The Perfect Snack
Granola bars are one of my family’s favorite foods (nice illiteration eh?). I have perused more granola bar recipes than I can count at this point. I have also experimented quite a bit and have pulled together a recipe that is an amalgamation of a few that are my favorites. My recipe is probably closest to the recipe for “thick, chewy granola bars” from smittenkitchen.com which was adapted from the recipe from King Arthur Flour – it’s a great, versatile recipe. I make these delicious bars, cut them, wrap in brown parchment paper, and freeze in big baggies. Alan and I take them on our bike rides. I take them when I hike (I keep trying to get my friend Suzanne to eat one but she’s never hungry....) Alex takes them when he packs a lunch or needs a mid-day snack or when his friends come over at night and do something out in front and then come back inside hungry... hmmmm.... or when he wakes up at the crack-o-dawn for golf with Bill. Everyone loves these dense, chewy, bits of goodness.
3 ½ cups oats
1 cup granulated sugar (I like using organic – it has a funny texture)
2/3 cup oat flour and if you don’t have that you can process rolled oats in a food processor until very fine.
1 ¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
3 cups dried fruit. I use a combination of chopped dried apricots, cranberries, currants, and a few light colored raisins
3 cups dried nuts and seeds in any combination you desire. I use a combo of sunflower seeds, flax, pumpkin seeds, walnuts (broken in bits), and almonds (chopped)
2 tsp grated orange rind
2/3 cups almond butter
¾ cup canola oil
½ cup good honey
2 Tbsp orange juice
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use 2 – 8” x 8” square baking pans, or 1 -16” x 8” pan lined with parchment paper, leaving enough edges on the parchment so that you have a ‘sling’ that you can use to pull the finished bars out of the pan. Spray with non-stick or spray-on oil.
Stir together dry ingredients. Add in dried fruit. Add in dried nuts. Stir together the wet ingredients. Mix all together. Press into the two pans firmly. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until brown on top.
Cool completely on a rack.
Remove from pan, cut into squares and wrap in parchment, twisting the ends to keep each bar sealed.
If the bars are crumbling and hard to cut, stick them back into the fridge for a bit and then try again. These freeze really well and are versatile and so popular.
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