I have not blogged in a while – I’ve been really busy with weddings, showers, birthdays, and life in general. Summer is a busy busy time! Anyway, I wanted to make my sister and her fiance some healthier desserts (since I made them homemade oreos – I will put this in another post – and Momofuku’s cornflake crunch – also in another post) as a thank you for hosting me and my friends at their apartment. After much searching, I found these delicious looking granola bars from Smitten Kitchen.
I’ve tried granola bar recipes before, but this is the best one yet. Other ones I’ve made have fallen apart, or been too grainy. These are like ones you buy, except they taste way better, and you can customize them however you want. I made mine with chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and mixed nuts. Here is the recipe:
Homemade Granola Bars
Yield: 8×8 pan of granola bars
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides.
- Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. Here’s my pile of dry stuff. Yum. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter) until the mixture is evenly crumbly.
- Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap can help with this, as you press down on the back of it.)
- Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
- Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. (Alternately, after about 20 minutes you can use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars, and place them in their paper on the rack to cool the rest of the way. This can speed the process up.
- Once completely cooled, use a serrated knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars into squares.
- To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container. In humid weather, it’s best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.
For the 2-3 cups of dried fruits, nuts, filling this is what I used:
- 1 cup mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans – whole pieces, not chopped)
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
You can also use almond butter instead of peanut butter. I used all natural unsweetened peanut butter from Costco. My favorite stuff…eat it by the spoonfuls.
Here, have a piece!
Quote from my sister after eating these, “holy crap those things are like crack”.