Wednesday, June 04, 2008

world's yummiest granola bars

My sister in law makes the yummiest granola bars EVER. I love this recipe because is super easy, fast and you get to play with the flavorings and textures!! I always seem to have the hardest time finding a store-bought brand that I like because if the texture is great, I'll hate the flavor combination, or vice versa. With these granola bars, you get to decide how crunchy, chewy, sweet, healthy or junky they'll turn out! Here's the base recipe, with notes on ways you can play around to get different results:

4 c quick oats (do not even THINK about using old fashioned oats. you will not be pleased with the outcome! you can, on the other hand, consider substituting a cup or two of a cereal... the finer the texture of the cereal, the better this works.)
1 1/2 c chopped whatever (nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, chocolate...)
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar (original recipe calls for 1 whole cup, but that was way too sweet for me since I'm almost always using chocolate or raisins in my chopped whatever)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 melted butter/canola oil mix (you can play around with this as well, but I find that I like to melt a little less than 1/2 c butter in a glass measuring cup, then pour canola oil in until it reaches 3/4 c. more butter makes the bars have a richer taste, obviously)
1/2 c honey (if you pour in the butter/oil mix first and then reuse the same measuring cup for the honey, the honey will pour right out! much better than having to wait for hours for it to drip into the bowl)
1 tsp vanilla extract (don't worry, Kira, you can't taste a thing! ;-) )

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 glass pan. Mix all of the above ingredients until incorporated and press into pan. Bake about 20 min until golden brown (longer baking will be crunchier, shorter baking will be chewier). Let cool completely before cutting. I usually wrap each individual granola bar in plastic wrap so they're convenient to store and stay fresher. Yum!!

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