Cardamom & Browned Butter Hazelnut-Cherry Granola Bars

By • February 2, 2011 17 Comments

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Author Notes: Granola bar inspired after reading a couple online recipes, I modified, using a few of my favorite flavors to get a sweet, tart, nutty taste, with a burst of browned butter in every bite; the cardamom adds a unique spiced flavor as well as leaving your kitchen with a wonderful fragrant aroma!lapadia

Makes 18 bars

Browned Butter

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Heat a thick-bottomed saucepan on medium low heat, add 8 tablespoons sliced up butter - melt and cook, check often, giving the pan a shake; the milk solids will rise to the top and start to foam up. Check for browned specks to form at the bottom; the butter will start to turn golden and will be done when it has turned a medium dark and gives off a nutty aroma. Move the saucepan to a cool surface and strain out the solids. Let sit until needed.

Granola Bar

  • 2 cups old fasioned rolled oats
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom seed (Penzey's)
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries – 1/4 cup of them chopped finely
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • Browned butter, see above
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment or heavy duty foil, extending it over the sides; press to form into the pan.
  2. Grease the parchment or foil = bottom and up the sides a quarter inch with 1 tablespoon browned butter.
  3. Mix the first 7 ingredients in a wide bowl – set aside until needed.
  4. Heat the remaining browned butter, sugar and agave or honey until it begins to boil and foam. Pour over the dry ingredients, mix, saturate and coat throughout - the bars will have a hard time holding together if not.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan; using a spatula, press lightly, but enough to ensure the mixture is holding together - spread evenly.
  6. Bake 45 minutes, or until top turns golden brown. Note: if overcooked you will end up with granola clusters rather than bars when cut.
  7. Begin cooling in the pan - on a rack for at least 30 minutes. Lift out of the pan, using the extended foil and place back on the rack until the granola is set.
  8. Transfer to a cutting board, peel off the parchment of foil and cut into bars - or squares if you prefer.
  9. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze; these bars freeze well.

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