Friday, June 19, 2009

Going nuts for nuts!

Back around graduation time, a gal I have met through my work adventures had me sample some granola she had made. I haven't been able to get the wonderful flavors out of my head. So I finally emailed her the other day and asked if she would mind sharing her recipe with me. She was so kind as to send it home with a coworker for me yesterday! I was so excited to try the recipe today, but I got home and realized I didn't have any raisins or peanuts. :(

But I came up with my own substitutions that worked just as well. Go ahead, Go NUTS!

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Granola Bars
Serves 9

1/4 cup chopped pecans*
1/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds
4 archer farms organic strawberry fruit leather, chopped*
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup puffed rice cereal
1/8 cup wheat germ

For syrup:
1/4 cup reduced fat peanut butter, smooth style
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 cup light corn syrup
1/8 cup honey
1 TBS pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Coat a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine nuts, fruit leather, cereals, and wheat germ. Set aside.

To make the syrup-
Combine all the "for syrup" ingredients except the vanilla in a small bowl. Microwave 1-2 minutes until bubbly. Add vanilla. Stir well.

Mix together syrup and granola. Once slightly cooled, you may want to spray your hands with cooking spray and kneed the mix a bit more until well incorporated.

Pour into the prepared pan. Press down firmly. Let set one hour to harden. Cut into 9 bars.

Points of interest to the cook:

*The original recipe calls for 1/4 dry roasted peanuts and 1 cup raisins.

The original recipe gives the choice between 1/4 cup corn syrup or honey instead of 1/8 cup of each.

I love maple syrup. I always have some on hand so I decided to add a tablespoon to my mix. It was a great compliment to the flavors.

This is a very adaptable recipe. Go ahead and play with the flavors to find what you like best. Can be doubled easily.

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