TWD-Granola Energy Bars

This week’s baking challenge for Tuesdays with Dorie was a recipe for Granola Energy Bars.The recipe can be found in Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. I have to admit I wasn’t too excited about making granola bars when there are so many decadent recipes in the book. I associate granola bars with the dry, brittle, “healthy” bars from the 70s, before they started dipping them in chocolate.

I did make the granola bars and I was surprised at how good a homemade, fresh granola bar can be. Especially when it’s loaded with nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chunks and coconut, all held together by thick, sweet rice syrup and lightly flavored with almond extract!  I can’t stop eating them.

These were simple to make, especially after the time consuming Buche de Noel we made last month.  I started making them after I put my grandson to bed at 8 and they were already cooling as I settled in on the couch to watch Downton Abbey at 9!

Here are a few pix I took with my camera phone throughout the process.

Getting ready to toast the oatmeal and nuts. I used cashews, almonds, walnuts and pepitas.

Getting ready to toast the oats and nuts.

I used cashews, almonds, walnuts and pepitas.

Oats, nuts, coconut and dried fruit.

Oats, nuts, coconut and dried fruit.

I chopped the nuts in my food processor, but a few of the almonds escaped whole.

And some semi-sweet chocolate chunks for good measure. Just in case they were dry, brittle or too "healthy".

And some semi-sweet chocolate chunks for good measure.

Just in case the bars turned out dry, brittle or too “healthy” tasting.

Fresh from the oven, a little ragged around the edges. I admit I did not have the patience to try to make a nice, neat rectangle with the buttered parchment paper. I kinda jammed the paper in as best as i could.

Fresh from the oven.

A little ragged around the edges. I admit I did not have the patience to try to make a nice, neat rectangle with the buttered parchment paper. I just jammed the paper in as best as I could. The upside is that I got to eat all the jagged edges after I cut the bars into rectangles.

GRANOLA ENERGY BARS

GRANOLA ENERGY BARS

I was not able to use the pictured tool to cut the granola bars. In the end I used a giant butcher knife. I had to apply a lot of pressure to cut the granola into bars and was seriously concerned I might lose a finger!

Overall, I’m glad I made these and I see so many possibilities for changing up the ingredients and flavorings. I’m thinking blueberries and white chocolate. Or maybe pecans with maple extract. Yum!

Coming soon: Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake! Doesn’t that sound perfectly comforting on a cold, winter’s night? All cozy with a book and a hot mug of something? I think so!