Thursday, April 26, 2012

Crunchy Granola (Bars)

The Menu:
Crunchy Granola Bars

The Original Recipe:
I have been searching for that nice crunchy granola for awhile now. I have one recipe that I like (Maple Raisin Granola), but it calls for pure maple syrup, and I do not always have that on had. My friend made this recipe, and I just happened to stop by her house that day. Her house smelled amazing! She used coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil (I used canola when I made it). It gave it this nice coconut taste. I couldn't stop eating it. I didn't make it into bars (she didn't either), but instead just kept mixing it up while it cooked. I added chopped nuts, and the last 5 minutes I added dried cranberries to it. Take it out, cool, and then mix again. I have eaten this by the handful when I walk by or I have also eaten it as cereal with some milk. No matter how you eat it (topped with yougurt?) it is delicious and crunchy. This is not your average floppy, mushy, chewy granola recipe. This is hard and crunchy at its best.

Crunchy Granola Bars (America’s Test Kitchen)

7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole almonds, pecans, walnuts or peanuts (I used almonds)
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

1. Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven and set the temperature to 375 degrees.

2. Line an 18 x 13 inch rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil.

3. Combine the oats, oil and salt in a large bowl and mix until the oats are evenly coated. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until pale gold, 20-25 minutes. Remove the oats and lower the oven temp to 300 degrees.

4. Place the nuts in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Or just chop coarsely with a big sharp knife (watch your fingers!).

5. Combine the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon (if using).

6. Combine the oats, nuts, and honey mixture in a large bowl and stir with a large rubber spatula until the oats are thoroughly coated with the honey mixture. Spray the baking sheet (still with foil sling) with non-stick spray then transfer the granola mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Spray a large metal spatula (like the ones used for cake frosting) or a square dish with non-stick spray and firmly press the mixture into the pan. Make a flat, tight, and even layer. Bake until golden, about 35-40 minutes.

7. Cool in the baking sheet, on a wire rack, for 15 minutes before cutting into bars. I used a pastry scraper to cut which was great…no dealing with a knife handle hitting the rim of the baking sheet. Cut the bars all the way through (about 2 inches by 3 inches is a good size) and then allow the granola bars to completely cool. Do not wait longer than 15 minutes before cutting the bars. They harden up significantly as they cool. Any longer and you’ll have a very hard time cutting thru them.

The bars can be stored, covered for up to 2 weeks.

1 comment:

hotel belek said...

I`ve tried this recipe and i`m really impressed, it has a very good taste. My both child tried it and they like it a lot. Thanks a lot for sharing.