5 Granola Bars

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, these might be not only the best granola bars you've ever had, but also the easiest!  Bonus, they are pretty darn healthy as granola bars go.  They are miraculously both crispy and chewy at the same time.

You'll need:

1.5 cups rolled oats
1.5 cups Special K Berry cereal (or something like it, even Rice Krispies, or just use all oats)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup slivered almonds (or other nut)
2 tbls whole flaxseed (opt)
1 cup chopped dried mango and craisins (or whatever dried fruit you like!)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter (I always use no-added sugar, so if you use PB with added sugar, you might want to cut back on the brown sugar a bit.)
1/2 cup honey
4 tbls butter
1 tbls vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Roughly chop the dried fruit

On a lipped dry cookie sheet combine all the oats, seeds, and nuts (except cereal.)

Toast for about 12 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes.  Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

Meanwhile, prep a small square or rectangle dish, about 11x13 or 9x9 for thicker bars.  Line it with wax or parchment paper, and lightly spray with cooking oil.

After about 12 minutes it'll be toasty brown, but make sure you don't take it too far because it will continue to brown on the sheet pan once you take it out of the oven, so give it a stir once or twice after you take it out too.

At this point you can put everything into a large mixing bowl with the dry cereal and fruit, and toss gently together.

In a non-stick saucepan combine the sugar, butter, vanilla, honey, salt and peanut butter until it just comes to a simmer.

Take it off the heat, and pour the sauce over the dry mixture.
Mix everything really well until everything is coated - if it's not, it will fall apart later.
Now, turn the bowl over into the square dish and distribute the mixture as evenly as you can with the spatula. Then, take another sheet of parchment paper and press down very hard all over (like Rice Krispie treats) so it is very compact.  Make sure the edges are as even and straight as possible.

Now here's the hard part...you have to wait at least 3-4 hours for it to cool completely.  It may even take longer.  But, if you don't wait, it will not have had enough time to "glue" together, and it will fall apart, and you don't want that!  Also, do not even think about putting this in the fridge to help it along.  I did that once.  It tasted amazing, but it fell completely apart.  Let it cool at room temp.

Are they cool yet?  Good!  Gently turn the granola out onto a large cutting surface.

Gently peel back the paper


Take your longest, sharpest knife and cut carefully, but firmly straight down (don't saw.)

Now you can either cut them in half for long bars, or in thirds for small bars, or even in one-bite sized pieces.  I went the small bar route.
I wrapped all the remaining bars in individual parchment wrappers.  They'll last about 2 weeks or longer I'd guess at room temp, or you could certainly freeze the extra and take them out when needed.
Seriously folks, these are so good!
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Kelly said...

That looks so amazing! Thanks for the sharing the recipe. I love granola, but I never thought about making my own bars.

Anonymous said...

I love these!! it's so good!

Tawn said...

found these on pinterest, tried them today and they are the only "granola" bar recipe i've found that actually don't fall apart. Thank you for the great instructions and recipe. (PS my 3yo convinced me to put some marshmallows in, and it worked fine.)

Emily @ Bentobloggy.com said...

Glad you loved these, Tawn! They are our favourites!

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