I’m finally getting around to taking photos of the granola bars I love to make! They are so yummy and I’ve perfected the recipe so much that my kids love them. I make a double batch every two weeks, individually wrap them and tuck them in the lunch packs every day. They are also great if we are running late and the kids need to eat breakfast in the car. Not that it ever happens…
The recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen, and I’ve inserted my own favorite add-ins. A few other tips…cut everything up REALLY tiny. The first few times I made them, my kids weren’t big fans. I started to realize they don’t like big chunks of fruit and nuts like I do. If I keep it all uniformly small, it pretty much lets me mix in whatever I like! Also, when I make a double batch, I put it in two 8×8 square pans instead of a 9×13. Then I cut them in 6 long strips, then in half. So I get 24 ‘bars’ out of the double batch. I wrap each bar in plastic and put them all in a big ziploc in the freezer. The whole process goes pretty quickly and then I don’t have to think about it for another 2 weeks!
Here’s the recipe for a single batch:
1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup oat flour (I pulse the rolled oats in the food processor to make this)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts- I use dates (a must…these are so naturally sweet and yummy!), craisins, almond, sunflower seeds and a bit of chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter (I’ve also used almond butter with flax seed)
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.
Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the nut butter, melted butter, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan.
Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. Use the parchment paper as a sling to get them out. I cool them in the fridge for an additional 30 minutes to make them set together even more…then cut as mentioned above with a serrated knife.
While we’re on the topic of making things…I wanted to share with you what I’m giving to the grandparents for Easter. Both love See’s candy, so I bought their favorite 1/2 pound box. This is a perfect 5×7 size, so I wrapped in striped paper from Michael’s. I got a 10×10 square of scrapbooking paper and wrapped it diagonally around the box. Then I glued a 5×7 easter print of the kids and tied it with a bow. It turned out really cute! So, if you’re looking for an Easter gift, go out and get a 1/2 pound box of See’s, your favorite 5×7 print and a bit of scrapbook paper!