Monday, October 26, 2009

Chewy Granola Bars

My aunt Beth was here last week and shared this recipe with us - thanks Beth! We made ours with blanched, slivered almonds and dried cherries - delicious and healthy! They remind me of the Nature Valley chewy granola bars.

-From Joyful Abode

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gather your ingredients:
2 cups oats (we used old fashioned)
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup peanuts, crushed (blanched, slivered almonds)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Kosher salt (1/4 tsp. table salt)
Approximately 8 oz. dried fruit (we used about 2 cups dried cherries)

Mix the peanuts, oats, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds in a baking dish with sides (9x13 cake pan). Toast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes so that they don’t get burned.

Meanwhile, prepare a glass baking dish, about 11 x 13 inches, for your granola by lining it with waxed paper lightly sprayed with a nonstick spray. (We used a 9x13 pan lined with parchment)

Put the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.

By now, your grains and nuts should be toasted, so mix everything together in a large bowl. The grains, the liquid “glue,” and the dried fruit.

Mix everything really well because you want to make sure the “glue” gets all over everything. Now, dump your granola mixture into your prepared baking dish.

Spread out the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula. Now fold over the sides of the waxed paper or add a sheet on top, and PRESS HARD all over the granola. You want to compact it together so that your bars won’t fall apart when you cut them.

Wait 2-3 hours or until the granola has totally cooled. Then, open the waxed paper and carefully turn the granola onto a large cutting board, peeling away the rest of the paper. Now, firmly pressing down with a big knife (not sawing), cut your granola into whatever size bars you’d like.

I wrapped ours individually in plastic wrap, so that we could just throw one into our bag or lunch box in the morning. If you’d like to save on packaging though, you can store yours in an airtight container, between sheets of waxed paper so they don’t stick together.

(We put ours in snack-sized baggies.)

1 comment:

thomalee said...

This is just the granola bar recipe I've been looking for! I made them with the peanuts and a mix or cherries, blueberries, cranberries and raisins (from Trader Joe's) So good! Thanks for sharing.