Last night I made some granola bars. This morning, I wanted to get to the roastery early, so I grabbed some of the granola off the baking sheet, put it in a Pyrex bowl, and off to the shop I went.
I like to share, so I put my granola out to share with customers who stopped in for coffee. You would think I was feeding them caviar, the way some them raved. And a few people asked for the recipe, so here it is:
Preface: There’s not really any right or wrong way to do this. It’s grains, nuts and seeds, with some fat and sweetener. Roughly 8:0.6:1, grains:fat:sweet, or thereabouts. The only “trick” to it is that your “dough” should be sticky enough to make into a doughball without crumbling. Also, big chunks tend not to bind as well, so chop big things into smaller pieces. Improvise your own recipe based on this one.
Preheat oven to 350F
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup flax meal (so if you don’t have this, I would pulverize nuts into a powder instead and substitute)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped cashews (I like the salted ones, then I don’t use any more salt. If you use unsalted nuts you may want to add a teaspoon or so of salt)
1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 stick butter, melted
I also added about a 1/4 cup of apple syrup we got as a gift from somebody who went to Canada. Completely optional. But dried apples (chopped) would probably be nice in these bars.
Mix the dry ingredients, then the wet into the dry. Mix thoroughly. Grease a large baking pan (I use an 11 x 13 b/c it’s the largest I have – a little bigger would be better). Spread the dougn evenly and pack it down as hard as possible (use something big and flat to press on it). Should be 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
Bake for 20-30 minutes till brown (it will be really soft while hot – just make sure the edges are browned, and don’t mess with it while it’s hot). Remove from oven, lower temp to 200F, and allow to cool for 20 minutes or longer. Cut into desired serving sizes. Break up portions and place on a flat baking sheet (parchment paper aids cleanup). Pop back into the 200F oven. For a moderate crunchiness (“al dente”) bake another three hours. For really crunchy, bake longer (5 hours). I time things such that I put the oven on timer and put them in when I go to bed. So they bake for a few hours, then stay in a cooling oven for a few more. Consume within a week or two, or freeze (I don’t bake them dry enough to store at room temp indefinitely)
Incidentally, you can make dog treats much the same way – equal parts grain and flour, a few eggs and a cup of melted peanut butter. Follow the same procedure for baking, but dry the hell out of them so they store at room temperature – 8 to 10 hours in a 200F oven. Then you can gross out your kids by eating dog treats.
WWJD (What Would Jim Drink today?): I’ve had a craving for Mexico Oaxaca Pluma don Eduardo for several days now. So I whipped up a pump pot this morning before the customers started arriving. Hopefully by next week I’ll be trying it on my new Fetco ECO brewer (yay!) – better coffee, and better for the planet (although I felt the teeth nip my butt with the bite it took out of my wallet – it ain’t easy being green!).