Granola bars – true granola bars

granola-fina

A true granola bar recipe is hard to find.  This is the real thing, reminiscent of the ones they sell in the stores.  After all…isn’t that our goal –  to duplicate store bought products?  I was given this recipe years ago by a young woman who helped us at the restaurant.  She got it from a niece who got it from a seventh grade home economics teacher.  I will ever be grateful.

The recipe and instructions follow.  It is very easy and allows for any variations you care to make.  The recipe is not at all difficult but there are three techniques involved that will insure your success. 

1) For the full recipe, use the pan size designated

2) Make sure the mixture is spread perfectly even in the pan

3) Do not overbake

Bear those three things in mind and you will have great results.  Here we go…

Basic Granola Bar Recipe:

1 cup sugar

5 ounces butter or real margarine

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons karo syrup

2 tablespoons peanut butter (optional)

4 3/4 cups rolled oats (quick not old-fashioned)

4 cups added ingredients (total)- this can be a combination of different nuts, chocolate chips, other baking chips, coconut, raisins and other dried fruits, anything you care to try.

first-five-granola

In large bowl combine first five ingredients.

creamed

Cream together well.

additional-dry

Add oats and your choice of 4 cups of personalized ingredients.

all-mixed-with-mixer

Mix well and then spread evenly in greased baking sheet.

spread-evenly

This recipe is perfectly suited to what is known as a half pan or a pan 12×18.  If you decide to make a half recipe, then adjust the pan size accordingly.

pressed-evenly

Press the dough with fingers making sure the granola is perfectly even all across and not thinner of thicker in any part.

baked

Bake in 350 oven between 15-20 minutes.  You want the granola to be set but not brown around the edges.  Believe it or not the picture above is baked.  Notice that the edges have not begun to turn brown.  This is the tricky part and might take some guesswork the first time or two.

parchment-guide

When the granola has cooled slightly but not completely, cut in half using a folded sheet of parchment of paper as a guide.

quartered-cut

Then quarter the pan, again using the paper as guide…

final-cut

and from there cut as many portions as you like in whatever shape you prefer.  Once the granola is cut, allow to cool completely and then store in heavy ziploc bags or nice airtight containers.  This truly is the best recipe I have ever worked with.  My favorite combination of ingredients is 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup coconut, 1 cup pecans and one cup raisins…but honestly…any combination tastes great!

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