Monday, April 23, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars (My first attempt)

With some of the ingredients that I bought over the weekend I decided that I was going to make my own granola bars.  I didn't do much in the way of research before hand, I mean how hard can it really be?  Well I felt as my first attempt they turned out pretty good.  I think that I baked them just a little too long, but when you aren't focused on the oven and instead on your boys outside that tends to happen. 

The options are really endless when it comes to what you can add, you could just use oats or use a combination of oats and cereal or pretzels.  Dried fruits, nuts, nut butters, sweeteners (I recommend natural), candy, really anything!

I used:
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup pretzels, crushed (helpers are great for this step!)
1 cup mixed nuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup craisins
2/3 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
(I was going to also use carob chips and coconut, but forgot the chips and the coconut was bad.)

Lightly toast the oats, pretzels and nuts. While that is toasting, heat the honey and peanut butter until the peanut butter is really runny (about 1 minute in the microwave).

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, press into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 until just golden and set.  Probably only 20 minutes. I didn't wait until they were cooled to cut because I didn't want them just to crumble. (And even if they did you now have granola!) The flavor was there, I just would have liked the texture to be more chewy and less crunchy.  If I baked them for less time then I may have achieved that, but I have next time, and I will make another batch.

Store in a plastic or glass container with a tight lid, they should last for about a week or so.