04/01/13

Very Granola

I love granola. It’s my personal breakfast of choice.

I love making homemade granola with toasted oats, nuts, and lots of chunky dried fruit all tossed in a delicious sweet, honeyed syrup.

This past week, the team I am blessed to be a part of at work, welcomed a new hire and we wanted to welcome her with great style in our own warm way. To me, that means food, so I suggested an informal breakfast gathering and volunteered to bring a few nibbles.

One of the items I brought with me Monday morning was my Homemade Granola bars and boy were they a big hit!

Here’s how it all went down…

Homemade Granola Bars  

(adapted from Ina Garten’s Granola Bar Recipe)

Here is what you need:

  • 2 heaping cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 cups assorted dried fruit (For this recipe, I used dried apricots, raisins, and dried cranberries, but I have also had great success with dried cherries, dates, and figs in the past. Just add 1/2 cup of each fruit. This adds great texture and color to the bars.)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, I use unsalted
  • 2/3 cup raw local honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly-packed
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a sheet tray with non-stick spray and toss oats, coconut, and almonds in even layer to toast in oven for 10-12 minutes, stir halfway through cooking process to promote event toasting and browning.

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2. Transfer toasted oat mixture to large mixing bowl and throw in the 1/2 cup wheat germ while warm. The smell is fantastic!

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Then prep your dried fruit, chunk them up, and set aside.

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Just look at all those pretty colors!

3. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute until dissolved and not gritty, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dried fruit and toss well.

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The syrup is thick, luscious, and becomes the most beautiful shade of honeyed-amber.

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4. Pour the mixture into the prepared 9×13  pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 300 degrees, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

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My coworkers absolutely loved them and I loved making them for them. What can I say? Making and sharing food is my love language. That’s a love language right? Right?

 

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