Thursday, June 30, 2011

Busy Cooking: Homemade granola bars

A friend of mine sent me the link to this granola bar recipe on Smitten Kitchen around Christmastime, it took me this long to get around to making it.  Boy am I sad I waited this long to make them because they are gooood (and wicked easy to make!!!)  This is a hand mix, super easy, no kitchen aid, barely any cooking skills required recipe!

I liked the way the first batch came out that I made them again the next night.  I've made three different variations and all three turned out great.  In the recipe on Smitten kitchen, she mentioned that she was not sure what would happen if you omitted corn syrup from the recipe (did that).  I also tried one batch where I omitted peanut butter just to see how they'd hold up without it for those of you with nut allergies in the house.

These have come in handy for my kids' breakfast for the past few mornings when we had to run out the door, and snack at their morning sports camp this week.  My son liked them so much, he asked to help me make them the second night.

Below, you can see from left to right, the granola bar with no peanut butter or corn syrup, I only added cinnamon chips to this bar, next is the granola bar with no corn syrup- to this I added mini chocolate chips, and finally the granola bar I made per her exact recipe with added craisins, chopped almonds, and mini chocolate chips.
You can see for yourself the one on the right is more glossy, it definitely tasted more chewy, but I didn't notice any great taste difference between this one and the one without corn syrup.  The one without peanut butter or corn syrup was definitely not as chewy, but still held together well and tasted good- I think it was still softer than a quaker granola bar.

Oven:  350'

Prepare a 9x9 or 8x8 baking pan by greasing first lightly with butter, then lining it with parchment paper.  Make sure the parchment paper is rising up the sides, it will be like a "hammock" for the granola bars, so when they are done, you will grab both sides of the parchment paper and pull the giant bar out of the pan for better cooling.

1/2-3/4 cup sugar (you can decide how sweet you want them to be, I used 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup oat flour (you can make it in food processor from oats, I found mine at whole foods)
1 2/3 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon ( I omitted second time around, I think peanut butter and cinnamon don't compliment each other well)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
6 TBSP melted butter (I think once I used unsalted, once salted)
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup or corn syrup)
2 TBSP light corn syrup
1 TBSP water
2-3 cups dried fruit, nuts, candies

1) Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2) Melt butter in a small bowl.  Add in vanilla, honey, corn syrup, and water, stir to combine.

3) Add liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, stir to combine.  Add peanut butter, stir.

4) Add fruit, nuts, or candies.  I divided my batter in half and added the chocolate chips to one half and the other was almonds, craisins, and chocolate chips.

5) Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake in oven 35-40 minutes, I did 36 minutes.  You can tell it's ready to come out because the edges start to brown.  The center may be wobbly or look unsettled, don't try to cut yourself a hot granola bar, they need to be cooled and set, about 20 minutes from oven removal. After about five minutes, using the parchment paper, pull the bars out of the pan and place on cookie rack for the rest of cooling.  Cut into strips or squares and enjoy!!!

A delicious and nutritious summer snack for the kids:

1 comment:

  1. They look good, might have to try them!! Thanks for testing without peanuts for me!!!