October 18, 2010

granola bars

Shown above are the granola bars I recently made using two recipes. One was from a kayak website that was emailed to my husband and one was from the Bakers Catalog (King Arthur Flour) website called take-a-hike granola bars. I used this as a guide to come up with the recipe below. I had high hopes for the version with the peanut butter but sadly, the result was disappointing. On the other hand, the granola bar recipe from the Bakers Catalog was moist, chewy and, I must admit, very addicting. The recipe suggested adding sticky bun sugar but I used baker's cinnamon filling instead. Both products may be ordered online. Although brown sugar may be substituted for these products, using the cinnamon filling made these granola bars extra chewy with a rich cinnamon flavor. This was also the first time I've used baker's cinnamon filling in something else other than cinnamon rolls and I must say I was very pleased with the results. These homemade granola bars not only takes the hassle out of choosing from the numerous commercial granola and energy bars sold in the market these days but they are also much better tasting without the added preservatives.

GRANOLA BARS (adapted from Bakers Catalog take-a-hike granola bars)
1 2/3 cups old fashioned or quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup baker's cinnamon filling
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 cup mixed dried fruits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup harvest grains (a blend of sunflower, sesame, flax seeds etc)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter (optional)
1/4 cup melted butter or canola oil
2-3 tablespoons water (add more if needed)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line with foil and brush with nonstick spray an 8"x12" baking pan. Combine all dry ingredients together. Mix and stir all the liquid ingredients until well blended. Combine the liquid and dry ingredients and mix well. Gradually add more water a tablespoon at a time as needed. Press the mixture well in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set and lightly toasted. Lift out the bars from the pan with the foil. Cool 10 minutes and cut into bars.

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