Monday, August 11, 2008

How to make: Homemade Granola Bars!

I've made this recipe three times and all three times have been fabulous!! I didn't taste the second batch because it was for a work party and there were no bars left. :) YUMMY!
I'm very very pleased with this recipe because you can add your own mix-ins, it's gotta be cheaper than store bought granola bars, and it's so freakin' easy!! AND: they last forever if you store them properly. So, without further adieu, homemade granola bars (chewy):

2.5 cups rolled oats
2 cups rice krispies type cereal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups mix-ins
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease one 9x13 inch pan (or don't, I had minimal trouble with sticking when I didn't grease it).

2) In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.

Then add wet (I separate them so I can reuse my measuring cup. Sometimes I can use one cup this way....I don't like doing dishes...).

Stir. Then stir in mix-ins.

3)Press mixture into pan. Bake at 325 for 18-22 minutes (22 works best for me).

4) Cool down and enjoy!!

The original recipe can be found here. I modified it based on other user comments (increasing the butter and honey to 1 cup) and because I didn't want chocolate chips but did want fruits and nuts. I also changed the 4.5 cups of rolled oats to 2.5 cups oats, 2 cups rice krispies type cereal. It gives a better texture, I think.

In the past, I've used slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries. But you could use whatever mix-ins you want!! I used whole almonds this time which I worried about but I just ate part of a bar and it was a nice, satisfying crunch. Something substantial!!

Some advice:
1) If you really want bars, use the 9x13 pan. The cake pans worked just fine but I have wedges now instead of bars. Not an issue, just different. I was going to use the 9x13 for something else but never got around to it.

2)I used dates this go around because they were on sale, I was recently introduced to them (thanks Tricia the Red!), and I wanted something that was more than just good tasting (dates are high in fiber and I've been lacking in that department). Since they were whole, I cut them up. Observe: 3)You can really keep the cost down on your mix-ins if you buy in bulk and buy what's on sale. Again, gotta be more cost effective than the store-bought variety.

4)You could make these as healthy as possible! You can also opt for local and/or organic honey, flour, cereal, oats, fruits, and nuts. Lots of other homemade granola bars incorporate germ. The possibilities are endless.

5)I'm storing this current batch in a large tupperware type container. The previous two batches I wrapped individually and the first batch lasted at least a month. :) I hope this one lasts that long....if I don't eat them all first!

6)They are very filling. I rarely eat a whole one in one sitting. A lot depends on the size of the bar but usually half a bar is enough to keep me satisfied. I think I probably got 12 bars in the first two batches and 16 wedges this go around.

7)The bars are indeed chewy and moist. They might be a little crumbly and they may dry out depending on your method of storage.

If you make these, let me know how it goes!!

Pic of the day: Mix-ins!
I haven't tried the peanut butter and chocolate. Maybe I will make half a batch of those someday! The top left mix-in is sunflower seeds and the bottom right are dried cherries that were quite expensive. But I wasn't paying attention when I bought those ;)

1 comment:

Tricia said...

Awesome, Mary! I was hoping you would do an entry on your granola bars. Can't wait to try 'em!