Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Study Snack: Crunchy Granola Bars

MD is in his final semester of school. After we graduated undergrad together, Mitchell began graduate school and is now trying to wrap up his PhD. You could say I’ve gotten accustomed to very late nights of studying, especially during these last few months when he’s been hitting it harder than he ever has before.

While he was studying one evening, I wanted to make him a little snack to keep the pep in his step. What would be better than a crunchy, healthful granola bar?


These were so easy! This is a great base that you can adapt the recipe to however you’d like. Here’s how I made mine:

First, toast your coconut flakes and almond slivers. You can totally skip this step, but I don’t suggest that you do. Brown the coconut and almonds on a baking pan and place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. 


You must keep an eye on this! One minute the coconut is white, the next minute it’s smoking. Just saying


See why you mustn't skip this step?


Next, combine the butter, flax seeds, cranberries, oats and chocolate chips in a bowl.


Add the sweetened condensed milk.


Keep it coming. Don’t worry about this stuff. It’s good for you to indulge once in a while.


Add the toasted coconut flakes and almond slivers on top.


Beat with a hand mixer until combined. Spread onto a lightly greased baking sheet. My dough was about one inch deep and I left about two-three inches on each side like this:


Look at that gorgeous texture!


Pop the pan in the oven set at 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Stop right here if you prefer chewy granola bars. Allow the dough to cool and slice into bars with a pizza slicer.

If you prefer a crunchier granola bar like MD and I do, take the pan of granola out of the oven after they've baked for 20-25 minutes. Keep the oven on, but turn the heat down to 200 degrees. Once the temperature has dropped, place the baking sheet back in the oven for about 45 minutes to continue baking. This will allow the remaining moisture to escape to give the bar a crunch!

Remove the baking sheet. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes and then slice into bars with a pizza slicer.

Serve these up for the perfect coffee partner, afternoon snack or late night pick-me-up.


MD loved them!



Cheers!
Christi

Ingredients:
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup of flax seeds 
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sweetened condensed milk, butter, coconut, almonds, chocolate chips and cranberries with your hands until well blended. Press flat into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, depending on how crunchy you want them. Lightly browned just around the edges will give you moist, chewy bars. Let cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares then let cool completely before serving.

2 comments:

Ally Garner said...

Oh I love a good granola bar recipe. I've just started making my own this last year. I gotta say, i LOVE the addition of sweetened condensed milk. That is a yummy treat!

Congrats to Mitchell on finishing up his PhD!! I know you must be so proud of him for such an amazing achievement and so excited for his future :) Many blessings to you both!

Christi's Chirps said...

Thank you so much, Ally! Once you start making them, I can see why you wouldn't buy that packaged mess again. :) You've got to have a little sweetened condensed milk every now and again, though.

Thank you for the congrats! I really am so, so proud of him! It's going to be very exciting when he gets to walk across that stage this winter! :)

I really appreciate you stopping by and for your sweet note.

xo,
Christi