August 1, 2012

Nonesuch Granola Bars

I've made a couple varieties of granola bars this year, but I haven't found the perfect recipe that yields a chewy, delicious bar that holds its shape. Then I found a recipe on Ezra Pound Cake. I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but I'm so glad I made the modifications. I'm sure the original recipe is delicious, but I think I've found my go-to granola bar. I changed it up enough that I feel justified in renaming my varietal.

It should come as no shock that I love chocolate and all things chocolate. With that said, it should be shocking that I haven't eaten Nutella as an adult. I recall trying a chocolate hazelnut spread while studying abroad in Spain, and it couldn't hold a candle to my love of peanut butter. However, I recently purchased a couple jars that I purposely waited to open. I figured when I opened the jars, they'd disappear rapidly. For the record, now that I've opened my first jar, Nutella is awesome. The first thing I did with my jar of Nutella was swap it for the peanut butter in the original recipe. Then I licked the spoon and knew I made the right decision.

Rich. Chewy. Chocolate. A hint of salt. All bound together into a delicious granola bar.

Nonesuch Granola Bars
1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/3 cup oat flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup roasted almonds
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chocolate chips
4 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8×8 or 9×9-inch pan, and line it with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the quick rolled oats, oat flour, cinnamon, almonds, deeds, cranberries and chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the Nutella, honey, vanilla and water. Heat just until combined. (Do not boil.)

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix well. Transfer to the prepared pan, and press down firmly using wet fingers.

Bake the bars for 30 to 35 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges. (The center firms as it cools.) Cool the bars in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes, andthen place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to finish cooling.

Once the bars are cool, you can lift the bars out and slice with a serrated knife. Or use the serrated knife to slice the bars in the pan. They can be wrapped and stored for up to a week, not that mine will last that long. Makes 12 granola bars, smaller if you desire for young children.

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