Yummy thick & chewy granola bars

This recipe is CRAZY adaptable. It is great with all sorts of combinations- different nuts, fruits, nut butters, etc.

1 2/3 Cups rolled oats

1/3 Cups oat flour (you can buy this or just process oats until super fine)

1/3  Cup light sugar (white or light brown)

1 tspn salt

1/2 tspn cinnamon

2-3 Cups dried fruits and nuts, all in small pieces

6 Tbls melted butter or veggie oil

1/4 C liquid sweet stuff (honey or maple syrup)

2 Tbls water

1 Tbls molasses (optional)

1/3 C nut butter (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.
  2. Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and nut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap can help with this, as you press down on the back of it.)
  3. Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but don’t fret, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
  4. Cool the bars in their pan for 20 min or so on a cooling rack. After about 20 minutes you can use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars, and place them in their paper on the rack to cool the rest of the way. Once 100% cool, a serrated knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars into squares.
  5. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container. In humid weather, it’s best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

*Suggestions: Dried cranberries, apricots, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, walnuts, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried a or even chocolate chips. My mix: pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, cherries and apricots!

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