Harvest Granola Bars

Happy Friday! I wanted to share this wonderful, choose your own filling recipe over that I found over at Good Life Eats, where Katie put together a little how to for chewy granola bars.

1. Rolled Grains (i.e. oats): 2 1/2 cups total
2. Nuts, Seeds, & Spices: 1 cup total Nuts & Seeds, Spices per your discretion.
3. Sticky Sweetener: 1/3 + 1/4 cup
  • For something sweet you’ll need a sticky sweetener, such as honey, agave, molasses, maple syrup, etc. Sweetener adds moisture and flavor.
  • Use the full amount as one sweetener, or mix up the flavors.
4. Dried Fruits: 1 cup total
5. Binder: 1 cup total
  • This is what will hold the bars together and keep them chewy without over drying.
  • These Molasses and Ginger Granola Bars use pureed dates, but get creative. Prunes, Apple Butter, and Almond Butter would be great choices too.
Fill a parchment lined sheet tray with the mixture, and bake at 325 for 25 minutes, chill in the freezer until firm, remove from parchment paper and cut into bars.

Using these basic instructions, I came up with my own Harvest Granola Bars. 

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup cups pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 maple syrup
1 cup dried apple rings, chopped
1 cup honey apple butter.

Preheat oven to 325. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. The original recipe calls for using a food processor, and although I used our food processor/blender combo, I felt you could get by with some good hand mixing. Place in a parchment lined sheet tray. I used a spatula to form a nice rectangle since my sheet tray was very big and smoothed it out with a spatula. Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes. I know it's more than the original recipe but I wanted them to be a bit more firm. Place in the freezer for about an hour. Remove from parchment paper and cut into bars.

Update: After removing these from the freezer, then storing them in an airtight container in the fridge, I found the bars to be a little too soft and sweet for my taste. So I popped them back in the oven for 25 minutes at 350, which toasted the walnuts and oats and gave it a more balanced flavor. Next time I'll bake them at 350 in the beginning for 45 min to an hour.

Image by Amynonymous for Domestic Observances

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