Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Granola Bar Weekend


I'm not sure what possessed me to make granola bars, but I had some sort of urge to make them on Friday night that was unfulfilled. I made corn tortillas, and when I was done with that, I decided to make granola bars. Mom told me she'd be home soon, so I didn't have enough time. And discovered I didn't have quite enough almonds, and despite having other nuts around, I was determined to use almonds.
So on Saturday, after the SAT (how fitting SATurday), I came home and made granola bars. I did have a paper due on Tuesday, but this is me and when the pressure comes pounding, I do something else.

The granola bars I made on Saturday were straight from The Kitchen Sink, though mine didn't come out nearly as photogenic. And I have an inability to cut things. Oh, and I used cherries instead of cranberries.Other than my parents complaining they were too hard (something I like about CRISPY granola bars), they were good. But I noticed the crumbs after eating them were almost always the whole flax seeds.

So on Monday, while my friend was editing my paper for me, I set out to make another batch of granola bars, but this time without coconut (which somehow sneaked its way in) and with ground flaxseeds (which somehow ended up as a mess in the garbage can.) The wheat germ in the container I couldn't get open was rancid, so for some reason I chose to use oat bran instead (these'll definately clean you out) and I added more honey after measuring (so weight is given for it and the tahini with estimates for volume). I personally liked these better, even though the fruit was EXTREMELY chewy and I left them in the oven a little too long because I chose to ignore to timer and continue what I was working on.

Sesame Pistachio Crisp Granola Bars
makes 16 bars, or however many pieces you choose to cut it into

2 1/2 cups (≈265 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup (≈40 grams) oat bran
1/4 cup (≈20 g) shredded coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup (≈150g) almonds
1/2 cup (≈60 g) pistachios
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 tsp. of finer grain salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
130 g honey (that's probably around 1/3 to 1/2 cup, I think)
80 g tahini, a ground sesame paste (that's probably around 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a 8x8 or 9x9 baking sheet with two perpendicular pieces of parchment paper in a cross with overhangs for easier lifting; grease paper.

Mix together oats, oat bran, coconut, sesame seeds, almonds, and pistachios and spread out on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Toast in oven for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine salt, cinnamon, honey, and tahini in a large saucepan. When the oat mixture has about 5 minutes left, heat over medium heat, stirring, until honey and tahini make are warm and thoroughly mixed. Turn heat to low. Stir in oat mixture and dried fruits.

Press into prepared pan and bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until just turning golden. Let cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into desired size pieces.

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