An embarassing length of time ago, I assigned Smitten Kitchen’s Chewy Granola Bars for a Long Distance Kitchen recipe. I am finally telling you about them.
I chose the recipe because I wanted a break from toast-with-almond-butter for breakfast. Delicious as that is, variety is even better. I was both pleased and disappointed with the results. Here’s what happened.
You start off by putting your dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. For the dry ingredients, you use a lot of oats and then 2-3 cups of whatever combination of fruit and nuts you prefer. I used pecans, walnuts, unsweetened coconut, dried cherries, and sunflower seeds, although I don’t remember the exact proportions.
I loosely chopped the nuts and cherries in the food processor, although they ended up a little uneven and I might just do it by hand next time. Then you mix in those liquid ingredients (I used canola oil instead of the butter, but coconut oil would’ve been better if I’d had some around) and add some almond or peanut butter if you like (I used almond). Then you press the mixture into a pan and bake.
Look, it’s like a little advertisement for my honey suppliers!
Here’s where I may have had some issues. I doubt myself. Did I mix things thoroughly enough? Did I press them firmly into the pan, or did I press half-heartedly? Should I have let them bake even longer?
Why do I doubt myself? Because delicious as they were, my granola bars weren’t so much bars as just…granola.
I let them cool completely before I cut into them, but still! Still the crumbling! I suppose, now that I reread the recipe, I could’ve tried sticking them in the fridge for a while. They were tasty, but in no way portable or bar-shaped. They were also sweeter than I expected, and I think next time I would cut back on the sugar even more than suggested. Or maybe use a different fruit, or less of it. Dried apples might be nice. I’m determined to try again and make this work. I need a breakfast that I can wrap up in a napkin and take to work if I’m running late, and crumbles just don’t cut it.
Gosh, now I’m ready to try another batch! Check out Bronwen’s (much neater, less crumbly) version, too. Hmm, maybe my wet/dry ingredient ratio was off…? I won’t rest until I find out! Okay, that’s a lie.