Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Snack Time: Granola Bars



Who needs expensive store bought granola bars, when you can make awesome homemade ones that are 100X more satisfying. This quick and simple granola bar recipe is very versatile, and great anytime! More like an actual cookie that's so chewy and sweet, you'll be amazed how well these satisfy your sweet tooth.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Now, this is the part of the recipe that allows you to get creative!  You can add whatever you would like to your granola bars; raisins, almonds, peanut butter, dried cranberries, wheat germ, flax seed...the list could go on forever!  This is what I added to mine:
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Chopped pecans 
These are things that I have added in the past:

  • Chopped white chocolate chips
  • Slivered almonds
  • Dried cranberries
     Steps:

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Grease a 9X13 cake pan with cooking spray.  After greasing the pan (very generously), I like to pour 1/2 cup white sugar in the pan and rotate to coat the bottom.  By coating pan with sugar, it makes it easier to remove the granola without sticking.

    In a large bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and salt (also include any other dry ingredients you have chosen to use: raisins, chocolate chips, wheat germ...)

















    Once the dry ingredients are mixed together, create a well (a indentation) in the center and pour in the honey, egg, oil, and vanilla.

















    Mix well.  This can be done with a wooden spoon, however, I found it much easier to mix the ingredients with my hands.

    Evenly spread the mixture into the prepared cake pan (again, I found it easier to use my hands to do this).


    Put the cake pan into the pre-heated oven, and bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges look golden brown.  This will make chewier granola bars.

    Cool for 10 minutes before cutting the granola bars.  The pan should still be warm, cutting will be much harder if the mix is allowed to cool completely.

    Cut into bars using a pizza cutter.




    Allow cut bars to cool in the pan for an additional 15 minutes.  Transfer bars from cake pan to a cooling rack.


    When the bars have cooled, place them in an airtight container.



    Enjoy!

    ~ Chef Megs
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