I’m not sure why I decided today was a fine day to hunt down a recipe for my first attempt at making granola bars, but I did. So I did. And, hey! Success!
My Pinterest search was fruitful, but I was low on ingredients (some of those recipes get crazy. On Pinterest. THAT NEVER HAPPENS.), so I chose a basic recipe and made some changes based on my pantry.
Soft and Chewy Granola BarsFrom Inspired TasteCreated By: Joanne and Adam GallagherYield: 12
- 2 1/2 cups (230 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) whole almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup (113 grams) honey
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (67 grams) mini chocolate chipsMethodPrepare Oven and Pan
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.Toast Oats and Nuts
- Add oats and almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.Prepare Granola Bars
- Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.
- Pour butter mixture in to bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add cranberries and a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
- Transfer oat mixture to lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan.
- Scatter remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.
- Store bars in an airtight container for up to one week. For the softest bars, keep at room temperature. For slightly harder bars, store in the fridge.
The original recipe wanted dried cranberries. The best match I had were whole, pitted prunes (thank you, toddler bathroom woes). The recipe wanted plain almonds. I had salted, roasted almonds. And hey, what’s that? Some salted, shelled sunflower seeds? Throw those in, too! Probably about 1/4 cup. Ooh. Ground flax seed would probably work in granola bars, right? Sure. Two tablespoons sounds good. No mini chocolate chips, so the regular chips would just have to do. I decided to add them all in rather than top with those big guys.
I followed the instructions but only toasted the oats because my almonds were already roasted. Meanwhile, I chopped about 10 prunes into bite-sized pieces and put my food processor to work on the whole almonds. With the oats ready, I mixed all the dry ingredients by hand to be sure no prune pieces stuck together. Stir in the melted butter/sugar/honey/vanilla mixture and … oh. All of my chocolate melted. Oh, well. Into the pan, then into the freezer for about an hour. After that, I moved them to the refrigerator, then I cut into small squares rather than bars – better for little hands to hold.
Verdict: Toby, Eleanor and Callista kept asking for more. The bars didn’t fall apart, but because my chocolate melted throughout the entire bar, the outside left behind a chocolatey mess. I could do without that to clean up after, but ETC sort of took care of it by sticking their fingers in their mouths. Whatever works, right?
If you’re keeping count, Taste: Success! Durability: Success! Cleanliness: Just teach them to lick their hands. They washed before eating, right? Mother of the year, folks!
There's a creeper elf at Grandma's house. I fielded E's questions, but the interest in minimal. Whew! I've escaped another year of creeping! Related: Have you seen the elf surveillance video that's going around? Because THAT won't cause nightmares.
The result of getting sick with 3 sick 3-year-olds on Black Friday & staying sick through "cyber week." Don't wanna.
First dermabond is a baby book milestone, right? Toby is a tough guy. Minimal tears!
I'm starting book 67 of 2013, a book recommended by NPR. (I'm short on my 75-book goal. I don't count rereads toward my annual total, but for quantity's sake, I just might break my rule. Cheating? Maybe.)
They get first dibs. #triplets
I had to return 2 library books & accidentally left with another #LibraryHaul to go with the one at home. Oops. Can we say, "addicted?" ❤️
First movie theater experience: check plus plus plus!
Tea, obviously. (I meandered into World Market on Black Friday & ended up being one of the first 100 shoppers. Free mug, huzzah!)
"Come sit on my lap, Buddy!" #triplets #BFF
Real life. My amazing juggling act falters when I'm called to cuddle my sick babies. 2/3 are on the mend, but they're flanking me while I hold the third in my lap. Spot the piles of clean laundry! The forgotten toys! The stalled ornament hanging! The tote
They're impressed with the tree lights. ✨
I found the big-kid ragamuffins wandering the Christmas tree lot, thought they'd look cute in a photo. #latergram #triplets
I might give him a hard time for his Monica Geller approach to life (rubber gloves & perfectly positioned chairs), but Rob does a great job rigging up these lights. I just wonder how creative his swears will be this year.
Jammies, juice, popcorn & movie. Welcome to our weekend. Not pictured: frequent coloring breaks, fevers, occasional vomit & countless boogie wipes.
Before I take my sick self to bed, I have to share the pretty custom necklace I ordered from @meganluvsjewels! Ruby for me, aquamarine for Rob, & citrine for ETC. Merry Christmas to meeeee! #smallbusinesssaturday #smallbizsaturday
They always play like this. #liesalllies #triplets
This magic moment #triplets
I first held Eleanor 3 years ago today. Maybe I shouldn't continue writing about things that happened 3 years ago, but ETC's birthday & #PrematurityAwarenessMonth always make November a month of reflection for me. And to be honest, I still feel the effect