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Author Notes: I was a baker in a very busy, small artisan bakery. Typically we didn't have much time to have a leisurely meal during the day, so these "granola bars" really did the trick. What I love about them is they look like a typical granola bar, but they are taste like a super indulgent treat. When I made them, everyone in the shop couldn't stop nibbling at the pan (I always had to make a separate pan of these babies for all of us bakers to munch on). They are my ideal snack: crisp yet chewy, sweet with salt and chock full of texture. This recipe makes a lot of bars, but trust me, you want them all. They freeze well and also keep extra long in the fridge. —Samantha Ardry
Makes 1 - half sheet tray (about 40 bars)
ounces creamy peanut butter
ounce vanilla extract
ounces old fashioned oats
ounces chopped walnuts
ounces mini chocolate chips
ounces raisins, dried cranberries or both
ounces sunflower seeds
ounces flaked coconut
ounces sesame seeds or flax seeds
- Preheat a conventional oven to 350 F. Grease a half sheet tray (13 x 18).
- Measure 11 1/2 ounces of the old fashioned oats and grind in a food processor to make oat flour. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, briefly cream the peanut butter, honey and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, including the remaining 6 1/4 ounces of oats and the oat flour. Toss to combine and then slowly add to the creamed mixture. Scrap the bowl as necessary to evenly distribute everything.
- Transfer the mixture to the sprayed pan and press down with your hands until the mixture is even and flat. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the edges lightly brown. Let cool completely in the pan. I advise chilling the pan for a couple of hours or even overnight to make the edges more crisp. You can cut to whatever size you please, but I usually cut them into 40 bars that are roughly 1 1/2 x 3 3/8 inches.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Dried Fruit
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Mash-Up Recipe