By 300 Sandwiches
It’s been a trying week—the weather has been horrible. It’s too cold to go outside, or to even go snowboarding. I’m behind on a few work deadlines. And I had some fails in the kitchen when I tried to make sandwiches. Take these granola bars, which were supposed to be the base for sandwiches but ended up too thick to stack on top of one another.
Yesterday I posted up a photo of those homemade granola bars when they came right out of the oven (they smelled so good, it took all of the might in body to tear away from the kitchen to go to work). I promised to post the recipe today, which is a basic King Arthur Flour recipe that’s easily adaptable. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use any combination of nuts, fruit, sugar and oats and get something delicious. One of my favorite foodie blogs, Smitten Kitchen, also played around with the ingredients to make their own version Mine were more on the crunchy and brittle side than candy bar chewy (if you want them chewy, follow the King Arthur method of using sticky bun sugar to keep the inside soft). These make an easy grab and go dessert, but E and I could stop eating little squares of the stuff during breakfast.
Even though I failed at making granola bar sandwiches, I still felt good about my bars. E couldn’t keep his hands off of them. Or me (But that’s another story). I’m going to keep experimenting with the recipe to see what other flavors and textures I can come up with. I was still happy when I packed up to head to work. In the cold. And snow. Maybe all of the yoga I’ve been doing and mint tea I’ve been drinking has gone to my head. I feel like I’m turing into E. Or into Pharrell in this video:
(this recipe below is exactly what I did to get my crispy sweet granola bars pictured above. The King Arthur recipe and Smitten Kitchen version will yield chewier results, but I reference what I used from their versions below).
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 pinches salt
1/3 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*2 to 3 cups dried fruit and nuts
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
*you can put in whatever combination you want here. For these bars, I used 1/3 cup coconut, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup chopped almonds, 1/4 cup chopped cranberries, 1/4 cup dried cherries, and 1/4 cup chia seeds
**I omitted the sticky bun sugar completely in my recipe, but I did follow Smitten Kitchen’s recommendation of adding 6 tablespoons melted butter to help hold the bars together.
First, combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl, including your fruit and nuts. Then add peanut butter if desired. Then, in a smaller bowl, whisk vanilla extract, water, melted butter and maple syrup. Add to dry mixture, and mix thoroughly.
Line a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly grease the parchment paper. Pour mixture onto paper and press into baking sheet to fill the space. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until edges are brown, and let cool completely, about another 30 minutes. Cut into squares or rectangles. Wrap each in Saran Wrap to keep fresh for about a week.