This is my week to host Project Pastry Queen and I chose to make Jubilation Granola Chews. I’ve always thought I should try making homemade granola bars, but somehow whenever I got in the kitchen I’d always end up making brownies or cookies instead. I’m really happy I picked this recipe; it was fun to make a snack food and the results were really delicious.
I made a couple small changes to the original recipe.
~I used grated coconut instead of shredded
~I reduced the amount of dried cranberries to 3/4 cup, and added 3/4 cup of mini M&Ms
~I left out the flax seed. Neither of my normal grocery stores carry it and I was too lazy to drive to the Whole Foods half an hour away (pathetic, huh?)
~After pressing the bars into the pan, I added an extra 1/4 cup mini M&Ms on top. I just wanted to make sure the bars looked colorful and adding extra chocolate is never a bad idea.
These bars are quite sweet. I’d even say you could crumble one up, sprinkle over vanilla ice cream, and call it dessert. You could probably reduce the sugar or honey by a bit if you don’t want something so sweet. The only other thing to note is that the next time I make these I’ll probably increase the salt by 1 teaspoon.
I hope you get a chance to make these bars. It’s a fun and easy recipe and the bars are really good. Little Man was a huge fan and Big Man took a few to work for his colleagues as well. And I definitely enjoyed my share!
You can see how the other PPQ members made the bars by clicking here.
Jubilation Granola Chews (from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather)
3/4 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup almonds, sliced or slivered
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries or golden raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (I used roasted, salted seeds)
2 tsp. sesame seeds
1/4 cup golden flax seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Combine the brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and water in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer about 8 to 10 minutes until it reaches the soft-ball stage, registering 234 to 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
Stir in the butter, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla. Spread the oatmeal, almonds, coconut, sunflower, and sesame seeds evenly on 2 baking sheets. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring once, until lightly browned. Combine the oats, almonds, coconut, cranberries, and sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds in a large bowl. Pour in the honey mixture and stir to combine. Cool for about 30 minutes. Evenly press the granola into the pan using a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap to keep your hands from sticking. Cool for another 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Cut the bars in half the long way and in eights the short way to make 4-1/2 by 1-1/2-inch bars.