August 20, 2008

Granola Bars-Success

I came up with a recipe that meets our criteria.
They are made from whole foods.
They stick together and can be eaten on the go.
They taste great! In fact your kids will probably just call them cookies.
And they are simple to make. Really, they are.

Cinnamon Raisin Granola Bars

1/3c brown sugar
1/4 c room temp. butter, unsalted
1 medium egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/4 c old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c bran (wheat or oat, whatever you have on hand)
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 c flax seed, ground
3/4 c raisins
1 T boiling water

Place raisins in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Cover and let steam.
Preheat oven to 350
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and cream until light and fluffy.
Combine dry ingredients.
Add dry ingredients and raisins, including any water left in the bowl, to wet ingredients. Stir until blended.
Form into balls, press together firmly. Place on lined baking sheet. Flatten balls slightly with wet fingers (it will help to keep it from stinking to your fingers)
Bake 14 minutes. Let cool on sheet. Transfer to airtight container, if there are any left.

The first night they were a little crumbly and crisp, the next day they were soft and moist and held together perfectly. These are more on the chewy side, I am not a huge fan of super crispy granola bars and neither are my kids but these are great. So much healthier than the granola bars from the store, cheaper, and tastier too.

I had so much success with the first batch I decided to try another flavor

Apricot Almond Granola Bars
Just a few changes:
Omit the water and raisins. Cut up 1/2 c dried apricots in small chunks.
Omit the Bran instead pulverize 1/4 c almonds into flour like consistency.
Add 1/4 t almond extract (more to taste)
Add 1/4 c toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
Then proceed with the recipe above.
I am sure you can think of endless varieties. I can't wait to try them with some sesame seeds, dried cranberries, etc.

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