Homemade Granola Bars

by Ashley on January 10, 2012

homemade granola bars

Homemade granola bars are great for a quick breakfast or on-the-go snack.  I often find myself running out of the house in the morning empty handed with a growling stomach…knowing I’ll have to wait until lunch to grab a bite to eat.  These cranberry granola bars are the perfect fix for my mornings on the go.  I usually have to stash a few away for myself because my fiance will eat an entire batch within just a couple of days.  I’m not going to lie and say these granola bars are the healthiest breakfast or snack choice so be sure to eat them in moderation (unlike my fiance).

Homemade Cranberry Nut Granola Bars

Okay, let’s get cooking…

Preheat your oven to 350°.  Pull out a large piece of parchment paper… large enough to cover a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.  Place the paper in the baking dish, lightly butter and set aside.

Spread 2 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats, 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup of shredded coconut and 1/2 cup wheat germ into a baking pan. Place them in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (okay, so i forgot the rolled oats in this picture and had to toast them separately… agh!)

Toasting ingredients for homemade granola bars

While they’re cooking, go ahead and combine 1/2 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar (packed), 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and a little kosher salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) in a medium saucepan.  Place the ingredients over medium heat and cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved, stirring occasionally.

When the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven.  Reduce the oven heat down to 300°.  Add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture and combine.  Then stir in 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and 1/2 cup of golden raisins (you can substitute other dried fruit if you’d prefer).

mixing ingredients for homemade granola bars

Once combined, turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press until evenly distributed (I find it’s helpful to put a little butter on the back of a large spoon and press down the mixture).

ready to bake homemade granola bars

Then bake the prepared granola bars in the oven at 300° for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (about 45 minutes to one hour).

Remove from the pan and cut into squares.  You can store them in an airtight container for up to a week (if you somehow don’t eat them in that time period, then more power to you).

Recipe for Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus a little extra to coat the pan)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup of dried fruit (I use 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup of golden raisins)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place parchment paper in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.  Butter the parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Spread the rolled oats, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut and wheat germ onto a baking pan.  Place in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  4. Combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until the dark brown sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the oat mixture is done, remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300°.  Add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture and combine.  Add in the dried fruit and mix until well combined (mixture will be sticky).
  6. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press down until evenly distributed.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely (about 45 minutes – 1 hour).
  8. Once cool, remove from pan and cut into squares.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

 

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Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Mixed Nuts

by Ashley on January 2, 2012

These chipotle and rosemary roasted mixed nuts were a staple finger food in my household this holiday season.  I liked them so much that I made multiple batches and packaged them in mason jars, tied them with ribbons and gave them to family members as gifts this holiday season.  These roasted nuts are the perfect combination of spicy and sweet and have a strong but well balanced flavor.  My fiance plowed through an entire batch of these in less than one week…needless to say, this recipe is here to stay.

Recipe – Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Mixed Nuts

Altered slightly from Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2.5 cups whole unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups whole walnut halves
  • 2 cups whole pecan halves
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup lightly brown sugar; lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • Kosher salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350. Brush a glass baking pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  • In a medium size bowl combine cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, chipotle powder and 2 tablespoons of the rosemary.  Toss until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Spread the nut mixture into one layer in the prepared baking pan.
  • Roast for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.  Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool.
  • Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

 

 

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