Granola Bars

granola barsPeople sometimes ask me if I ever have disasters in the kitchen, or at least, if I ever make recipes that don’t turn out well. Of course I do! Today’s granola bars are a great example; if they weren’t burnt on the bottom, they’d be delicious.

Here’s the thing about baking: you can’t be afraid of failing. If you over-bake your granola bars by a few minutes, the next time, you reduce your baking time and everything turns out fine. Failure is all part of the process, whether you’re Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb or a baker trying your first granola bar recipe. Next time I make these – and of course, there will be a next time, because these bars have a delicious flavor profile – I’ll simply bake them for about 18 minutes instead of 22.

The recipe below is adapted from the Pioneer Woman.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ*
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

*You can find wheat germ in the cereal aisle of your grocery store; it comes in a glass jar. 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place oats in a large bowl. Combine butter and vegetable oil, then drizzle over oats, stirring while you drizzle. Add salt and stir.

Place oat mixture on an ungreased 11 x 17 rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, to toast the oats. Oats will become light golden brown; remove from oven and set aside to cool for just a few minutes, then pour them back into your large bowl (it’s fine if they’re still a bit warm). Add Rice Krispies, wheat germ, and chopped pecans, stirring to combine.

Reduce your oven temperature to 325 degrees. Line an 11 x 17 rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with baking spray.

In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, honey, apple juice, and molasses. Cook, stirring very frequently, over medium heat until mixture just begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Drizzle the brown sugar mixture over the dry mixture, stirring well until completely coated. Pour onto your prepared baking sheet, then spray your hands with baking spray and flatten the mixture into an even layer.

Bake for 18-20 minutes; I baked mine for 22 minutes and they were over-done, so be careful!

Remove from oven and allow to cool, then cut into bars or squares.

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