Monday, October 25, 2010

Granola Bars

Although I am a firm believer in dessert- and real dessert, not dessert made with sugar substitutes or fake anything, it is good to have a more healthy sweet alternative.  I first tasted these at Flour Bakery a few months ago and thought they were delicious.  They are good for breakfast, a snack or even dessert. Lucky for me, the recipe is included in the new Flour Bakery cookbook.  It is a little time consuming because there are several steps, but the final product is really good- very fruity with a wonderful crust- and these granola bars taste nothing like what you buy commercially.  

Granola Bars
from Flour by Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson

Granola Jam
1 cup (80 grams) dried apples
1 cup (160 grams) dried cranberries
1 cup (160 grams) dried apricots
1/2 cup (70 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups water

1 cup (100 grams) walnut halves
1 3/4 cups (245 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
2/3 cup (150 grams) packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup (80 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
16 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 8-10 pieces
6 tablespoons (128 grams) honey
3 tablespoons flaxseed
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons millet

To make the jam:  In a medium saucepan, combine the apples, craberries, apricots, granulated sugar and water, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Remove from heat and let sit for about 1 hour.  Transfer to a food processor and pulse 8-10 times or until a chunky jam forms.

     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant.  Let cool.
     Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. In the food processor, combine the flour, oats, nuts, brown sugar, coconut, salt, cinnamon and butter and pulse about 15 times or until the mixture is evenly combined.  Dump the mixture into a medium bowl and drizzle the honey on top.  Work in the honey with your hands until the mixture comes together.  Press about 2/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan.  Place the remaining 1/3 in the refrigerator.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes until light golden brown throughout.  Remove the pan from the oven. Spread the granola jam on top in an even layer, covering the whole surface.  REmove the reserved granola mixture from the refrigerator and break it up with your fingers into a small bowl.  Add the flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and millet and stir to combine.  Sprinkle the mixture like a crumb topping evenly over the jam.  Return the pan to the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2-3 hours.  Cut into 12 bars.  The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.  ((post by Susan)

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