Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Toasted Oat Granola Bars

Granola bars remind me of Brownie Day Camp... I hated Brownie Day Camp. (Sorry Mom) Well, I liked the idea of being outdoors, running,crafting and singing, but for some reason I was always stuck in the boring group...Really I was.  So, I have always thought of Granola bars and Brownie Day Camp being a bit boring and a bit... hmm "dry."
Nope, not these little beauties... they are full of flavor and you can say good bye to the boring granola of yesterday.  One big secret is that they are more of a cookie then granola... oops I forgot to mention that one.
Toasting the oats in butter adds a great amount of flavor... so did the cranberries and raisins. You could also add toasted nuts.
 One other real great surprise was the use of honey, molasses and brown sugar. It made a thick gooey syrup that was mixed with the oats and flax meal before baking. Just pure goodness..I swear!
These bars are good for a breakfast treat, packed up for a snack on your next hike, or just because you want to remind yourself of good ol' Brownie Day Camp on a hot summer day.

Toasted Oat Granola Bars
From Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours

Toasting the oats in the butter adds a ton of flavor and texture to these bars. I found that they were best eaten the day they were made. However stored in an airtight container they should last a couple of days. They do get a little bit hard the next day, but they were still pretty good.

1/2 stick unsalted butter

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon flax seed meal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup cranberries

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325 / Butter a 9x9 inch baking pan or glass baking dish

Melt the butter in a medium size pot on Medium heat. Add the oats and stir until they absorb the butter and become a toasted golden brown color.

Pour the oats in a large bowl and add 1/2 cup flax meal and cinnamon. Wipe clean the pot to use later for the syrup.

Toss the raisins and cranberries with the 1 tablespoon flax meal and then chop. The flax actually helps prevent the dried fruit from sticking to the knife. (Wonderful discovery) Add them to the oat mixture.

To make the syrup add the honey, brown sugar, molasses and salt to the reserved pot. Over a medium heat cook the syrup until it is boiling evenly. It took me about 6 min.

Pour over the oat mixture and toss to coat all of the oats and fruit. Pour into the prepared pan. Gently press the oat mixture evenly into the pan.

Bake for about 20 to 25 min. Remove, let cool for about 10 min. Cut the granola into squares and the remove from the pan. Eat right away and think of all those days at camp where you ate granola until it was coming out of your ears.

Time to get Dirty!!!


  1. These look so good! I keep meaning to make my own granola bars but I never do. I really like this because of the cranberries and the cinnamon, yum!

  2. These look great! I'm going to have to try them.

  3. If only I could turn on my oven. I'll save it for whenever the temperature drops below 90.

  4. These look awesome! I happen to have a ton of agave syrup at home... wondering if I could sub that in for part of the honey and/or molasses?

  5. These are always worth the make. You can really play with flavors and spices too. Everybody loves baked goods, especially if they're good for you.

  6. Wow! These look delicious. What exactly is flax seed "meal"? Is it just the same as flax seed? Where would I find it in the supermarket? I am just not into baking healthy things so these sort of items confuse me, ya know. But I definitely would like to try this recipe. Your photos make them look awesome!

  7. Oh YUM--these are just in time to make for school snacks, too!
    Thank you!

  8. @ Heidi- Flax seed meal is just ground up flaxseeds. I get mine at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Usually Bob's Red Mill brand. I put it on everything from yogurt to baking it into muffins. It is pretty good stuff. At least I think so!

  9. These are just about the best looking home-made granola bars I've ever seen. I totally understand about the butter/best eaten the same day thing too. My favorite oatmeal raisin cookies are that way; still good the next day but eat-3-dozen good the day you cook them. :)

  10. I hated Brownie Day Camp too! But these granola bars look fantastic :)

  11. These look like the best bars! The hubster goes through granola bars like there is no tomorrow and I'm sure I'd win big points if I made him some of these :)

  12. Wow this looks tasty! I don't mind that it's more like a cookie than a granola bar. I mean with the oats and raisins and cranberries and all, it's a sure-fire recipe for granola goodness!