Most of us like to snack and,
judging from the huge selection in grocery stores, we like to snack on
granola bars. Granola Bars are so easy to make at home. They take about the same amount of time as
making homemade granola. The difference
between the two is that we bake Granola Bars in a pan instead of spreading
the granola mixture onto a baking sheet. These bars are loaded with oats,
rice cereal, dried fruits, and chocolate chips, which are binded together
with a sweet and sticky mixture of honey, golden syrup, butter, and
vanilla. They are baked until golden brown and the only problem is
that, after they come out of the oven, we can't eat them straight away. We
have to wait an hour or two so they can
cool and become wonderfully crisp and crunchy. But I love how they are
still chewy. And the great part is that if you like a granola bar that is
more crisp, and less chewy, all you have to do is to bake the bars a few
Now, we must talk about ingredients. First, the oats. I
prefer to use the thicker textured, old fashioned rolled oats over the
quick cooking type. Then there is the dried
cranberries (or cherries). First, let me say that you can use other dried
fruits. When buying dried
fruits, try to buy in bulk form from a grocery store or natural food store
that has a high turnover. Not only will the fruit be fresher, but you can
see, smell, feel, and often taste the fruit to make sure it is fresh and
of high quality. Pre-packaged fruit can also be excellent but it is harder
to judge the quality of the fruit through the plastic bag. So be sure to
check the expiration date on the bag and look for dried fruit that is
plump, moist, and has good color. Never buy fruit that is dried out or
The recipe calls for
binding the ingredients together with a mixture of butter,
honey, and golden syrup. These ingredients add sweetness and a unique
flavor to the granola. Honey comes in many different flavors, so be sure
to use one that you enjoy. I like to use a mild flavored honey, like
clover or orange blossom, because they won't overpower the other flavors
in the granola bars. Also, if you don't want to use golden syrup, other
choices are agave, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, or even a light corn
syrup. Honey and golden syrup are very sticky, so before measuring, spray
the inside of the measuring cup with a non stick cooking spray or use a
mild flavored oil. That way the ingredients will just slide out of the
Bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180
degrees C). Butter
(or spray with a non stick cooking spray) a
9 inch square (23
cm) baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
In a small
saucepan, melt the butter, honey, and golden syrup. Remove from heat and stir in
the vanilla extract. Allow to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl
mix together the rolled oats, rice cereal, salt, dried cherries, and chocolate
chips. With a large spoon or spatula, stir the butter mixture into the oat
mixture, making sure all the dry ingredients are completely coated. Pour the
granola into the prepared pan and, with damp hands, press the granola evenly
into the pan.
Bake for about
22-25 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and let cool for
about 10-15 minutes before cutting into bars. Then continue to cool the granola
bars for about two hours, or until set. (Note: The granola bars will be soft
when they are removed from the oven but will firm up and become crisp as they cool.) Can be stored
in the refrigerator or at room temperature
for several days.
Makes about 12 - 4
1/2 x 1 1/2 inch (11.5 x 4 cm) granola bars
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