As of late, I’ve been lazy in the kitchen. This translates to Paxton getting graham crackers & kashi cereal bars when he wants a snack… which translates to me feeling like a crappy mom for feeding him, well, crap. Okay, it’s not all crap, but honestly, I don’t like feeding him stuff that has high fructose corn syrup or transfat.
Enter this granola recipe. I figured this would be a good treat for him when he’s asking for a snack.
I based the recipe off Ina Garten’s granola bar recipe and followed her steps carefully. They were wonderful!! Steve took a few bites and said something like “these are the best granola bars you’ve ever made” (which is saying a lot b/c I’ve made many a granola bar). He then went on to say, “can you be sure to save this recipe” ~ yes honey, yes, I can 🙂 so here it is!!
Here’s the link to the original recipe.
- 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1 1/4 cup chopped pecans & walnuts (or whatever nuts you have on hand)
- 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed (I used sweetened)
- 1/4 c. flax seed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- a little less than 2/3 cup honey (I ran out 🙂 so I supplemented with a few Tbsp of Agave nector…which I just recently read is suppose to be terrible for you?!? I need to do more investigating on that one)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
- 1/4 cup chopped dried raisins
- 1/2 cup dried craisins
- 3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds (these were left over from some other recipe)
- 1/4 c. sesame seeds
- cinnamon to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9×13 pan THEN cover with Parchment paper. I thought this sounded weird in Ina’s instructions, but I did it anyway. It was awesome. The bars came out easily after baking/cooling.Reduce oven to 300.
On a dry baking sheet/jelly roll pan, combine the oatmeal, coconut, and nuts. Toast at 350 for approx 10 minutes till fragrant (stir occasionally). When toasted, put in a large bowl. Stir in Flax seed, dried fruit, cinnamon, and seeds.
Meanwhile, combine the honey, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small sauce pan. Heat till boiling and then pour over oatmeal mixture. Stir to combine. Pour into prepared 9×13, press down with wet fingers, and bake at 300 for 25-30 min. Let set to cool for at least 2 hrs. Reviewers complained that the bars crumbled if this step wasn’t done. I waited the 2 hrs and then pulled the parchment paper out. I cut these bars with a pizza cutter on the counter and they were just perfect!
*Note. I pulsed up the dried fruit and nuts pretty finely (in separate batches in the food processor) so that Pax wouldn’t spit them out 🙂 Also, the reviewers of this recipe said that they freeze well!