Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chewy Granola Bars

After I stopped eating dairy and peanuts, I discovered that my snack choices were limited. I'd enjoyed graham crackers and peanut butter. I'd enjoyed strawberry Nutrigrain bars. Both of those were out. So, I turned to granola bars only to find that the only granola bars at HEB that didn't have dairy or peanuts were the Nature Valley crunchy granola bars. Not one of my favorites, but they have worked in place of no other options.

So, I searched the internet for chewy granola bars and found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, an adaptation of this recipe from King Arthur Flour. I've known about King Arthur Flours for many years so I figured it must be pretty good.

This recipe is very flexible...you can add whatever dried fruits and nuts and just about anything else you want. Smitten Kitchen even says you could add puffed rice cereal or peanut butter. Never thought about puffed rice in a granola bar, but why not? I forgot to put the water in and it seemed just fine without it.

After tasting them tonight, I'd just make one change...about half the amount of dried fruit! I felt like I was eating a bowl of raisin bran with lots of raisins. I do like the sweetness of these and will definitely make them again. But, it's a recipe that will change until I find just the right mix of ingredients.

Here's the recipe, as I made it this time. But, as I said, I'll change it up next time I make it.

  • 1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup quick oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
  • 2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (10-15 ounces--I used 1/4 C oat bran + 1 1/2 C raisins + 1/2 C Craisins)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 2 T melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 T honey
  • 4 T corn syrup

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9"x13" pan with parchment, allowing it to go up and over two of the sides, creating a sling. Lightly grease the parchment and exposed pan.

    1) Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.

    2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, syrup or honey, and water.

    3) Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly.

    4) Spread in the prepared pan, shaking the pan to evenly cover the bottom and patting down gently

    5) Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're golden brown around the edges.

    6) Remove them from the oven, loosen the edges, and cool for 5 minutes.

    7) Use a knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars while they're still warm in the pan. Carefully remove warm bars from the pan, and cool on a rack. Alternatively, remove from the pan before cutting into bars; it helps to cut in half first, then loosen the bottom of each half with a turner/spatula before turning out onto a sheet of parchment to cut into bars. (At the suggestion of Smitten Kitchen, I let mine cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then pulled the sling out and let them cool completely before trying to cut them.)

    8) Wrap bars individually to store; or place in a single layer on a plate, and cover with plastic; or store in layers with parchment in between. In humid weather, it's best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

    1 comment:

    Jenni said...

    sounds yummy!!