Monday, January 17, 2011

Granola Bars!

For those who have asked, here is the granola bar recipe! I got it from a friend (Ashley) who got it from a friend (Sara), and now you, my friends, can have it from me!

Granola Bars
Step 1: Grease or line a 9x13 pan. You can line with plastic wrap, waxed paper, or parchment paper. I've tried all three and I don't know yet which is my favorite. I recommend a metal pan rather than glass because the corners are more square, which seems to help my bars form more nicely.  I read about that trick on another lunch. Glass works fine too, though.   

Step 2: In large bowl mix the following:
2 & 1/2 c. Oats (either old fashioned or quick will work, and they're both yummy but different)
2 c. Cereal you have on hand (rice krispies work excellently)
1/4 c. nuts (almonds, pecans, peanuts, etc.) 
1/4 c. dried fruit (raisins*, craisins, etc.)
1/4 c. somethin' else** 
1/2 teaspoon salt
*I like to separate my raisins, and add them in a few at a time, stirring, so that they get coated in cereal dust. Otherwise, they can end up kind of clumped together.  
**In fact, you can use whatever you want for all three of these 1/4 cups, I just like to do nuts and fruit. Some ideas to consider: shredded coconut, flax seed, wheat germ, mini chocolate chips, any kind of baking chips, really, a second nut, seriously, whatever you want! But if you do chips that will melt, you may want to reserve them and press them into the top after the bars have cooled a bit.
oats and cereal. betcha never seen that before!
I took pics with all the other stuff in,
but those got lost cuz my camera batteries were low, ok!?!
Step 3: Measure the following into a small saucepan:
2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. honey
1/2 c. peanut butter
Reserve 1 teaspoon vanilla (don't add till later!)
Stirring, bring these to a boil.  Boil anywhere from 0-3 min. If you boil shorter, the bars will be more gooey. If you boil too long, they will crumble. I prefer to boil for one and a half min, as that seems to work well with the quick oats I use. Add the vanilla after you take it off the heat.

gooey stuff measured...

gooey stuff ready!

 Step 4: Dump the gooey stuff into the dry stuff and stir! If you forgot to add the vanilla right when you took it off the heat, add it as you stir it all together. That's what usually happens to me.

Step 5: Press it into your pan.  I like to do this with the back of my spoon. The same spoon I used to stir my dry ingredients, and then my gooey ones. It saves on dishes.  I watched my friend do it with her hands, and that provided a lot more finger-licking opportunities, though, if you want that.

This was the 1st time I used parchment paper
(ever! for anything!)
I should've cut it or creased it a bit to fit the pan better. 
Step 6: Let them cool. If you used quick oats, they'll set better if you can control yourself and not eat them for several hours, maybe even overnight.  Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. What can I say? Cut them as you please. These also freeze very nicely.  Sometimes I make a batch and throw half into the freezer to take on our day trips to the temple. 
smile for granola bars!
Delicious! Depending on how you make them, they can be sweet enough to satisfy a cookie craving (but maybe healthier?) what with the chocolate chip option and all. This is also an excellent recipe for your two-year-old chef, who can dump measured cereal into a big bowl and stir things all around.   
"Yeah, whatever. I can't eat these, I can't help make them. This baby stuff is a bum deal." 
Ashley says: I used those mini chocolate chips, but when you pour the sauce into the rice crispies/oatmeal mixture, it's pretty hot, so when you add the choc. chips, they melt almost instantly. So I added them very last and stirred only minimally after adding them. Then I sprinkled some more on top just as I was finishing pressing it into the pan. Then you really have to let them cool before eating them, because the chips are quite melted throughout.

Sara says: I call these Food Storage Granola Bars because pretty much everything I put in it is in my food storage. ...The whole process (including clean up...with a two year old helping) is less than half an hour.  If you do it without help, it'll take about 15 minutes to do including clean up.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

Oh yum those look good! I'm printing this off right now to try later this week. Thanks for the recipe.