Monday, January 26, 2015

From Scratch: Granola Bars

Before I totally lose myself in play season again I have been drowning myself in activities I know I won't get around to again for a while.  Mostly that means cooking. I made home made tortillas and cookies and a yummy soup that took hours to prep, zucchini bars to freeze for sometime when everyone needed a treat and I don't have time to do it, and yesterday I made some delicious homemade granola bars.

I have been messing around with several different recipes on and off for the last year and this one, I think, is the best I've come across. The kids and Dave agree and have already made some suggestions for other variations of it that they would like. Here's the recipe for when I emerge from the pit of the costume shop in June and have time to cook again. (or for my kids to look up and make for themselves while I'm figuratively gone)

Almond Craisin Granola Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or butter an 11x13 jelly roll pan. On pan combine:
6 cups oats
2 cups chopped almonds
2 cups coconut
1 cup ground flaxseed

Spread out on pan and toast oat mixture for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.
In the meantime combine in a large pot and heat over medium heat until dissolved:
1 1/2 cups honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 T vanilla (yes tablespoons)
1 t salt

Pour toasted oat mixture into honey mixture. Add:
3 cups craisins

Stir all to combine thoroughly. Spray or butter jelly roll pan again and pour hot mixture onto pan. Press mixture firmly into pan (I use another jelly roll pan on top to push it down). Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into desired bar shapes and store wrapped individually or in plastic containers. Good for one week at room temp or longer if refrig or frozen.
Yield about 36 bars.

Variations: Dave suggested white chocolate chips with this mixture would be good.  Spencer said peanuts (instead of almonds) and chocolate chips (instead of craisins) would be good. Afton suggested adding some Rice Krispies to the mixture would be tasty. Cora and Kirkham were too busy eating them to say anything. I think I'd also like to try a version with macadamia nuts and dried papaya and pineapple.

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