I have tried for years to make a decent granola bar…one that doesn’t fall apart in my hand or practically crack a filling when I try to bite into it. I had almost given up hope of finding a recipe that produced a crispy on the edges, chewy in the center bar that was easy to work with and had tons of flavor and texture. I recently found this recipe at ALEXANDRA’S KITCHEN and, with just a few minor changes, I think my granola bar issues are resolved. Alexandra calls these bars Acrobatic Granola Bars because they bend in the middle without breaking…I had to laugh at that! I’m definitely not acrobatic! I’m not the only one with GB problems. One of my favorite bloggers, DAVID LEBOVITZ, calls them his nemeses and has sworn off ever trying to make them again. The issues are all the same, too hard, too soft, too sweet, crumbly…on and on. Should I drop him a note and tell him I found THE recipe?
As long as you keep the ratio of dry to wet ingredients listed in the recipe you can substitute any dried fruits and nuts and use different nut butters to achieve different flavors. In this recipe I used peanut butter and added some chopped peanuts as part of the quantity of nuts called for. Alexandra mentioned that she used dried blueberries and didn’t care for them because they were overpowering. She doesn’t like peanut butter for the same reason. I thought it was good…I like peanuts, but next time I will try almond or cashew butter that I can purchase at my farmers’ market. If you want a gluten free GB use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats. When you have combined your ingredients pat the mixture firmly into a parchment lined 9×9-inch square pan and bake for 23 minutes.
The parchment paper lifts easily out of the pan when the bars are done. Let them cool and then slice into the desired size. I used a ruler and a pizza cutter to slice them and it worked like a charm.
As you will notice, this recipe contains corn syrup. If you have a problem with this you can substitute honey. I don’t know if you will get the same results, but if it’s an issue it’s worth a try. Purchased GB’s can have a list a mile long of unrecognizable ingredients and I like being able to choose what I add to the recipe. As always, homemade is best.
- 1 cup rolled oats. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- ¾ cup slivered almonds. I like a combination of nuts so I added some peanuts and hazelnuts too, unsalted.
- ½ cup sweetened coconut
- ¼ cup dried fruit - your choice of raisins, cranberries, cherries, whatever you like best
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- ⅓ cup nut butter: peanut, almond, hazelnut, cashew -whatever you prefer
- ¼ cup corn syrup. This creates the chewiness of the bar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Combine the rolled oats, nuts, coconut and dried fruit in a large bowl. Set aside.
- To prepare the pan: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. If you lightly grease the pan the parchment will stick to it. Leave an overhang of paper so you can pull the cookies out of the pan after they are baked.
- To make the cookies: Combine the melted butter, brown sugar, nut butter and corn syrup. Mix well. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until well combined. Spread into the prepared pan and press it in well to flatten it. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top. The longer you bake it the crisper the bars will be. I baked this batch for 22 minutes and thought it was just right. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes. Pull up on the parchment paper and remove the cookies from the pan. Place the block on a cutting board and cut into pieces. Let cool completely before storing.
SINGING DOG VANILLA’S giveaway is still open. If you would like a chance to win some of their wonderful vanilla products just leave a comment on this post.
This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm