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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)
- 26 1/4 ounces creamy peanut butter
- 15 ounces honey
- 1/2 ounce vanilla extract
- 17 3/4 ounces old fashioned oats
- 7 3/4 ounces chopped walnuts
- 7 3/4 ounces mini chocolate chips
- 7 ounces raisins, dried cranberries or both
- 6 1/4 ounces sunflower seeds
- 3 3/4 ounces flaked coconut
- 2 1/2 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