Saturday, October 5, 2013

Homemade Chewy Granola bars


Prep Time: 15 minutes   
Cook Time 25 minutes 
Total Time 40 minutes
Chewy and healthy homemade granola bars, totally customizable.
Recipe Type: Baking
Serves: 12-20
 2 cups (160 g) oats
 ½ cup (96 g) sugar
 ½ tsp. salt
 ¼ tsp. cinnamon or other spices as desired (cardamom, nutmeg, etc.)
 2½ cups additions: dried fruits, seeds, nuts, flax meal, bran cereal, puffed rice cereal,                 crushed pretzels, chocolate chips … the combinations are endless!
 ⅓ cup (60 g) peanut or other nut butter
 6 Tbsp. (89 ml) olive oil – canola oil, other oils, and melted butter will work here as well
 ¼ cup (60 ml) honey, maple syrup, or Agave syrup
 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Depending on desired thickness, line a square (8×8 or 9×9) or rectangular (9×13) baking dish with parchment paper, then lightly grease the paper with non-stick cooking spray, oil, or butter. Thicker bars are a little more decadent, if you’re planning on using this as a dessert.

2.Process ⅓ cup (27 g) of the oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground.

3. If necessary, chop up dried fruit and nuts. Raisin-size pieces are fine, but dried apricots, or apples, let’s say – should probably be chopped.

4. Stir together all dry ingredients (oats, ground oats, sugar, salt, cinnamon, fruits/nuts/seeds).

5. Whisk together wet ingredients – oil, honey, peanut butter, and water.

6. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, then spread in the pan. Press firmly into the corners and edges so the top is even.
7. Bake for around 30 minutes, until the top starts to brown. Thicker bars will likely take longer, so you’ll need to watch them, depending on how much batter you’ve spread in what size pan. The edges will become deep golden and they may feel underdone in the center, but that’s okay.  They’ll firm quite nicely as they cool.

8. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes, then take them out of the pan using the parchment. Let cool completely before cutting.

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