Granola Bars

This weekend we (or, I) learned that my homemade granola bars do not last indefinitely in the freezer. Word to the wise. Also last week I learned (from an un-freezered batch) that if someone is used to getting free scones from you and one day you bring free homemade granola bars instead, the reception is less than gracious. Totally unfair – granola bars satisfy hunger much more successfully than scones. And they’re good on hiking trips. And fall is an excellent time of year for hiking in Vermont.

In defense of the granola bar, I bring you my favorite granola bar recipe, followed by my second favorite. I based these loosely on the King Arthur Flour gluten-free granola bar recipe but it’s brushing the boundary between “based on” and the much broader “inspired by.”

Vanilla-Tahini-Date-Almond-Orange Granola Bars
This needs a new more-poetic, less-precise name

 

  • 1 2/3 cups old fashioned oats whirred once or twice in a food processor
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup almond slivers
  • 1 cup diced dates
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 flax egg (to make a flax egg: take 1 Tb flax meal – or flax seeds ground up in a spice grinder – mix with 1/3 cup of warm water and let sit for 15 minutes)
  • A few drops of orange oil
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heavily grease a 9″ x 13″ pan. Do not try to use parchment paper, disaster results. Trust me.

Stir together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, add the oil, flax egg, vanilla and orange oil. Stir these together then incorporate them into the surrounding dry ingredients. Don’t over mix. 

Spread the mixture in the prepared pan, and pat down gently.

Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re golden brown around the edges.

Remove the bars from the oven, loosen the edges, and cool for 5 minutes.

Use a knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars while they’re still warm in the pan; remove from the pan, and cool on a rack. So far I haven’t found a way to do this last part without sacrificing at least one bar to crumbles, but good luck to you – you are probably more patient than I am and can accomplish it. 

 

Buckwheat-Chocolate-Apricot Granola Bars
This is my second-favorite granola bar recipe

  • 1 2/3 cups oats whirred a bit
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1 cup chocolate chips chopped
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 flax eggs (see above for instructions)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions (these are the same as the instructions above)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heavily grease a 9″ x 13″ pan. Do not try to use parchment paper, disaster results. Trust me.

Stir together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, add the oil, flax eggs, vanilla. Stir these together then incorporate them into the surrounding dry ingredients. Don’t over mix. 

Spread the mixture in the prepared pan, and pat down gently.

Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re golden brown around the edges.

Remove the bars from the oven, loosen the edges, and cool for 5 minutes.

Use a knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars while they’re still warm in the pan; remove from the pan, and cool on a rack.  

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