Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Granola Bars

I don't really like granola bars. And though I do love cookies and cake, I don't like the food I eat on a regular basis to be too sweet. That includes muffins, granola bars, cereal, oatmeal, jam, and whatever else might have lots of sugar. So why did I make these if I don't like granola bars? I made them for a friend who had been looking for a good granola bar recipe and was happy to hear that she really liked them then made them again herself! I also saved a couple for E and he liked them too. These granola bars are nice and soft and full of lots of good stuff.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Caramel Walnut Chocolate Chunk Granola
Banana Crunch Muffins
Sunny Jungle Bars
Morning Glory Muffins

Granola Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted from Ina Garten

I can't remember if I added 1/4 cup brown sugar or not to these but I don't think I did.

Makes 12 to 16 granola bars

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup dried fruit, or a mix of dried fruit (I used chopped apricots, cranberries and raisins)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, walnuts, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.

While the mixture is still warm, stir in the butter, honey, vanilla and salt until the mixture is well coated, then the dried fruit. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and press, press, press it in (wet fingers and/or a silicon spatula work great for this) until the mixture is packed as tightly as possible.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares — your best serrated knife is great for this.

You can store these in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or two, as you would cookies.


Sarah S. said...

I've been meaning to try these ever since Deb posted the recipe. Seems so adaptable!

kickpleat said...

I've had my eye on these too! Glad they worked out, they look so delicious.

Joanne said...

I'm with you! i like my everyday food to border on healthy while my desserts can be DESSERTS. These do look good though and are chock full of superfoods!

Dana said...

I buy so many bars for my kids - I really should just make them myself. So much healthier and cheaper. Yours look great!

fresh365 said...

I love granola bars, but agree- not too sweet! Will have to try these!

Tia said...

they look wonderful. and healthy!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I agree with you. If I'm craving something with oats, it's usually oatmeal (which I LOVE). Still, these look wonderfully chewy and I bet they taste so much better than store-bought.

Johanna GGG said...

I have been restless about baking lately but these look like the sort of thing I would like to be eating - maybe they will help me overcome my baking block

katherinejustine said...

mmmm... i tried these too and I love them :) You can even crumble them in a bowl and pour milk on top :P

jodye @ 'scend food said...

These look great, i've got a few good recipe for granola bars but they're of the crunchy sort. These look like they would be softer, and I definitely welcome a change once in a while. I love how much you can adapt these recipes to suit your tastes!

Patels_In_Canada said...

Don't like coconut. What can I replace it with ?

Karly said...

Mm, these look amazing!

Kelsey said...

IM OBSESSED WITH YOUR MUFFINS!!! ohhh myyy yummm <3

LimeCake said...

i love making my own granola bars. they're healthier than anything store-bought. these look great!

Vaala ◪ said...

These look really good. I do agree though, food you eat every day you don't want to be super sweet.

eatme_delicious said...

Patels_In_Canada: You could maybe add some extra oats, like 1/2 cup? I'm not sure how it will turn out without coconut but it should be okay.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I love having granola bars where you know exactly what's in them. These sound really nice.

kimberleyblue said...

They look amazing! I've tried to make granola bars a few times, and they've never turned out that well. These look perfect. And I love the lack of sugar in them - healthy, just like a granola bar should be!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I've never made my own granola bars, but they look so good!!