Crunchy Granola Suite

I hate buying packaged food if I can make it at home. There are times when it just never occurred to me that I could make certain things at home.

This past weekend, my middle child asked to buy granola bars and for some reason, I decided that I no longer choose to buy granola bars. I would rather take a shot at making them. She likes the Fiber One kind with the chocolate and peanut butter chips. So we bought a bag of peanut butter and chocolate chips (it was a mix) and a container of old fashioned oats. When we got home I looked up granola bar recipes.

If I’m trying to make something for the first time, and I don’t know quite how to approach it, I will look up several recipes and pick which ingredients and techniques I want to use in my dish. This time, I almost completely used an Alton Brown recipe. I did make just a few changes though.

Here’s the link and the original recipe with my modifications:

Granola Bars

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
  • 1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 ½ ounces wheat germ, approximately ½ cup ½ cup wheat bran
  • 6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
  • 1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan 2 Tablespoons Olivio
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries 5 ½ oz peanut butter and chocolate chips

Directions

Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ
wheat bran onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, Olivio, vanilla extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture and peanuts to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit
chips, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down*, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

*I sprayed cooking spray on a spatula to press down the mixture; otherwise it just stuck to the spatula and was uneven and not compressed. It may take more than one application of cooking spray.

This was really good. It’s chewy, not hard and crumbly. I would like to try other variations on this.

My pan is only 8 x 8, I believe. That little missing square was quite filling. We’re going to use this as an after sports snack for the rest of the week. It’s perfect.

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