Everyday recipes, life and craziness from Jen's house.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Homemade Granola Bars

We are on Spring Break here in our part of the world.  The local school districts schedule their spring break at the same time Kansas State has theirs, so it's a win-win situation in our house!  Add block leave for Jeff, and you've got a family that's ready for a week off!  To celebrate our time off, we planned a 5 star, luxury Bahama get away 3 day geocaching trip across Kansas.  Read about our GeoTrip at my other blog, JJJ Geocaching Jaunts!  Planning a 3 day trip takes a lot of work and time...Jeff did most of the cache and route planning.  I was in charge of planning for the food:  three lunches on the go and snacks. I knew I wanted to bring granola bars, but I hate all of the added "stuff" in prepackaged granola bars.  So I scoured the Internet (allrecipes mostly) and found a recipe that I liked.  I did make a few changes, and will make a few more when I make them again!


 Homemade Granola Bars (adapted from Chewy Granola Bar recipe)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup sunflower kernels
1/4 cup dried cherries
3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)

In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Stir in the oats, sunflower kernels, cherries, wheat germ and flax seed. Fold in chocolate chips.

Press into an 8-in. square baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until set and edges are browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars. 

What did we think?  We LOVED them!  They were gobbled up!

What did I change?  I used dried cherries instead of raisins (I didn't have any raisins on hand) and used chunky peanut butter instead of smooth.  I also used ground flax seed instead of sesame seeds and chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips.  I wrapped each bar in a small piece of plastic wrap and kept them in the cooler.

What would I do next time?  I have a few changes!  Next time, I'd double the recipe!  I'd also use honey rather than the corn syrup and use 1/3 c. of brown sugar instead of 1/2 c.  I can't believe I'm saying this, but the granola bars were a little too chocolaty!  Next time, I'd use 1/3 c. mini chocolate chips instead of 1/2 c. of the chocolate chunks.  

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