Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Granola Bars

After much testing I think that we finally have a "Granola Bar". Adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted from King Arthur Flour. Makes about 30 servings, 228 calories per serving.

3 1/3 cups oats
1/3 cup demerara cane sugar
2/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup flaxseed, ground
1/2 cup craisins
3 cups almonds, chopped*
2/3 cup almond butter
2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an cookie sheet with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or almond butter and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap can help with this, as you press down on the back of it.)

If you want more control over portion size take a cookie cutter and scoop 1/3 cup of the granola into it. Press down the mixture until it is packed, remove the cookie cutter and repeat.

Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack.

Once cool, a serrated knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars into squares. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container. In humid weather, it’s best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

*Suggestions: Dried cranberries, apricots, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, walnuts, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried pples or even chocolate chips. My mix: 1/2 cup wheat germ, 1 cup dried cherries, 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes.

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