granola bars

October 2, 2011

I have a favorite cooking blog…smittenkitchen.com.  It’s “from scratch” recipes that are sometimes a bit time-consuming, but super fun and very rewarding.  As I use her recipes, I’ll share them because I have quite a few favorites.  I used to make her stuff all the time, but when Chase came along, my time for cooking decreased dramatically.  But, now that he’s almost 10 months old, I’m feeling like I’m getting a handle on life again and ready to get back to cooking and baking from scratch again!!!  I’m so excited.  🙂

Yesterday, the girls and I made her thick, chewy granola bars.  Boy are they yummy!  Not just yummy, but lick-the-plate-and-eat-every-last-crumb yummy!!!

Here is the recipe (with my modifications)…  You can also find her original recipe here.

1 2/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction 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 oil, liquid sweeteners 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.)

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes (it took me 40), until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.

Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. (Alternately, after about 20 minutes you can use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars, and place them in their paper on the rack to cool the rest of the way. This can speed the process up.)

Once cool, a serrated knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars into squares. If bars seem crumbly, chill the pan of them further in the fridge for 30 minutes which will fully set the “glue”, then cut them cold. 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.  

I put my individual granola bars in snack-sized baggies for easy, on-the-go snacks.  Grace is excited to take them to school for snack time!