Friday, August 24, 2012

52 cookies :: week 32 :: chewy granola bars

E and K's 3rd grade teacher - and amazing cook - wondered when i would enter into the realm of bars. with a return to school lunches, a bar sounded perfect to fit into the girls' lunchboxes.

52 cookies

Chewy Granola Bars with Pecans, Chocolate, and Cherries
via Orangette (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 c quick-cooking oats, divided
1/3 c sugar
1 c raw pecan halves
1/2 c unsweetened coconut chips
1/2 c chocolate chips or chopped chocolate of similar size
1/4 c dried cherries
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional - I left it out)
1/3 c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
6 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Cut a rectangle of parchment paper to line the bottom and two sides of the dish, leaving a little overhang. Press the parchment paper into the dish. Lightly butter the parchment paper.

Put 1/3 cup of the oats in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely ground.

In a large bowl, stir together the remaining 1 2/3 cup oats, ground oats, sugar, pecans, coconut chips, chocolate chips, dried cherries, & salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vanilla extract, melted butter, honey, and water. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir well, until the mixture is evenly moistened. Transfer to the prepared pan, pressing the mixture firmly to ensure that it molds to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap did help.)

Bake the bars for about 30 minutes, or until they’re brown around the edges and just beginning to color on top, too.

52 cookies

Transfer the pan to a rack, and allow the bars to cool completely. When cool, run a sharp knife along the edges of the pan; then pull up on the parchment paper to lift the sheet of bars out of the pan. Cut the bars into squares.

If your bars seem crumbly, refrigerate them in the pan for 30 minutes to further set them, and then try cutting them while cold.

Our bars were crumbly. And I've store them in an airtight container in the fridge, between layers of wax paper. It has helped firm them up quite a bit.

Yield: 16 squares

52 cookies

K: Crunchy, and good. These cookies can crumble in your mouth, and in your hand! They'd be better if there was more chocolate than cherries.

E: Crumbly and crunchy. These cookies are AWESOME! They would be better if they stuck together more though.

D: Man this powerbar made me go out and run a mile. Nice idea and good flavor combo. I really liked the cherries and chocolate. They are a bit crumbly but that's ok for something so good for me.


RachelB said...

I have made these several times. Once when I was low on honey I subbed Golden syrup for half. It added a toffee flavor to the bars.

Tracy said...

yum :) I wonder if it made a difference with the "crumbliness"?