Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars

by Erin

Lately I can relate a bit too well to PhD comics with several strips related to writing a thesis and/or research papers. Whenever I feel as though there couldn’t possibly be any more edits to be found, somehow my mentor comes up with something drastic to change. Once I even had 3 other people read over it before handing it over to him. Monday he broke it to me that he wanted to put back a large chunk of data which we had removed in early April. Which by the way, I was never too keen on removing in the first place so I am actually glad to have it back, just did not enjoy reformatting all the figures and adding additional discussion about the results. Nevertheless, I sent him another draft to scribble all over read yesterday. In the meantime, I am finishing up a couple little lab experiments and working on my second paper to be published and my dissertation intro.

And what’s the best thing for all that writing? Snacks! The more I write the less I seem to eat, because eating means to stop writing and therefore to stop whatever thought process I had going which can be difficult at times. Especially when it involves cooking at night for dinner. Tuesday night I found myself so immersed that 9 pm crept up on me before I realized I had not eaten anything since lunch. Such an occasion was saved by these homemade granola bars I had recently made. They are another variation of the no-bake granola bar recipe I have come to love so much using dried apples, chopped walnuts and a little cinnamon. If you want to get really crazy, make them with Peanut Butter & Co’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl.

Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars

One year ago: Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Burgers

Two years ago: Dark Chocolate Blueberry Muffins


Makes 1 dozen bars


1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups quick oats

1/2 cup crispy rice cereal

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup chopped dried apples, loosely packed

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Cut out an 8 x 8 inch square of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper in the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large sauce pan, add butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Stir in the oats, crispy cereal, cinnamon, chopped apples and walnuts. Stir until well coated. Pour into the prepared pan and press the mixture evenly into the pan.
  4. Place the bars in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into bars and serve.

Source: Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pods.


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kara August 14, 2013 - 9:09 am

These look great! Can’t wait to try them.

alex August 12, 2013 - 12:53 pm

I’m all about these! but I think I might eat them all myself!

Vicki @ WITK August 8, 2013 - 8:55 pm

Oh I remember the long days and nights writing my thesis! I think I lost a few pounds because I forgot to eat entirely! (Though my prof didn’t bother reading my thesis until after my defense!) Snacks are a smart way to go. Eat quit, get back to writing.

Jennie @themessybakerblog August 8, 2013 - 1:38 pm

When I was in school, I barely ate because I was too busy concentrating on papers with a stack of books taller than me sitting on my desk. I only just graduated, and I do not miss it. Good luck to you. These granola bars are the perfect brain food. I can’t wait to make them.

spiffycookie August 8, 2013 - 2:40 pm

After 6 years of grad school I am ready to be done!

steph@stephsbitebybite August 8, 2013 - 7:33 am

You had me at NO BAKE!!! These need to become today’s snack!


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