Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

I've been using a granola bar recipe from Kitchen Stewardship for awhile, tweaking and experimenting. Though I'm still not sure that this is my favorite recipe, it is on top right now- I like that the bars stick together (not too crumbly) and yet aren't too chewy. They are toothsome and filling. I've not had any problems slicing them or getting them out of the pan. They store well and everyone seems to like them.

Granola Bars
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1 cup butter, softened*, or coconut oil, melted
1 cup honey
Add-ins: up to 1 cup of: chopped nuts, dried fruit, coconut, sunflower or other seeds, mini dark chocolate chips

*If you have hard butter, you can roll it under wax paper with a rolling pin. I have also used coconut oil with excellent results
Cherry-Almond version: Use almond extract instead of vanilla. Use 1/2 cup chopped almonds and 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries.

Lightly butter a jelly roll pan or stone. In a large mixing bowl combine honey and butter/oil. Then add all other ingredients, except add-ins.  Beat hard until combined.  Stir in add-ins.  Press mixture into pan — really jam it in there so your bars don’t fall apart. I use the back of a spatula or a piece of waxed paper to press down the granola.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into bars.  I cut mine into at least 24 bars. (We like them thinner and narrower.) Let bars cool completely in pan before removing and serving.

Katie says, "These end up cutting into at LEAST the equivalent of 2-3 storebought boxes of Quaker bars. I’m sure they are much more frugal and for SURE healthier than pre-made.  They last great in the refrigerator or on the counter, and for sure in the freezer for a long time.  Your family will eat them before they get stale, believe me! (Yes, real butter is good for you!)"

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