I’ve been wondering how to start this blog. I’ve been thinking about the perfect way to say hello, invite you to come on in, grab a seat, make yourself at home. So I figured, why not start with a snack? And maybe some tea. You should have some tea, too.
We eat a lot of granola bars around here. They are the perfect little thing to have tucked away in work/gym/school bags. Store-bought ones are okay, but homemade has to be better, right?
I tried a few recipes in the past, but nothing really came out right. Then I found this recipe. These are really, really good. The combination of chocolate, peanut butter, pecans, and dried cherries is delicious. They are so easy to make. Mix up the dry ingredients, then mix up the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry, stir it all up, spoon into a baking pan, press it down, and bake it off. Here’s what it looks like in the pan before it bakes:
When cooled completely, slice them up into bars, squares, whatever you’d like. The full recipe follows. Hope you enjoy these. And I hope you enjoy this blog, too.
I’ll see you soon. ~Inge
Homemade chewy granola bars
I pretty much followed the ingredient list and the steps outlined in the original recipes. I omitted the coconut, only used 1/3 cup sugar (they are plenty sweet), and I only had salted butter on hand, so I just decreased the amount of added salt. I also used regular semi-sweet chocolate chips and thought they worked just fine. I think this is one of those recipes where better quality ingredients will yield yummier results, but honestly, what you probably already have in your cupboard is just fine.
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup raw pecans, chopped
½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup dried cherries
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
6 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Then, line it with parchment paper, leaving a little overhang so you can easily take the bars out of the pan. Lightly spray the parchment paper.
Put 1/3 cup of the quick-cooking oats in a food processor and process until finely ground. Then, in a large bowl, stir together the remaining 1 2/3 cup oats, ground oats, sugar, pecans, chocolate chips, dried cherries, salt, and cinnamon.
In another bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vanilla extract, melted butter, honey, and water. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir well. Transfer to the prepared pan. Now, you want to press it down. I took Molly’s advice and used plastic wrap to do this.
Bake the bars for about 30 minutes, or until they’re brown around the edges and just beginning to color on top, too. Mine didn’t really noticeably color on top after 30 minutes, but it did get darker around the edges. And it’s true, it will seem underbaked if you press down in the middle, but that’s okay. Let the pan completely cook on a rack. I let mine cool for a couple of hours. Then, lift them out of the pan and cut ‘em up!