Wednesday 11 July 2007

Granola Bars

These have got to be my favourite oaty flapjack style bars. They have a crisp golden surface with a soft, moist and slightly chewy underneath. They look and taste very wholesome thanks to the addition of the nuts, seeds and fruit all held together with oats and honey making them taste wonderful. They are also wheat free (and possibly gluten free too depending on whether you consider oats to contain gluten or not). As long as you stick to the quantities of fruit, nuts or seeds used, you can very the type of e.g. fruit, to suit your own tastes (or just use what needs using up in the cupboard like I did).

Depending on the variety of honey you use, you can end up with boldly fragrant or delicate tasting bars. I used two different types of oats to add a bit of texture and the cinnamon helps bring all the flavours together without being too obvious.

The mixture is very sticky before baking and can be quite hard to smooth out evenly. After experimenting with a wooden spoon, fingers and a potato masher I found the back of a large metal spoon, that had been wiped with oil, the easiest method. These are great for a mid afternoon snack or a breakfast on the run as the honey and oats will provide you with a prolonged release of energy. I made these to take into work for the Monday Munchers where they were happily devoured.

Granola Bars
150g butter or margarine
150g honey
200g soft brown sugar
350g rolled oats (I used a mixture of porridge and jumbo oats)
1 tsp cinnamon
40g whole almonds with skin on
30g hazelnuts
50g dried cranberries
75g dried apricots
50g prunes
50g raisins
30g pumpkin seeds
30g sunflower seeds
50g ground almonds

Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a 20cm x 30cm and 2cm deep baking tray with foil. Then brush the foil with vegetable oil and set to one side.
It is best to prepare all of the ingredients before you begin. Weight out the oats, ground almonds and cinnamon into a bowl. Roughly chop the nuts so they are still in fairly big pieces and add to the oats along with the seeds.
Weigh out the dried fruits and chop into raisin sized pieces using a pair of scissors and add to the bowl
Put the butter, honey and sugar into a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Stir everything together until smooth.
Increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil for two minutes, stirring all the time. (It will bubble up so be careful)
Remove from the heat and quickly add all the other ingredients and stir together in a folding motion, making sure everything gets evenly distributed and covered in the caramel.
Tip onto the baking tray and smooth out into an even layer.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until nicely golden brown. You may need to turn your tray around half way through depending on your oven.
Remove from the oven, it will still be very soft as this stage but it firms up a lot on cooling.
Allow to cool completely before inverting onto a board, removing the foil and slicing into bars or squares.
I cut mine into 5cm x 7cm pieces and I got 28 bars.
Keep in an airtight container with clingfilm between each layer to prevent them sticking together.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This looks like rocky-roads to me. But I think it tastes good.