Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Simple and Delicious Family Cooking: Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

OK, this time I'm really cooking, not just throwing pantry ingredients into a bowl. The other day a friend of mine sent me an online recipe for homemade chewy granola bars. The girls and I made them last Friday on a school-vacation day. I altered the recipe a bit, and this is what I came up with. They were a huge success with my daughters and husband--and I think they're pretty tasty too. Listen: wouldn't it be great to have chewy granola bars on hand that don't live inside a foil wrapper with a long list of questionable ingredients printed on the side? Well, now you can.

Shannon's Homemade Chewy Granola Bars
makes 24

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup to 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (to taste)
1/2 cup roasted salted sunflower seed kernels

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. In a LARGE bowl, mix all ingredients except dried fruit and sunflower seeds. When well-combined, add in raisins or dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.

Press VERY FIRMLY into the pan. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove pan from oven and, with the back of a large spatula, press the baked mixture more firmly into the pan. Let rest 10 minutes. Cut into 24 bars. Let cool completely in the pan before removing the bars from pan.

Store wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and/or in a well-sealed Tupperware container.

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