Monday, June 10, 2013

chewy granola bars

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chewy granola bars

slightly adapted from OrangetteSmitten Kitchen and King Arthur Flour

1 2/3 c. (155 g.) quick-cooking oats*
1/3 c. (35 g.) oat flour**
1/3 c. (65 g.) brown sugar
scant 1 c. (100 g.) raw pecans or other nuts, chopped as roughly as you like
1/2 c. (85 g.) chocolate chips
1/2 c. (25 g.) coconut chips or flakes***
 2 tbsp. ground flax (optional)
1/4 c. (40 g.) dried fruit (cherries, raisins, currants, prunes, etc.), chopped
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1/3 c. (85 g.) nut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. (85 g.) butter, melted
6 tbsp. (120 g.) honey
1 tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8 by 8 inch baking pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a rectangle that will line the bottom of the pan and overhang on two ends.

Take out a big bowl and mix up the oats, oat flour, brown sugar, pecans, chocolate chips, coconut, flax, dried fruit and salt. In another bowl, whisk the nut butter, vanilla, butter, honey and water together. Drizzle over the oats and friends, and mix well. Dump the mixture into your prepared pan. Use a piece of plastic wrap to press it down evenly.

Bake for about 30 minutes. Start checking on them after about 25 minutes. The edges will get golden and (hopefully) the top will also get a bit golden (although not as much as the edges). Put the pan on a rack and let cool completely. Then put it in the fridge for a few hours. Do not attempt to cut them into squares before they are thoroughly chilled or you will freak out because they'll all fall apart and you'll think you've made granola cereal instead of granola bars. Of course, if you need to cut a bit out while it's cooling to taste, that is absolutely recommended. Just don't stress about its crumbly nature when it's warm.

I keep mine in the fridge because it's almost summer, but I hear they're fine wrapped on the counter, too. They've certainly held together for hours in my lunch bag outside of the fridge.

* I've also used regular rolled oats and they were good, but a bit more crumbly. If you are gluten-free, make sure you get oats that are labelled "pure" and "wheat free." This means they have not grown next to wheat or been processed in a factory that also processes wheat.
** If you don't have oat flour handy, you can just grind them in the food processor
*** Unsweetened is best, but sweetened is fine, too (that's all I could find)

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