I had a lovely jar of honey and a big old bag of walnuts needing to be used up and I figured that granola bars would be the perfect use for them, given how much the boys loved making simple granola a few weeks ago. I found a recipe I liked the look of on the California Walnut recipe site because it was so easy to customise, which the boys like to do.
There was not really much “cooking’ involved, perse – rather, a bit of chopping and a lot of measuring… (yup, Maths for Baking strikes again – I only have one set of measuring cups so when we are sharing them there’s a bit of mental math involved to calculate how many quarter cups equals 3 full cups)
Ahem. As you can see from the picture below, the boys went a little crazy on the chocolate chips. But it’s all good – with oats, cranberries, raisins, craisins, almonds, walnuts (one group was walnut-free to accommodate a dad’s allergy – we like to make sure parents can taste all the dishes going home), dried apricots, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, coconut and a bit of butter and honey, these are pretty darned healthy snacks.
Whilst they baked away in the oven, we cleaned up, discussed how we could customize the bars to suit different tastes (the boys had great ideas!!) and played a quick game of hangman. Then the boys waited (not so) patiently whilst they cooled enough to cut them. This was not successful and many of the boys didn’t exactly take home “bars”, rather, baked granola, but the ones I salvaged were easy to cut once they had cooled for about 30 minutes…
These were excellent. I am pretty picky when it comes to granola bars and don’t like most of the packaged ones. These, however, will be made again.
Makes 24 bars.
3 CUPS old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 CUP all purpose unbleached flour
1/3 CUPS packed light brown sugar
1 TSP baking soda
1 TSP cinnamon
1 CUP coarsely chopped California Walnuts
1/2 CUP dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 CUP chocolate chips
1/2 CUP pumpkin seeds
1/2 CUP shredded coconut
1/4 CUP sesame seeds
1/2 CUP dried apricots
1/2 CUP butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 CUP honey
Pre-heat oven to 325°F (160°C).
In bowl, whisk together oats, brown sugar, flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
Stir in walnuts, cherries, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, coconut and sesame seeds; set aside.
In food processor, process apricots until broken up, about 1 minute.
Add butter, process until a paste forms, about 1 minute.
With motor running, pour in honey until well blended.
Fold into oat mixture until well combined.
Pat evenly and firmly into a parchment-lined 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) baking pan.
Bake in the centre of oven until golden, about 30 minutes.
Transfer to rack to cool completely.
Cut into bars (2×12 rows or 8×3 rows).
Perfect as they are, for breakfast of a snack, or you could even cut them into small pieces and serve them as holiday treats…
Did you see my entry for Project Food Blog Challenge 8 – Pumpkin, eight ways? If so, I would so appreciate your vote to advance to Challenge 9 where we have to review a restaurant. Voting runs from 6AM Pacific Time, Monday November 29th through 6PM Pacific Time on Thursday, December 2nd. Simply click here to vote (note: link no longer live). Thanks in advance for your continued support.