Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Play-Date Fare - Granola Bars

We are invited to a play-date tomorrow, and I hate to go anywhere empty handed. So I thought I would try out a recipe that I've been wanting to try for a couple of months now, but haven't gotten around to - homemade granola bars!

One of my awesome online friends shared this recipe, and then I happened to find it online, too, so if you are interested, you can find it here. I knew from my friend and from the comments on the site that these would be very crunchy, and I wasn't sure if the other kids with whom we will be sharing them like crunchy or chewy... so I followed some of the advice listed in the comments to make them a bit chewier... I added half cup of applesauce, and also followed the tip of not spreading the batter in the entire pan - I used foil to make a barrier to cut about two inches off of the length (so it would have been a 9" x 11" pan, rather than the 9" x 13" that it really is).

One of the fun things about this recipe was how easy it was. So easy that, for the most part, little miss could do the first half of it by herself. Which was really cool.

But what was the MOST fun about this recipe was the part that said "Mix well using your hands." Oh yes. Permission to dive into the ooey, gooey, honey goodness with her fingers. I think she thought I was kidding when I told her to go for it. Yes, we washed our hands very well first. And yes, we also made sure to wash our hands very well afterwards, too, seeing as there is an egg in there.

So how did they come out? Decent. I probably should have followed the recipe as written and made them crunchy, so that I could get a better feel for the taste. Or maybe they needed more honey... I will have to play with the recipe a bit to figure out the right balance. Which means they are definitely good enough to make again, but next time, they will be better.

Granola Bars
(from Allrecipes)

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(optional - 1/2 cup apple sauce)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9" x 13" baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut the bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.


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