Monday, May 16, 2011

LA's Gran Bars

Ok so I lied. Somewhere between clicking "publish post" and grabbing a sweater for the patio, the sky darkened and rain came tumbling down. So instead I made these:

So I thought I'd put up my recipe, since I frequently get asked for it.
Good luck!

Here's what you'll need:
2.5 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup sunflower (or sesame or similar) seed
1/4 cup flax seed (not ground!)
1 cup raw almonds (or other nuts)
1/4 cup peanut butter (I use the fresh ground from Fresh Market/ WF)
1/4 cup natural honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup dried fruit (chopped small)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

First, Mix your oats, nuts, and seeds in a big bowl and spread on a lined baking sheet and set timer for 10 minutes.

While these are toasting, combine the ingredients for your glue (honey, pbutter, brown sugar, sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla) in a small pot. Once your timer goes off, reset it for 5 minutes and then turn the burner on very low. Be sure to mix the glue well or else it will start to burn. 

When the oats mixture is finished, pull it out and pour it back into your big bowl. Add your dried fruit and stir. Then take the glue and pour it over the oats, trying to get every last bit out of the pot. But don't take too long or it will start to stiffen!

Use a big spoon to mix and knead the oats into the glue. You want to make sure every bit is covered to help it all stick together. 

Once it's all mixed, pour it into your lined baking pan. I like to use an 8x8 to make fat, short wedges. I used to use a 9x13 to make thinner bars. Whatever your preference! Use parchment paper to line the pan and create a basket by laying one piece over the other (like a "t"). 

I like to use the liner from the baking sheet (used previously) to press down on the mixture and make it really compact within the pan. The tighter the better for sticking!

When you're all packed in, stick it back in the oven. This is where it gets tricky. Depending on the amount of chewy/crunchy you want and the size pan you use, your baking times will change. 
For an 8x8 I try to bake for about 10 minutes for chewy bars. It may take you a few times to test out what time works best for you. 

Pull it out of the oven and let it sit to cool for a few minutes before you pull it out of the pan or it will lose its shape. When you do pull it out, stick it on a cutting board and let it cool completely before cutting into your desired bars.

Ta da!
Wrap them tight and put them in a big ziplock!

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