars

I had hoped to post on Friday, but this is how my first attempt at the requested Starbucks Oat and Fruit Bars turned out.

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They tasted great, but I had to eat them with a spoon. If Anja wanted granola, I could have just pointed you to this post. But she asked for a homemade version of her favourite Starbucks treat, and sticky granola just won’t do.

What went wrong? I didn’t have the right binding agent and was too lazy to make a trip to the health food shop for brown rice syrup as Cheryl suggested.

The first batch was made with 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 cup corn syrup and 1/4 cup brown sugar. I thought the corn syrup would help it set. It didn’t. The bars were toooooo sticky.

So, I popped the pan in the oven for 20 minutes. The bars weren’t nearly as sticky, but when I went to serve them? They shattered. They were tooooooo brittle.

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By this time, I was out of pumpkin seeds and almonds, so a trip to the health food store was in order. Why not pick up a bottle of brown rice syrup while I was at it? Great idea. Really, Charmian, how do I come up with these things?

The results? These bars are juuuussstttt right. The brown rice syrup variation is on the left and the honey version is on the right.

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Ah, organic brown rice syrup — the key ingredient. Thick like corn syrup, cloudy like creamed honey and not too sweet. The sugar glue I was looking for.

These pull apart just like the Starbucks bars do. But there is one big difference. My version is packed with nuts and dried fruit. The bars I got at our Starbucks were mainly oats and crisp cereal. I might have found three slivers of almonds and four pieces of dried fruit in the whole bar. But these puppies are bursting. See?

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Okay, before you write me to say it’s not an exact replica, I admit I took liberties with the Starbucks original. Not only did I up the nut/seed/dried fruit to oatmeal ratio, I used puffed millet instead of Rice Krispies to reduce the amount of sugar. These aren’t exactly authentic, but I think they taste better.

Since I didn’t follow the Starbucks recipe, neither should you. As long as you keep the proportions approximately the same, you should be able to substitute any nut for the almonds and any dried fruit for the cranberries and apricots. Next time I’m adding flax in lieu of sunflower seeds. For a tropical twist I might use dried papaya and slip some toasted coconut chips into the mix. If I do, I’ll substitute coconut extract for half the vanilla. Oh, the possibilities are endless.

Before I get to the overdue recipe, what combinations would you like to try?

Charmian’s Starbucks Oat and Fruit Bars a la 101 Cookbooks Thanks to Cheryl
Printable Recipe

Makes one 9 x 13 pan (or 9 X 9 is you like thicker bars)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted *
  • 3 cups large flake oats**
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup puffed cereal (millet or rice)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt the butter and pour it over the oats. Toss to coat evenly.
  2. Spread the oats on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 7 minutes.
  3. Stir the oats and move them to one side of the pan. Spread the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and slivered almond on the other half of the pan and bake 7 to 10 more minutes.
  4. Transfer the toasted ingredients to a large bowl. Add the cereal and dried fruit, tossing to distribute the ingredients well.
  5. While the toasted items are cooling, put the brown rice syrup, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  6. Bring the brown rice syrup to a boil and cook until the mixture thickens (about 3 or 4 minutes).
  7. Immediately pour the syrup over the oat mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
  8. Press firmly into a 9 X 13 pan and allow to cool.
  9. Once cool, cut into bars and store in an airtight tin.

* Use butter substitute for a vegan or dairy-free alternative.** This recipe is gluten-free if you buy oats marked gluten-free. Many commercial oats contain gluten from cross-contamination during processing. Also, be sure the brown rice syrup you buy is gluten-free. Some are. Some aren’t.

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No Comments
  • danamccauley
    Posted at 10:01h, 04 May Reply

    Yeah! You did it! It feels so good to conquer a recipe, doesn’t it?

  • cheryl
    Posted at 12:05h, 04 May Reply

    Oooh, they look terrific, though I must say your mistakes are gorgeous, too. I’m so glad to be a loyal Heidi Swanson fan so I could provide the missing brown-rice-syrup link. You really should get her book! This Gemini knows you have a birthday coming up…

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:11h, 04 May Reply

    Brava, Charmian, you did it! They look really, really good too. I love that you used the puffed millet and would def. be happy about adding some toasted coconut to the mix. Yum!

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:11h, 04 May Reply

    Brava, Charmian, you did it! They look really, really good too. I love that you used the puffed millet and would def. be happy about adding some toasted coconut to the mix. Yum!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 19:35h, 04 May Reply

    Yes, Dana, it does feel good — which helps make up for the angst I felt with the first batch.

    Cheryl, good idea. I shall start dropping hints to my spouse and extended family.

    Diva, glad you liked the puffed millet idea. What does it contain? Millet. Compared to the other cereals? No contest.

  • Elyse
    Posted at 01:31h, 05 May Reply

    Brown rice syrup!! A true secret ingredient. I’m glad that it worked out so well. These bars look totally delicious. Plus, I love puffed millet. What a great sub-in. Fabulous job!

  • Caitlin
    Posted at 22:12h, 07 May Reply

    I made these yesterday and they turned out really well, thanks! I was glad that they aren’t too sweet, that’s nice. I added 1/4C flax seeds and about the same of coconut, I think the flax made them a little crunchy/poppy, which I love.

    Awesome and easy!

  • jordan
    Posted at 14:01h, 11 May Reply

    Yup, these look good! :)

  • Anja
    Posted at 13:46h, 28 May Reply

    Thanks for figuring out the recipe!!! I tried them and they’re great. I too loaded them with more nuts and fruit then the original Starbucks bars. These make for a easy and handy breakfast on may way to work…granola and driving just aren’t a good combination!!!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 08:26h, 29 May Reply

    Wow. How’d I miss these comments?

    Elyse, I was surprised how tasteless puffed millet is on its own, but the neutral flavour if perfect for this recipe.

    Caitlin, glad they turned out for you. I’ve tried adding flax since then and agree with you. The crunch/pop is a great additional texture.

    Phew, Anja! I’m so glad these didn’t disappoint you. Drive safely. I don’t want my granola bars to be the cause of an accident. :-)

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