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Sweet Stuff! Granola Bars and Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Posted Apr 06 2012 10:38am

I've been doing a bit of baking lately. After years of not using the oven, it's fun to bake again. I used to do a LOT of baking, especially for some of the jobs I've had.

Who doesn't love granola bars? They're delicious and sweet, yet healthy (if you make your own) and portable!

I make and sell two kinds of granola bars at the local farmers market in the summer. They're always a hit and sell out. While I'm not giving away those secret recipes, I've got two yummy granola bar recipes to share. While bars both include a lot of the same ingredients, the results are completely different
Bar #1:
Soft, dense, slightly chewy but kinda cakey texture

Bar #2
Super chewy, needs to stay chilled, moist, almost sticky

What do you prefer?!

Chewy Granola Bars (#1)

I made these bars a few times last summer and only today did I stumble upon the few pics I took. It was such a busy time of year that I didn't get around to posting but I'm glad I came across the photo reminder because I think I'll be making them again soon. If you want a vegan bar, use 1 tablespoon ground flax seed: 3 tablespoons water to replace the egg*.

Chewy Granola Bars

2 cups oats
1 cup gluten free flour blend (I used bob's mill)
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup mixture raisins, dried apricots, cherries, cranberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (any nut)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2/3 cup almond butter
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg*
3 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir together dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Beat the coconut sugar, almond butter, syrup, egg, oil, and vanilla until creamy.
Mix the wet and dry mixtures together.
Spread into a 9x13" pan.
Bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes (I bake for 25 mins).
Cool, slice into bars. Store in the fridge.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bars (#2)

If you like peanut butter and chocolate, you'll enjoy these. I think they're a bit more dessert-like than the baked variety. If you don't eat honey, try with maple syrup or agave.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bars

3/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/8 teaspoon himalayan or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cup large flake oats
1/2 cup ground oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried apricots, cranberries, or dates, chopped

Heat the honey, coconut sugar and salt in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then turn off heat. Stir in the vanilla.
Stir together all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir to combine- the chocolate will melt into the mixture.
Press into a greased 9x13" pan or for a thicker bar press into 9x9" pan.
Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or until very firm.
Slice into bars or squares. Store the fridge. These freeze well.

Granola balls? Why not?!

Make above mixture, but scoop into balls using mini ice cream scoop. Transfer to parchment paper and chill in the fridge.
I dipped some of these balls in dark chocolate and oooh boy, they're yummy!

I took on another baking project lately. I've been eyeing Michelle and Lori's Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake since they posted it a while ago and knew I had to make it. Their photos are mouth watering and the recipe is straight forward.

For my first attempt, I used the suggested two eggs (they used flax eggs). Unfortunately the cake turned out really dry. A little dry? Not to worry! ... I made the frosting (which is totally delish), spread it on the cake. It didn't help - the cake was way too dry. I was so bummed.

Alas, not wanting to waste I decided to turn it into cake balls! I scraped the cake up, mixed it with some coconut oil and maple syrup, rolled into balls, chilled, and then dipped into my dark raw chocolate. Yum!

They became addicting. I have a stash in my freezer and have been dipping a few here and there. They've been a big hit with the people I've shared with.

Determined to make this recipe work for me, I tried the cake a second time! This time, I used the flax "eggs". It didn't work out again. Boo hoo, I just want a piece of that cookie cake! I guess the Universe wants me to go straight to Lori and Michelle's house for a piece of this lovely cake or universe doesn't want me to have it at all, lol. I'm tempted to try it a third time...

A bit of news. The lovely Amy Levin is holding a workshop at the Creative Health Institute this month! Learn how to make beautiful raw chocolates on April 22/23!

Last chance to get in on the Sweetly Raw chocolates Easter sale . I'm doing a last shipment on Tuesday. Email for details on how to order.

Otherwise, you can now  order a few Sweetly Raw chocolate items from Raw Guru  (caramel pecan choccie clusters and almond butter cups)! Add other goodies to your order and get free shipping on orders over $100.

Have a wonderful Easter!
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