Thursday, April 1, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup butterscotch and/or chocolate chips or 3/4 cup dried fruit, chopped 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease or use cooking spray on 9x13 in. baking dish. 
2. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. 
3. Firmly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes until lightly golden brown. 
4. Let cool, then cut into bars. 

My kids love granola bars but I find that they mow through a box so quickly that at about $3 per box I'm spending more money than I would like on granola bars every week. They are an easy, convenient snack so I decided to research some recipes for making our own granola bars. It seems like there are thousands of variations on homemade granola bars but the recipe above is my adaptation.

For our first attempt at making these granola bars, I split the base mixture in half and then added butterscotch chips to half and mixed dried fruit to the other half. Then I baked the two batches in smaller baking dishes. One tip is to use a kitchen tool, like this masher, to press down the granola. That compacts the bars and keeps them from crumbling.

Both batches of granola bars tasted great and the kids loved them. They took the bars to school with their snack and gobbled them up. I had one (Okay, okay, I had three - but they were small I swear!) with a cup of coffee for breakfast.

Another added benefit of making granola bars at home rather than buying them is that you are in control of the ingredients that go into them. Compare the ingredients in my recipe to the back of the box on a popular brand of granola bars. Wow, I don't even know what some of those ingredients are.

This post is participating in The Nourishing Gourmet's Pennywise Platter and Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday recipe swap. 

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