Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cherry Almond Granola Bars

          I recently went on a camping trip, which for me means two things: s'mores and granola bars.

           Granola bars are perfect for traveling and snacking, and their oaty flavor is kind of addicting.  I especially like the soft, chewy kind of granola bars since they don't leave a lot of crumbs.  I decided to try to make my own granola bars, and they turned out like a granola bar should turn out.

           I made chewy cherry almond granola bars.  Cherry and almond is another one of those classic flavor combos.  The tartness of the dried cherries paired well with the sweet honey and the almonds added a nice crunch to the chewy granola bar.

         The granola bars I made don't actually have granola, but use toasted oats instead.  To make the granola bars chewy, I added puffed brown rice, which I found in the "healthy" section of the grocery store.  You could use regular white crispy rice, too.  It's kind of like making rice krispy treats, expect you don't use marshmallows and butter, and you bake the granola bars.

First, you toast some old-fashioned oats.
You stir the oats with the puffed rice, almonds, and cherries.
Then you make a syrupy sort of thing with honey.  This is what holds the bars together.
Bring the syrup to a boil.
Stir into the oat mixture.
Press into a pan.
Bake until golden brown and let cool for a few hours.
Cut into pieces and you have granola bars!
            The granola bars had the right texture, I think, but they had a distinct honey-like flavor and didn't hold together that well.  I suggest that you be careful when storing them.  In the future, I'm definitely going to make more granola bars.  Enjoy!

Cherry Almond Granola Bars

recipe adapted from Can You Stay for Dinner
makes about 2 dozen granola bars


2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped or slivered almonds
1 cup puffed brown rice cereal, or white crispy rice
1 cup dried cherries 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9″ baking pan with foil and coat well with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Toss the oats on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.  Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
  3. Transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl and stir in the almonds, puffed rice, and dried fruit.
  4. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 300 degrees F, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

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