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Author Notes: Granola bar inspired after reading a couple online recipes, I modified, using a few of my favorite flavors for a sweet, tart, nutty taste, with a burst of browned butter in every bite. In addition, the star ingredient, cardamom gives a unique spiced flavor and leaves your kitchen with a wonderful fragrant aroma! A great on-the-go snack. —lapadia
Makes 18 bars
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Grease the bottom and up the sides a quarter inch with 1 tablespoon browned butter.
- Mix the first 7 ingredients in a wide bowl – set aside until needed.
- 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.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan; using a spatula, press lightly, but enough to ensure the mixture is holding together - spread evenly.
- Bake 45 minutes, or until top turns golden brown. Note: if overcooked you will end up with granola clusters rather than bars when cut.
- 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.
- Transfer to a cutting board, peel off the parchment of foil and cut into bars - or squares if you prefer.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze; these bars freeze well.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Road Trip Snack
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Gluten-Free Baked Good
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Cardamom