Sunday, January 4, 2015

My Favorite Granola

I have been making this recipe for years now, modifying it a little more every time I make it.  Recently, I have been making it more and my best friend tried it and loved it.  She wanted the recipe, so I thought I would share it with all of you too.

Chewy Granola Bars
Adapted from smittenkitchen

2 cups old fashion oats
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (like this one)
3 cups dried fruits and nuts
          my favorite mix is almonds, pecans, cherries, cranberries, figs, dates, sunflower seeds, flax
          seeds, and just a small amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons almond butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Put a piece of parchment paper in a 13" x 9" pan perpendicular to the pan so it hangs over the two long sides.  Grease this and the sides of the pan that remain uncovered with vegetable oil.  

Blend 1/3 cup of the oats in a food processor until it is a rough flour.  Stir together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  The oat flour will coat the fruits and keep them from sticking together in a lump.  Pour the oil and water over the mixture and toss gently.  Add the maple syrup and mix until the mixture is a consistent wetness.  Stir in the almond butter.  Turn the mixture into the oiled pan and make sure to press it down in the corners.  

Bake in the 350°F oven 40 minutes or until the liquid is bubbly and the edges are browned.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes.  Carefully lift the parchment out of the pan and place it on a cutting board, the granola should stay together more or less.  Allow the granola to cool between 15 minutes and a half hour before cutting into bars.  Enjoy!

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