Granola Bars

Happy Labor Day! We partied yesterday. . today I lay low! Maybe make some more of these!

Remember how I told you about my granola addiction? This falls into the same category. It’s sticky, chewy granola. But in bar form.

I’m pretty sure these are a little like crack.  (Not that I’d know what that is like, of course!) You know. .they’re addicting. I feel a little like a dealer handing these out. Like a little free sample of granola bar to get ya hooked and then you’ll want more and more and I’ll start charging you more and more! BWA HA HA HA!

Diabolical, no?

Seriously, at the time I am writing this, it’s been 48 hours since I made these and all 16 are gone. Between myself, Tim, my dad and a couple of ladies at work. . . POOF! Gone!

Not to toot my own horn, (Cause I’m modest. . wink!) but I have heard rave reviews about these from all who have tried them. Even my biggest supporter and taste tester, Tim, who usually says things like, “they’re fine” when I ask how he likes a new creation of mine, actually texted me from work to tell me how good they were!

And my proud Daddio, who always thanks me and quietly eats and loves everything I feed him (even if it’s the worst failure of a dish) made a point to call me before he forgot, just to tell me he ate a granola bar and it was the best he ever had.

I’m not saying these will be the best you’ve ever had. But they will be. It’s just a fact.

A few tips for these bars. . .I used a 9×13 pan. They are thin and I cut them into 16 bars. They are almost the exact size of a store-bought granola bar. However, they are sticky. Do yourself a favor and spray the pan with non stick spray, then cut a piece of parchment the width of the pan but longer then the 13″ so it hangs out and over the ends. Then spray the parchment with non stick spray. A liberal coating. If you don’t do this the finished product will stick to that parchment like crazy! Trust me. . I had to pry a lot of parchment off the bottoms of these.

After you bake them you should let them cool and then slide a knife down the sides to loosen from the pan. Lift the parchment out by the ends and lay the granola plank on a cutting board. Use a large knife to evenly cut into bars.

Be sure and wrap them separately in some wax paper before storing them in an airtight container so they don’t stick to each other. I imagine they will keep for a week or so but they probably won’t last that long. I know this batch didn’t!

These are perfect for September. They are fall-ish food. Plus they would be perfect in school lunches or for quick on the go breakfasts.

You could adapt these to use a different nut, or dried fruit. Or you could probably leave out the coconut and add more oats. You could add a little cinnamon, etc. .  I am going to try them with dried cherries and also make a batch with dried fig, which I adore! (I’m thinking I could use walnuts and apricots and figs and make a version much like the pancake I had last weekend. Yes, I am still thinking about it!)

(And for my Weight Watcher friends, I calculated the points. 5PPV each. A bit high maybe but oh so satisfying and they stay with you a while since they are filled with so much fiber! Enjoy!)

Granola Bars

2 cups oatmeal

1 cup slivered almonds

1 cup shredded coconut

1/8 cup flax seed

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 Tbsp butter

2 tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chopped dried fruit (I used 1/2 apricots, 1/2 dates)

In a 9×13 pan mix the oats, almonds, coconut. Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes, stirring often until the mixture starts to turn golden brown and smells toasted.

While the oat mixture toasts; mix honey, brown sugar and butter in a small sauce pan and bring to a bowl. Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt.

In a large bowl mix the oat mixture, the flax seeds, the honey mixture and the dried fruit. Stir well.

Grease the 9×13 pan. Line pan with a long piece of parchment that hangs over the end. Grease the parchment, too. Press the oat and honey mixture into the pan. Turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes.

Allow to cool in the pan completely. Once cooled, loosen from the sides of the pan and lift out of the pan by the parchment paper. Cut into 16 bars. Wrap each in wax paper and store in an air tight container for a week.

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