Our dad has recently been experimenting with a homemade granola bar recipe and I fell in love with it. I have asked him to guest post his recipe today with some pictures. Now you get two great things: A look into my dad’s creative mind, and a fabulous recipe. Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!
I like granola bars; they can be as tasty as a candy bar but come without the associated feelings of guilt that a candy bar can provide. The problem I have with granola bars is that there are a limited number of varieties from which to choose. It’s like the operating system for your computer. You can choose between the organic whole grain goodness of Apple Macintosh or the mass produced over-processed pabulum of Microsoft Windows. There is, however, a third choice: the robust and customizable nutrition of Linux.
1 ½ c quick oats
½ c Grape Nuts or Bran Flakes cereal
½ can sweetened condensed milk
¼ c brown sugar
1 T melted butter
¼ t salt
½ t vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Spray an 8”x8” pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
Mix all of the ingredients together including the mix-ins of your choice.
Spoon into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool and then cut into bars.
The two cups of ‘mix-ins’ is what gives this recipe such great versatility. If you’re in the mood for some chocolate and peanut butter (two of the greatest things ever invented) then you could add ½ cup each of chocolate and peanut butter chips with a cup of chopped peanuts. If you want a Mediterranean themed bar, try walnuts, dates and dries apricots. If you’re like my daughter and you don’t like dried fruit in your granola bars, try caramel pieces, almonds and coconuts. (Melissa’s Note: It’s true—this is the best granola flavor he has made!!)
My personal favorite is a bar that I like to call ‘The Aztec’. I use almond extract instead of the vanilla, add ¼ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper and use dried cherries, chocolate chips and almonds. Muy delicioso.