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First Attempt at Granola Bars

We have been fixin' to make homemade granola bars for weeks. After some searching I found a recipe by our favorite Food Network star, Alton Brown. We made a list of the ingredients we needed and several weeks ago we took a trip to the Bulk Barn. Christian really had fun bagging up the ingredients. He insisted on filling the bags himself (with some help from daddy). He was very careful and didn't make any messes in the store. :)

The ingredients have been sitting in the pantry for weeks until finally, this past long weekend we made the bars! Christian was so excited when he came in the kitchen and saw everything laid out and ready to go. He washed his hands and dug right in helping, measuring, mixing.

The recipe called for Almonds, but Christian don't like nuts in stuff so we substituted with pumpkin seeds. We put the oats, seeds, & wheat germ on a pan and in the oven for 15 minutes. I stirred them around every few minutes as directed. It was closing in on the 15 minute mark so I checked & stirred and all was fine. About 30 seconds later they were starting to smoke. Luckily I got them out before they burnt. Whew!

The directions called for mixed dried fruit, but Christian opted for dried blueberries only. Once it was all mixed together we had to press the mixture into a pan. We used a spatula to flatten it and get it packed down nice and firm.

They turned out nice, but they were very crumbly and messy. I love the mix of seeds , but didn't like the dried blueberries so much. The berries just weren't as sweet as I would've liked. Also, I think next time we will not toast the oat mixture as long. I was darn near close to catching them afire, maybe 10 or 12 minutes of toasting next time will be safer. :)

Christian loves the Granola Bars. He was so proud he wanted to share samples with his nan & pop. Myself & Millard do not think that he'd like them as much if he hadn't have made them himself. It just goes to show that involving your child in the kitchen encourages them to eat things they probably otherwise wouldn't.

Granola Bars

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time:--
Cook Time: 40 min
Level:Easy
Serves: 16 (2-inch) squares

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
  • 1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup
  • 1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
  • 1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan (equaled 2 TBSP)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries

Directions

Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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