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Friday, April 1, 2011

Granola Bars (Maple Pecan Pineapple Raisin)

Every now and then, I stumble upon a recipe that is so mind-blowingly simple. For instance, take these granola bars. For YEARS I have been purchasing store bought granola bars. For YEARS I have been wishing that I could find a granola bar that catered to my specific ingredient preferences. For MONTHS I have been bookmarking random granola bar recipes that I wanted to try. Here we finally have it. The beauty of this granola bar recipe is that it is so simple and can absolutely be adjusted to suit your granola bar desires. I am already daydreaming of different flavors and mix-ins to add into these babies. I think I'll likely spend three times as long at the bulk section of the grocery store next time I am there.
Granted, they won't last as long as the store-bought versions do. But, I am absolutely OK with this! The basic formula is pretty simple and SO easy to adapt:

Rolled Grains (2 1/2 cups total): Old Fashioned Oats, Rye flakes, Barley flakes, etc.
Nuts, Seeds and Spices (1 cup total): Almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla extract, etc.
Sticky Sweetener (1/3 cup + 1/4 cup total): Honey, Molasses, Agave, Maple Syrup, etc.
Dried Fruit (1 cup total): Raisins, Dates, Cranberries, Pineapple, Cherries, etc.
Binder (1 cup total): Apple butter, Peanut Butter, Almond butter, Unsweetened applesauce, pureed dried fruit, etc.

This was the combination that I tried the first time I made them. They were pretty sticky and sweet, but totally delicious!
Maple Pecan Pineapple Raisin Granola Bars
inspired by Brown Eyed Baker, from Good Life Eats
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 3 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried pineapple
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk applesauce, honey, syrup, spices, and extract (Sticky and Binder ingredients) in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in your oats (Rolled Grain ingredients) thoroughly mixing to moisten completely.
  4. Mix in your nuts and dried fruit.
  5. Firmly press mixture in your parchment lined baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Place baking pan in freezer to firm for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the pan from the freezer, remove bars with parchment, and cut. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

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