Monday, February 2, 2009

Week 17: Homemade Granola Bars

Sorry for the long delay in posts. Was on vacation for a little bit! Little too cold in Florida for January for me and back to California for 80 degree weather!
I was watching the Food Network again! I really love Alton Brown, he is quirky and always has good ideas and interesting things to cook. I saw his program on making homemade granola bars and thought, perfect. Protein bars and granola bars are always expensive and I tend to eat snacks during the day and really liked having some granola bars around for my mid-day treat. The great thing about making your own granola bars or protein bars, is that you know what is in them and no preservatives! These are pretty simple and you should have most of the ingredients in your pantry.

I took a few of these granola bars in a zip-lock bag on a trip and ended up putting in a brownie I had made as well for my afternoon snack. Well, you can imagine the brownie mashed into the granola bars and, WOW, what a combo! Brownie Granola Bars! Yum. The combo was really great! Since you are baking the granola, you really can’t put in chocolate chips or anything that would melt, but this is a nice way to add some chocolate.

Homemade Granola Bars

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds

  • 1 cup sliced almonds

  • ½ cup wheat germ

  • ½ cup honey

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

  • 1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or almond extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin tins.

Step 2: Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. (I lined the sheet with tin foil, just for easier clean up.) Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 3: Combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract, and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Step 4: Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine.

Step 5: Put mix in muffin tins and press down. Place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

The granola will look like it will fall apart when you take it out, but when it cools, it will harden due to the honey and sugar. Not to worry! Well, there you go, homemade granola. Has some fun with it, mix up your dried fruit, nuts, etc. I think this a pretty flexible recipe, so be a little hillbilly.

Recipe credit to: Alton Brown, Good Eats on the Food Network


Jnette said...

That looks delicious!!

Jen said...

They are!! I am think I will make some more tonight! Thanks.