Granola Bars

There are those whose metabolisms are off the charts.  For the rest of us, there are diets.  And, now that I am in my thirties, dieting seems to be a way of life.  Except on the weekends, of course.  Everyone knows that calories don’t count on Saturdays and Sundays.

When you’re busy and lazy, dieting involves a lot of eating prepackaged foods.  After a while, it gets pretty dull.  Every now and then, I like to mix it up.  I figured I would try making something healthy, so that I could have the taste of something homemade without the guilt.  That was when my friend stopped by with a jar of cinnamon honey and a jar of amaretto honey from a local farmer’s market.  I also happened to have a jar of wheat germ lurking in the back of my cabinet.  So, I had the perfect excuse to make some granola bars.  They are a diet staple, after all.

The recipe that I used as a base can be found here.  Since I absolutely dislike dried fruit in my baked goods, I opted for substituting the rasins with other things based on the flavor of the honey that I used.  So, here is my spin on it!

Playgroup Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon (or 1/2 tsp if using cinnamon honey)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips (or chopped nuts of your choice if using amaretto honey)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup honey (I used cinnamon or amaretto honey)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or line with parchment paper (I prefer the parchment paper, since the bars tend to stick to the pan)
  • In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, chips, nuts, and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Mix well using your hands or a sturdy spatula. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.  It may not reach to the edges of the pan, if you like your bars on the thick side.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut

The original recipe states that it yields 24 bars.  I only get 18 out of mine.  Of course, I cut mine into “big people” pieces, so that might have something to do with it.  These bars are dangerously good, so be careful.  It is very easy to eat more of them than you should.  Enjoy!

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