I haven’t been baking much recently.
There’s always a excuse reason of course, and this time, though it may sound stupid, is that there’s not enough space in the fridge and freezer. Too many boxes of half eaten ice cream, fruits and other random things in there so that making a cake, especially an ice cream one (which is at the top of my ‘to bake’ list at the moment) out of the question.
Then I wanted to make some more of these crunchy granola bars, which involve no refrigeration whatsoever. And to make things more perfect, they’re ridiculously simple to make (literally just mix, splat on a pan and bake), somewhat healthy and a favourite in our family…….
…..only to realise that we’d run out of puffed rice.
My quest for crunchy granola bars ended when I came across this recipe, a copycat recipe of my favourite packaged muesli bars. Because it only uses oil and honey to bind the ingredients together, they are incredibly crunchy. I’ve experimented with nut butters and other random things to bind them but the best results have come from the original recipe though I tend to use a lot more honey than the recipe calls for.
The recipe calls for a variety of different ground nuts, but I tend to use whatever I have on hand at the moment, and though the original recipe doesn’t call for it, I’d suggest throwing in a handful (or more) of choc chips to these bars- it’s so good!
Granola Bars Recipe
Recipe adapted from here
1/3 cup (37 g) ground raw almonds
1/3 cup (37 g) ground raw pecans I used walnuts
1/3 cup (37 g) ground raw cashews
1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
1/2 cup (80 g) granulated coconut palm sugar (can substitute 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar)
2 cups (200 g) old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups (60 g) puffed rice cereal I used puffed rice, which I heated in the oven for 10 minutes to make crispier
8 tablespoons (170 g) honey
5 tablespoons (70 g) virgin coconut oil, melted (can substitute vegetable oil)
- Preheat your oven to 325°F/160°C. Line a quarter sheet pan with baking paper and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, place the ground almond, ground pecans (or walnuts), ground cashews, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the oats and puffed rice cereal, and then the honey and oil, and mix to combine well. I find that I need a little extra honey and oil for the mixture to come together. Start with the amount in the recipe then keep adding more until it starts to stick together. The mixture should be a little loose but should stick together when you press on it firmly.
- Scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Cover the baking sheet with another sheet of baking paper, and place another quarter sheet pan on top of the top sheet of parchment paper. Apply as much even pressure as possible on the top sheet pan to compress the mixture as much as possible.
- Remove the top quarter sheet pan and the top piece of parchment paper, and place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the bars are evenly golden brown
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the bars cool for 5 minutes before sliding them out on top of the parchment paper and slice into 3 rows of 5 rectangles. Allow to cool completely before separating the bars. They will crisp as they cool, and will hold together well once cool.