Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I bribe people with granola bars

I go to high school with my brother.

  • Carpooling...the part where I have to drag my brother out of the house early to get to my AP tests and the resentment is palpable.
  • Observations on how I look exactly like my male relative
  • Being subjected to a tickle attack in public in front of people who actually know me.
  • Getting to see my amazing little bro around school on a daily basis
  • Coming across my brother's bookbag unattended in the hall and hiding it behind a pole and watching him freak out :D
  • Getting to know lots of freshmen, which makes me look really popular when I'm walking down freshman hall 

My brother's friends are really nice and usually we greet each other and share a few words when we pass at school. There was one notable exception: Jimmy, who pretended I didn't exist when we passed in the hall.

And then, everything changed. Jimmy tasted one of my granola bars.

He LOVED them. I learned all about it from my brother. Pretty soon my brother was asking me if I could make extra granola bars so he could bring some to school to give to Jimmy.

My response? "I don't know, Jimmy never says hi to me at school."

Now Jimmy says hi to me every day ;)

Hear that? Granola bars so good you can use them as LEVERAGE!

Granola Bars
My favorite granola recipe, in portable energy-packed form! They're full of fiber and protein, so they're filling and energy boosting, but a thin layer of chocolate also gives a tasty edge for someone with a sweet tooth. Pop 'em in the freezer and pull one out when you need a quick and healthy snack! Makes one tray, about 25 granola bars.

4 cups oats
3  cups raw nuts (of your choice...I love almonds, walnuts, pecans...)
1 1/4 cups honey
1 cup peanut butter (or almond butter, or another kind of butter)
6 oz dark chocolate

0. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
1. Combine the oats and the chopped nuts in a large bowl.
2. Put the peanut butter and honey in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals until the mixture is runny. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir until evenly combined; the granola should be clumpy and sticky.
3. Cover a cookie sheet (must have the lip around the edge) with wax paper. Melt the chocolate in a saucepan or a double-broiler. Pour the melted chocolate over the wax paper. Using a knife or rubber spatula, spread a thin, even layer of chocolate over the entire bottom of the cookie sheet.
4. Using a large spoon, spoon the granola over the chocolate in an even layer and press it down into a dense sheet.
5. Using a large knife, divide the sheet of granola into granola-bar-sized-rectangles. (I know it sounds weird to do it raw, but it is much easier to separate the raw mix than the solidified stuff.)
6. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until the granola on the top starts to brown. (If the top of the bars still feel soft when you pull them out, don't worry; they will solidify as they cool.) 
7. Let the bars cool COMPLETELY(let them sit overnight or put them in the fridge. The chocolate needs to solidify). Once they are cool, the individual bars should be easy to separate along the perforations you made before baking. 
8. Pack in sandwich baggies and take on the run!

Awesome cooking tip! Spritz or spread your cookie sheet with canola oil before you lay down the wax paper; it causes the wax paper to stick to your sheet. No sliding all over the place, no round corners, ideal base for spreading a tiny layer of chocolate! 

The raw granola, separated with a knife
The cooked granola!
Look how easy that is to separate!

1 comment:

  1. I just feel like I should tell you I make this all the time. Have them for breakfast, use them as my gift for a potluck, throw them in gloveboxes for when I realize my schedule won't allow for dinner, and of course bribe people with them. (I can get people to go anywhere when I tell them I'll bring granola bars.) I have changed this recipe some because I don't tend to go to the grocery store for individual recipes. (a problem I should fix because it means that I will buy 10 yards of interfacing because I know I'll forget that it is a notion.) Anyway, I have put dried fruit in, left the chocolate out, once I used m&ms instead of chocolate, and it added an extra crunch that was just awesome.

    Thank you for this.