By now, unless you live under rock, you know I am into all things domestic. I love to cook, bake, sew, and yes even clean. (Okay so I don't love to clean but I love a clean house). And apart from crazy organized linen closets, I have a lot in common with Martha Stewart.
And while I find Martha to be quite brilliant in her domesticity, she drives me absolutely crazy! If you've ever had the pleasure of watching her show(s), you'll know what I mean. She thinks she is the all-knowing queen of crafty undertakings. She is so arrogant, self righteous and condescending to her guests. God forbid anyone else know how to bake, decorate or clean. And those guests who admit they don't possess her talents, she still tries to "teach" them as if they really care. I'm guessing, Ted Danson could care less how so spraypaint pinecones and make them into a wreath. Just sayin'. You woulda though a five month stint in the pokey would have humbled her a bit but she came back stronger than ever.
Yet as much as she drives me nut she is a go to gal for all things crafty and domestic. And so in my quest to find the perfect homemade granola bar recipe I went to her. I should preface, that I have been on the search for some time. I find store bought granola bars to be to sweet and sugary and revolving around chocolate and or peanut butter resembling something more like a candy bar. And having been eating very healthfully for some time, I notice how processed things are tasting. I should not be tasting anything chemical in my food(don't even get me started on Twinkies and ICEES). I can't even say how many recipes I've tried and I find most of them have their fair share of sugar or chocolate or they have so much butter or oil in them making them not very healthy.
Then last year, I cleaned out my pantry and made the absolute best granola bars of my life. But in my quest to eat less calories at the time, I had one and sent them to work with Jeff never to see them again(They were a success there too and had a couple requests for the recipe). The sad thing, I didn't have a recipe. I had half a jar of coconut butter, agave syrup, sunflower seeds, flax, sesame seeds, maybe some cherries and half a dozen other things. I just mixed and added until the texture seemed right to bake up into a bar. So I'm off on the search again. ANd thanks to Martha I found a pretty darn good recipe that won't cost you an arm and a leg at the health food store.
NOTES ON RECIPE:The bars can be made with peanut butter, but for me, peanut butter overwhelms everything else. If I want peanut butter bars I would've used that, but I want granola bars, so I used almond butter I had sitting around. I used a whole package (small package) of almonds because I didn't want a few almonds sitting around. I ended up also using about a quarter cup more of oats because that was all that was left in the containter. I suggest you could get by with less oil if you wanted it. I used a 9 X 9 inch pan because thats all I had and used aluminum foil instead of parchment paper. These are quite deliscious made as I did. The almond butter is a much subtler flavor allowing for the almonds, oats, and cranberries to stand through. And as I cooked them for about 20 minutes they came out nice chewy as I like them. If it were up to Jeff, he'd had me cook them longer and make them crispier.
Really good, but not perfect. My quest will go on.
Recipe Courtesty Of Martha Stewart.com
1 large egg white
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with 2 crisscrossed rectangles of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang at 2 opposite ends. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds and cranberries.
2.In a small saucepan, whisk together oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt and 1 tablespoon water over low heat until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly; whisk in egg white. Pour over at mixture; stir until moistened. Spread evenly in bottom of pan; smooth top.
3.Bake until top is firm, about 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Lift out of pan, using paper as handles. Let cool completely, cut into bars with serrated knife.