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Friday, August 17, 2012

Chewy Granola Bars

Chewy granola bars are such a great snack.  Heck, in my house they even make a great on-the-go breakfast!  I love making my own granola bars because 1) they taste better, 2) I think they're 'healthier', and 3) I can put whatever I want in them.  My favorite mix-ins are dried cranberries, chocolate, coconut and almonds but the possibilities are endless.  You can also use cereals, candies, dried fruits, nuts, nut butters- whatever you want.  I was trying to make them a little bit healthier this week so I used coconut oil as my fat, but you can use butter and they're absolutely decadent!  However, I still used the corn syrup.  Next time I'm going to make them using only honey  (I've seen coconut oil at Fields and the Avocado Lady.  Pines on Anfu Lu carries light corn syrup.)

Okay, here we go!  Gather your ingredients and preheat your oven to 350.  (See below for the measurements.)

Using a blender or food processor, blend 1/3 cup oats to make oat flour. 

Mix your dry ingredients together in a large bowl, including any dry mix-ins you want to use.

In a small bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients over your dry ingredients and mix well.  This is also where you'll stir in your nut butter if you're using one.

Line a baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray or coat with butter.  Spread the granola into the baking dish and press down so the granola is compact.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes until the edges and top are golden brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Remove from the baking dish and cut into bars.  Make sure they're cooled completely before you cut them though or they won't hold their shape well!

Chewy Granola Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 cups oats, divided
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-3 cups mix-ins (I used 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate, 1/4 cup chopped almonds and 1/4 cup shredded coconut)
1/3 cup nut butter (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Preheat your oven to 350*F.
Using a food processor or blender, process 1/3 cup of the oats to make oat flour.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon and mix-ins.  In a smaller bowl, combine the vanilla extract, coconut oil or butter, honey and light corn syrup.  Pour your wet ingredients over your dry ingredients and mix well.  Add the nut butter, if using, and mix again.
Line a baking dish with parchment paper (mine was 17x23 cm) and coat with cooking spray or butter.  Spread the granola over the parchment paper and press down to pack the granola.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the sides and top turn golden brown.  Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.  Remove from the baking dish and cut into bars.

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