My family loves a good granola bar. My husband takes one to work every day, and Monkey asks for one every time he gets buckled in his stroller. Baking my own granola bars seemed like a daunting task, but the chilly weather has kept us indoors for far too many days and Monkey and I were up for a new challenge.
I stumbled upon this recipe and I'm happy to report it's straightforward, yields a very tasty treat and now reduces the amount of ready-made foods in our cupboard. We added dark chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds so feel free to add the bits you like.
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup oat flour (or pulse 1/3 cup oats in a food processor until ground to a fine powder)
1/2 cup brown sugar (next time I will only use 1/4 cup as the bars are sweet)
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 canola oil
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine oats, oat flour, brown sugar, flax meal, fruit and nuts; mix to distribute evenly.
In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, oil and corn syrup; mix well, pour onto dry ingredients and mix well.
Line 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper so it extends a few inches over the rim. Press oat mixture into the pan, using the back of a spoon to smooth out the top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is evenly golden. Let cool for 30 minutes before lifting out of the pan. Let them cool even more before cutting into 24 bars (they'll be hard to cut if you don't wait).