Wholly Granoly !!!

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This was my first attempt at granola bars. I have made lots of no-bake granola squares but I am not sure if they even count.  “The Exchange” in Bolton, asked me to make treats as a film crew were coming in to do a story about the new facility. It seems like every thing I bake there is totally unhealthy, but come on in all fairness I am learning to be a pastry chef, you know my favorite ingredient is butter followed by chocolate. When I baked there last there was a workshop on healthy eating habits.  The nutritionist  had recommended a zucchini vegan brownie for my chocolate workshop,  OMG just kill me now. Anyway I degress , so I decided to make healthy granola bars today-well as healthy as I get, I still used butter and chocolate!  So I am pretty proud of myself as this is my second truly unique recipe creation. I started with about 4 different granola recipes and then decided that none of them had what I wanted.

Be pre-warned the ingredients are endless, 37 to be exact, but the recipe is crazy easy.  Bulk foods will be your new best friend.  It makes TONS. I can’t give you an exact number as it depends on how you cut them. My  batch usually makes about 40, baked in a ( 13 X18 ) pan.

 

BASE DRY ingredients

5 cups quick rolled oats

3 cups large flake oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup oat bran

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/3 cup ground flax

2 cup Special K red berry cereal

2 cups rice crispy cereal

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

BASE WET Ingredients

3/4  cup liquid honey

1/2 cup blue agave nectar

1/4 cup molasses

3/4  cup maple syrup

3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup melted butter

2 large eggs / at room temperature

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

6 dashs of Dillons Cranberry Bitters

ADD-ONS

2 cups mini chocolate chips (can use any blend) I used pure milk chocolate and semi-sweet

1 1/2 cup marshmallows

1 cup roasted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup coated candy sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup coconut/un-sweetened

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup dried apricots

1/4 cup dried figs

1/4 cup prunes

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup whole unsalted peanuts

2 tablespoon chai seeds

2 tablespoons cacao nibs

3 tab flax seed

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350F and lightly spray parchment with baking non-stick spray

1) mix with wooden spoon all BASE DRY ingredients in a very large bowl-ensure you blend all ingredients

2) Place all nuts on baking sheet and roast for 8-10 min until lightly roasted, watch carefully as they can burn quickly/ let cool and set aside

3) chop apricot, figs, prunes into small pieces

4) take nuts, dried fruit and all ADD-INS and add to base dry Ingredients, mix well

5) mix BASE  WET ingredients in medium size bowl and blend until combined

 

6) add Base Wet Ingredients to dry ingredients/ you now have a HUGE bowl of granola, make sure that all wet ingredients are well incorporated 

 

 

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Dried Fruit

Nut assortment

Adding option #3 ingredients to BASE DRY

Mixing of BASE WET ingredients

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7)  Pour contents into prepared pan and press firmly down to even out granola

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8) bake for 30-40 minutes or until edges are golden brown

Baked Granola

9) when granola has cooled about 10 minutes lift out of pan carefully and let cool on wire rack

10) when granola is just warm to touch – cut into your preferred size/do not wait too long, if you try to cut when totally cooled it becomes very difficult

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11) if you want you can add a chocolate drizzle or a

yogurt drizzle

(1/3 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup icing sugar, 2 teaspoon orange zest) to your cooled bars

Chocolate drizzle

Chocolate drizzle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After your drizzle has harden you can store in an air-tight container for several weeks. You can wrap individual bars in wax paper and tie with bakers string for a great gift. When I first started making these bars I started with 31 ingredients, I have continued to add, replace and adjust over time. I started selling these at my local farmers market and they are a huge hit! I sell out every week. Some people have said it is the best granola bar they have ever had.  I am entering these babies in the Crosbys http://www.crosbys.com “Raising the Bar” contest.  Last year I entered the contest with my Figgy-Mo cookie and I made the top five, which was really exciting. Fingers crossed I hope my Wholly Granoly makes top marks this year.

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