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Granola bars

March 9, 2010

These bars are based off of Joyful Abode’s Homemade Granola Bars and Smitten Kitchen’s Granola Bars (not to mention the dozens of others I skimmed and didn’t settle on).  The ingredients in this recipe are more of a suggestions; I adjust based on what I’ve got on hand–I was almost out of wheat germ, so I used more sesame seeds and half a cup of unsweetened, dried coconut flakes.  Last time I used home-dried blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and cherries, but have since used those up.  So I went for raisins, dried papaya, and dried pineapple.

If you don’t have a silicone baking mat, you can also parchment paper as the recipes above instruct.

  • 1 1/4 Cups nuts, chopped
  • 2 Cups traditional rolled oats
  • 3/4 Cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 Cup sunflower and/or sesame seeds

Toast these ingredients on a large, rimmed baking sheet at 400°F for 10-15 minutes, or until aromatic. Stir occasionally to keep from burning and to ensure even baking. I didn’t have enough wheat germ, so at the end, I added the dried coconut (it toasts faster than everything else and I didn’t want it burning.

  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 2/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 1/4 Cups dried fruit, chopped if desired

Bring the honey, sugar, butter, and salt to a simmer in a thick-bottomed, high-sided saucepan.  Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.  Turn the heat as low as possible.  Stir in vanilla extract, toasted ingredients, and dried fruit, making sure everything is thoroughly coated.

Spread the mixture into a well-buttered 9×13″ pan.  Use a silicone baking mat to press down firmly.  If you have a second pan of the same size (and could nest them inside one another), use that to evenly distribute the force.  Let pan cool completely.  Turn granola sheet out of pan onto a cutting board.  Slice into desired sizes or shapes with a sharp knife.

I store these stacked one atop the next in large, air-tight container (I favor lock & lock, to be honest).  They stick somewhat to each other, but not so badly that they break apart when you pull one off.

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