I think I finally did it. I think I finally made the (almost) perfect granola bar. They haven't been trail tested yet, but I have a feeling they will pass the test (i.e. not super melt, fall to pieces, be too sticky, and still be delicious). We'll be backpacking in the Olympic National Park this coming weekend, so I will let you know how they do.
But for now, in the comfort of my own home, they are perfect. I started making granola bars about 3 years ago when my sister introduced me to this Energy Bar recipe. These bars were really good, but I couldn't eat a lot of them. They had a little too much honey for me. They were also super sticky and turned to mush on the trail.
The best thing about homemade granola bars, is that you can alter them to your liking. Do you prefer dried fruits? Chocolate? Do you go nuts over nuts? Over the past few years, I've made several different versions (combining several different recipes), but most of the time resort to store bought bars for long backpacking trips. Until now....I hope.
I wanted to cut back on the honey taste, so I substituted some sugar and molasses. So, here is the new and improved recipe:
Homemade Granola Bars
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons molasses
3 cups rolled oats (I added some homemade granola as well, because I had it on hand)
1 cup nuts (I used a mix of hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts....again, because I had them)
1 handful of coconut (depending on how much you like...i love the stuff)
1 handful chocolate chips
1. Combine the butter, sugar, honey, peanut butter, and molasses in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
2. Add in the oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon, ginger powder, and any other ingredients you want to add/substitute and mix until evenly coated.
3. Line a pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper, plastic wrap, or nonstick mat. I use a Silpat Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat (my oldest sister gave it to me for Christmas one year, I love it.).
4. Pour the mixture onto your pan and flatten with a spoon.
5. Place the chocolate chips throughout the mixture.
6. Place another layer of plastic wrap over the mixture and use a rolling pin to combine the chocolate chips and evenly flatten the bars.
7. Put the pan in the fridge. After an hour, you can cut the bars and store them in the fridge, they should keep for awhile.
I wrapped my most recent batch with parchment paper and rubber bands (I knew I'd find a use for those produce bands).
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