Homemade Granola Bars
Granola Bars have been around forever and versions abound. What I love about Ivy Manning’s take on this classic is that hers are both a tad crispy and chewy at the same time, which makes for a very satisfying snack. The hazelnuts also elevate these into a bit of a more upscale treat. Her book Better From Scratchis jam-packed with home prepared goodies like her Layered Mint Chocolates.
Excerpted with permission. Better From Scratchby Ivy Manning. Published by Weldon Owen, 2014.
These crispy, yet slightly chewy granola bars are endlessly adaptable as long as you keep the ratio of dry to wet ingredients the same. Try the two variations below or create your own granola bar flavors.
- Hazelnuts, 1 cup (5 oz/155 g)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Wheat germ, 1⁄2 cup (11⁄2 oz/45 g)
- Ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
- Salt, 1⁄2 teaspoon
- Old-fashioned rolled oats, 21⁄2 cups (71⁄2 oz/235 g)
- Dried cranberries, 1 cup (4 oz/125 g)
- Pecans, 1⁄2 cup (2 oz/60 g) chopped
- Unsalted butter, 1⁄2 cup (4 oz/125 g), cut into pieces
- Brown sugar, 1⁄2 cup (31⁄2 oz/105 g) firmly packed
- All-natural peanut butter, 1⁄2 cup (5 oz/155 g)
- Maple syrup, 1⁄3 cup (3 fl oz/80 ml)
- Large egg whites, 2, lightly beaten until frothy
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until the nuts are golden brown and the skins are blistered, about 15 minutes. Working in small batches, rub the still-warm nuts vigorously between your palms to remove their papery skins. Do not worry if some skin remains intact. Leave the oven on.
- Spray a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking pan with cooking spray. In a food processor, combine the hazelnuts, wheat germ, cinnamon, and salt and pulse just until finely ground, about 20 short pulses. Transfer to a bowl, add the oats, cranberries, and pecans, and stir to combine.
- In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, peanut butter, and maple syrup over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour the peanut butter mixture evenly over the oat mixture, stir to combine, and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the egg whites to the granola mixture and stir well. Press the mixture into the prepared pan, packing it down with a rubber spatula. Bake until golden brown around the edges and no longer sticky to the touch, 20–25 minutes. Cut into 12 bars in the pan, then let cool for at least 1 hour. Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days.
FOR PEANUT CHOCOLATE GRANOLA BARS: Substitute 3⁄4 cup (31⁄2 oz/105 g) unsalted roasted peanuts for the hazelnuts and omit the cranberries. Chill the oat mixture for 15 minutes before adding the egg whites and 1 cup (6 oz/185 g) semisweet chocolate chips.
FOR VERY NUTTY BARS: Substitute toasted almonds and toasted cashews for the hazelnuts and 1⁄4 cup (11⁄4 oz/35 g) each hulled pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and 2 tablespoons flaxseeds for the pecans. Use coconut oil in place of the butter and almond butter in place of the peanut butter. Add the grated zest of 1 orange with the egg whites.