I made home made granola bars on this fine Sunday morning. The recipe is one I got from Joyful Abode and this is the second time I made it. I didn’t blog about it the first time though because
- I forgot to take pictures and
- I didn’t love how they turned out.
To be fair, I got overly creative the first time and made some changes to the recipe and I think that’s why I wasn’t completely thrilled with the results. My big mistake that time was that I decided to mix some chocolate chips into the bars. I wasn’t doing my best thinking though, because I tossed the chips in with the mixture before I poured the boiling hot honey mixture over the top. For some reason I thought they would remain whole, but of course they melted. (Duh.) This made an already sweet recipe very, very sweet. I have a serious sweet tooth, so when I say that something is overyly sweet, you can be assured that it’s not for the faint of heart. I still think I might try adding chocolate chips to the recipe in the future, but if I do I’ll press them into the top of the bars after I’ve put them into the baking pan and let them cool down a bit. In any case, they were still good enough to eat, but I felt there was room for improvement.
This batch came out much better than the first and I credit that to following the recipe more closely. There were no melted chocolate chips this time and for the nuts I used about 1/3 cup peanuts and 2/3 cup almonds. This was a nice combo because you still get some of the crunch from the peanuts, but the almond flavor is a little nicer (in my opinion). One other variation I made is that instead of using all vanilla extract I used half vanilla and half almond extract, another flavor I’m particularly fond of. For the dried fruit, I used Trader Joe’s dried cherries, blueberries and strawberries mixture. Num! Num!
This photo is the stirring step:
Here is where I would be pressing chocolate chips in if I decided to try adding those again:
Cooled granola turned out onto the cutting board:
Here’s the granola cut into bars. I cut them into different sizes because sometimes I only want a little and sometimes I want a lot.
The granola bars are chewy, but the nuts give them a nice bit of crunch. They seem to keep for a pretty long time (several weeks) if you wrap them up in plastic, but they are definitely best the first week. They get a bit more chewy than I prefer as time goes on. Another thing to note is that my three-year-old son doesn’t really like them and when my cousin made them her three-year-old daughter, she didn’t like them either. So if you’re thinking of making these for a preschooler, do with that information what you will. Adults all seem to like them though.
Some other variations I’m thinking of trying are:
- substituting some ground flax seed for some of the wheat germ
- substituting whole flax seeds for some of the sunflower seeds
- shaking up the fruit a bit with dried apples or apricots
If you decide to try these and you like them, you should head on over to Joyful Abode and leave a nice comment for the blogger. Which is just what I’m about to do….