Monday, August 18, 2014

Homemade Granola Bars

Have you ever baked something that turned out so wonderful that it made you think to yourself, "man, I am good!" Well, that's what happened to me after I made homemade granola for the first time, last night. With each bite I take, I still can't believe I made it.




I really can't take all the credit for this amazing granola. A big thanks to the Food Network for this winning recipe!

Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients:

8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup
1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup
6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
1 -ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)
1/4 cup mini Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips - optional




Directions:

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, chocolate chips, 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.




Now that I've had the taste of homemade granola bars, I don't know if I'm ever going back!

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