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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chewy Granola Bars with Pecans, Chocolate, and Cherries

Here's another favorite from Molly Wizenburg, this one from her blog Orangette. I can't make these too often. When they're in the house, I eat them for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dessert. Although they are a bit crumbly I like to take them with me when I travel, because they are solid enough to fill in for a meal. The kids like them, too, although one doesn't love the dried cherries.
 


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Chewy Granola Bars with Pecans, Chocolate, and Cherries


Very slightly modified from Orangette

4 c quick cooking oats, divided
2/3 c sugar
2 c raw pecan halves
1 c unsweetened coconut chips
1 c bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 c dried cherries
1 teas salt
1/2 teas cinnamon
2/3 c creamy peanut butter
2 teas vanilla
12 T unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c honey
2 T water

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9x13 pan by spraying it lightly with cooking spray. Line it with a rectangle of parchment paper that overlaps on two sides--enough for you to use to pull the bars out of the pan when they're done. Lightly grease the parchment paper.

Process 2/3 c of the quick-cooking oats in a food processor until finely ground. In a large bowl, stir together the remaining 3 1/3 c oats, ground oats, sugar, pecans, coconut chips, chocolate chips, dried cherries, salt, and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vanilla, melted butter, honey, and water. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir well, until the mixture is evenly moistened. Transfer to the pan, pressing the mixture firmly to ensure that it molds to the shape of the pan. For less mess, place a piece of plastic wrap over the top before you push the bars in.

Bake for 30 minutes, until they're brown around the edges and just beginning to color on top. Transfer the pan to a rack, and allow the bars to cool completely in the pan. Then pull up on the parchment paper to lift the sheet of bars out of the pan. Cut the bars into squares and enjoy.

Note on ingredients: To make quick cooking oats, I pulse regular rolled oats in the food processor several times, until most oats are cut once or twice. Also, I had a hard time finding the coconut chips in my local stores, so I ordered those from Amazon. 

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