Easily one of our favorites to have with a morning coffee. These are great because of the hearty ingredients. You can substitute some of the ingredients and still have Easy Agave Granola Cookie Bars.
Above is the granola mixed just before the baking process.
Below is a photo of the whole oats, after partially running through a food processor. The whole oats tend to cause a problem with the granola bar binding together. You could use quick oats if you do not have a food processor.
Below is a photo of the fruit and nuts used in this recipe. You should combine these in a bowl apart from the oats.
The almonds I used in this recipe started out as whole almonds. Run these through a food processor to grind to a consistency similar to the ground whole oats. You do not want whole almonds in the granola bars.
For the apricots, I recommend freezing these for a few hours so you can more easily chop these with a knife. You should aim to get these to be about as small as a raisin, only longer. Add these to the other fruit and nuts in the bowl pictured above.
Sweetened coconut pictured below. You should put these in the same bowl as the fruit and nuts pictured earlier.
Below is the final baked pan of granola before chopping into bar sizes. If you notice that the bars are a bit sticky you can lightly coat with oat bran or finely ground whole oats. These can be frozen, once you cut the granola into bars. Have a coffee ready as these are awesome with a hot coffee in the morning.
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature.
2/3 cup of agave, or 1/3 agave and 1/3 corn syrup*
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla
3 1/2 cups of whole oats, ground in food processor, or 3 1/2 cups of quick oats.
1/2 cup of almonds, ground in food processor to a rough texture. You can also use sliced almonds.
1/4 cup of shredded coconut
1/2 cup of flax seeds
1/2 cup of chia seeds ( you can substitute Fiber One cereal if you do not have chia seeds, I recommend crushing or grinding these with the oats.)
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of chopped dried apricots
Melt the butter and sugar, agave, cinnamon and vanilla in a large pot. You need to get this cooked so the sugar and butter blend into a syrup form. Make sure not to burn! Do this over a medium heat.
Turn off the heat and add the oats and stir to mix and soften the oats.
After a few minutes of stirring you can add the nuts and fruit at the same time and stir to moisten everything to look like the photo of the mix just before baking.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large cake pan, 9inch square lined with parchment paper, pour in the hot granola mix. You can press down the mix to remove any pockets of space by using another sheet of parchment paper and pressing hard to form a dense layer of oats. The thickness should be about 1/2 inch.
Bake for about 15 minutes – check to make sure you do not see any burnt edges of the granola pan.
Take out of the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes. Then, place in the refrigerator until the granola is cold.
Flip the pan on the counter, or flat surface and cut into the bar sizes you want, similar to the standard chewy granola bars you can buy in the store.
That’s it! Easy Granola Cookie Bars.
You can substitute some of the fruits, but you should maintain the measured amounts. For example, you can add a whole cup of raisins instead of 1/2 raisins and 1/2 dried cranberries. You can also add 1 whole cup of flax seeds instead of 1/2 flax and 1/2 chia.
*Corn syrup will help to make the bars less crumbly.
Great with Coffee!
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