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I might have achieved greatness.

Posted Oct 16 2010 12:00am
Take a minute and recall the following posts:

1) Granola Bars                                             
2) Granola Bars, Dissected
3) Granola Bars, Recreated

And then, just forget about them. If you printed the final recipe, toss it into your trash can because I've topped it. I am so excited—I freakin' topped it! My search for the perfect homemade granola bar has come to a pause. Yes, a pause because I do still have a few recipes I'd like to try out. But for now—complete and total deliciousness (and potential greatness) is pictured below.


I call them Oaty Cranberry Granola Bars (so clever), and the original recipe comes from The City Sisters . I've made a few  modifications, which I typed out for you below.

Oaty Cranberry Granola Bars
Ingredients:
1-2/3 cup quick oats
1/3 cup oat flour (Pulse the oats in a food processor to create this.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp wheat germ (optional)
1/3 tsp ground flaxseed (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crushed almonds
1/3 cup crushed hazelnuts
1/3 cup nut butter (I used a peanut/almond combo.)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp water
1/2 cup honey

Directions:
1) Start by preheating your oven to 350F.
2) Combine all of the dry ingredients, even the cranberries and nuts.
3) Add the peanut butter, vanilla, water and honey. (NOTE: Run your measuring cup under hot water
    before pouring the honey into it. It'll make it easier to transfer it into your main bowl.) Mix with a
    spatula until thoroughly combined.
4) Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, making sure the edges of the paper hang over the edges of
    the pan. Pour the mixture into the pan, pressing it down completely using your spatula (or hands, if
    you feel like getting dirty).
5) Bake for 30 minutes, or at least until the edges are brown. Mine only took about 25 minutes total.
6) Once the buzzer sounds, remove the pan from the oven and let the bars cool for a bit. Then, pull on
    the parchment paper to transfer the entire brick to a cooling rack. Thanks, City Sisters, for teaching
    me the following: After about a half hour, transfer the granola bars to the refrigerator and let them
    cool in there for about an hour. (I was impatient and only let them sit for half an hour.) It keeps the
    bars from crumbling when cut.
7) Cut, eat and enjoy!

I ended up putting mine into a nice glass container with a few sheets of parchment paper in between layers. They're still in the refrigerator, totally covered, and I'm hoping this makes them last a bit longer. So far, they're still soft and delicious. Man, they are delicious! I ate one yesterday morning as I was heading out the door to teach Circuit Sculpt. Breakfast is a necessity for me (and it should be for you, too) and this tasty treat kept me energized throughout my entire class. Which, by the way, was pretty darn hard if I do say so myself. I broke a sweat big time. And I think everyone else did, too.

I'm looking forward to making these bars again—and I fully intend to continue playing with the ingredients. I'm thinking dried cherries and super dark chocolate. Or maybe some figs. I've really been wanting to experiment with figs lately.

Must eat through this batch first, though. I'm going out with the sister-in-law this weekend to shop for some bride and bridesmaid dresses. You can be sure I'll have an Oaty Cranberry Granola Bar stuffed into my purse for an emergency shopping snack. Never hesitate to pack a snack if you know you'll be out and about for some time. Beats having to hit the drive-thru, right? Right.

Question: What do you grab when you're headed out to the gym and you haven't eaten anything in a while? And also—any fig suggestions for me?
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