I eat an awful lot of granola bars. I’ve tried a few times over the past couple years to make my own, but it’s a hard thing to get right. You need enough sticky stuff to make them hold together, but too much makes them sickeningly sweet. The first recipe I tried pretty much just made oatmeal cookie bars. Not the same thing. My next few attempts didn’t stick together at all. I finally made a batch that held together, but an excess of brown rice syrup made them like toffee. They were dubbed tooth shattering granola bars.
I gave up on the whole thing for a year or so, but then a few weeks ago I decided to try again. I came very close; they were just a little too sticky and sweet. Then this past weekend I came just a little bit closer. These ones came out pretty good, they just didn’t quite hold together as well as I would have liked. But now that I think about it they might hold together better if you cut them while they’re still warm. I waited until they had cooled completely, which is where I think I got in to trouble.
Next time I may try replacing just a tiny bit of the peanut butter with brown rice syrup to see if they hold together a little better. Otherwise I think the recipe is a keeper. They’re sweet and salty and nutty, kind of chewy but not sticky.
- 2 1/2 cups brown rice cereal (the rice crispy kind, not the puffed kind)
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup wheat bran
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
- 3/4 cup pecan halves
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 x 9 baking pan for thick bars, or a 9 x 13 pan for thinner bars. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Combine the syrups and nut butters in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring constantly just until the mixture is smooth. Pour the syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well, making sure everything is well coated. Scrape the granola mixture into the prepared pan. Place a piece of wax paper over the granola and use your hand to pack the granola down into the pan. Press hard. Peel off the wax paper and bake for about 30 minutes, until the surface is lightly browned and sort of crisp looking. Let cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a cutting board. Cut into bars and allow to cool completely. If it falls apart when you turn it out of the pan, try pressing it back together with your hands while its still warm.
UPDATE 1/17/2009: These granola bars are OK and all, but I’ve come up with a new recipe that I like much better. You can find it here.