Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Granola Bars: Fail

When we were working on the house all the time, but hadn't moved in just yet, we made sure to keep a stock of quick and easy eats in the pantry. That included some granola bars that were no doubt not great for me, but very delicious all the same. I figured that I could surely recreate something similar and a quick Google search turned up a recipe for granola bars from Alton Brown. I decided to give it a go, with a couple of changes. The granola was delicious, but refused to remain in bar form. I don't know if I just didn't press it into the pan hard enough, or if I did something else to cause the poor results. It's not that big of a problem though, since this granola makes a great breakfast with a bit of soy milk. Yum! I'll definitely make it again, maybe give the bar thing another shot. If it doesn't work I won't be too upset. I'll just have a few great mornings ahead of me!

Granola Bars
Recipe from Alton Brown via Food Network; Makes 16 2" bars

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries

  • Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
My notes: I was doing some other stuff in the kitchen at the same time, so I wasn't quite "immediate" with mixing the oat and liquid mixtures. Perhaps therein lies my problem. I bought toasted wheat germ, so I added it to the mixture post-toasting of the other ingredients. And for dried fruit I used apples and cranberries to recreate some of the flavor of the bars that inspired me in the first place.

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