Monday, February 24, 2014

Chewy Granola Bars

Homemade, Chewy Granola Bars

Here is a recipe for the most popular granola bars in my house. It originally came from a dear friend of mine, but we've tweaked it to our tastes. It, hands down, beats anything you can get from a box...chocolate covered or not!

In a LARGE bowl, beat together:
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
½ cup butter (no substitutes)

½ t vanilla
1 egg

Blend in:
1 cup flour (I use whole wheat)
1 t cinnamon
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt

Mix in:
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (Our favorite is pecans)
1 cup chocolate chips (House favorite is half milk chocolate and half white chocolate)
½ cup wheat germ
1 large handful of dried cranberries (dried cherries or dried blueberries taste great, too!)
I also added a sprinkle of wheat bran and ground flax seeds, but you could add ground chia seeds if you want

Feel free to mix up your add-ins- just keep your totals close to what the recipe calls for. If not, the bars get dry. You could add in golden raisins, dried apricots, apples, or peaches, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds…the possibilities are endless! As a family, we rarely ever finish a box of cereal before it starts to get stale. I keep it and add it into the mix. However much I add of cereal, I decrease the oats by that same amount.

Press into greased 9x13 pan. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 deg until golden and set. They'll be chewy on the inside and set on the outside. 

Cool, then cut. Store 'em if they last longer than 2 hours. 

On a side note, last week I had announced via this post that I have started making and selling soap. Last night as I was making my daily batch so I can get a good inventory going, my 14 year old son came up to me and said, "Mom, can I make a batch of soap with you?" My heart melted a little bit and we spent the next hour making soap, talking about life lessons, and generally enjoying each others company. If I never, ever sell one bar of soap, I will still have that memory to tuck into the corner of my heart.  

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post,
but it's one of my favorite photos I've ever taken.

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