This weeks recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie is Granola Energy Bars. Although, I've come across plenty of granola bar recipes in the past I had never tried to make one. This was the perfect time to give it a try. It was a great recipe to make while we were all home over winter break and it left us with a healthy snack to finish off the week.
The only tricky ingredient was rice syrup, but we found it easily at Whole Foods. This was a nice simple recipe that was easy to adapt so we could sub out ingredients we preferred. I usually like to follow a new recipe exactly the first time I make it and then make substitutions after I have tried it once. Dorie explained this recipe so well that it was easy to add the ingredients we wanted, so we did it on our first try.
I made these with my daughter who did not want us to include the dry fruit and coconut and wanted to use chocolate chips for everything. So we compromised. As much as I love coconut we left it out. We used 3/4 cup of dried cherries, that we had left over from the rugelach recipe, and 3/4 cup of dried cherries. This allowed the mixed in ingredients to still be the 2 cup ratio that Dorie recommended. We only had sunflower seeds so we doubled up on them since we were not including the pumpkin seeds.
We started out by roasting the oats and slivered almonds and then added the sunflower seeds for the last few minutes of roasting as directed. We then placed those in a bowl and allowed them to cool slightly before adding the dried cherries and chocolate chips. However, we may not have let the mixture cool enough because the chocolate chips melted into the mixture. We decided that even if we waited to add the chocolate chips they probably would have still melted when we added the bowling syrup and butter mixture. (Since making the recipe others have suggested that chocolate nibs would not melt.)
We placed the parchment paper on the pan and buttered it. I actually buttered the pan a little before I placed the parchment on it to get the parchment to stick and keep it from curling. I did not have a 7" x 11" pan so I used a 9" x 12" pan instead. When placing the granola mixture onto the pan I pushed it in on one side so it was about 1-2" from the edge of the pan so I could keep them the proper thickness. This worked well because the mixture was so thick and gooey it stayed in place and I was able to form them using the parchment paper. I could have used this as an excuse to buy a new baking pan, but I have been doing that a lot with recipes these days and decided to save it for a new tool on another recipe since I knew I could make it work in the pan I had.
These granola bars were a big hit. When my husband tried one he said "Wow, these taste like granola bars." We couldn't ask for a better outcome. We didn't mind the melted chocolate chips they added a nice flavor. I would make them the same way again.
The full recipe can be found on page 328 of Dorie Greenspan's Book, Baking Chez Moi.
We missed making the last recipe, Búche de Noël. But, loved reading about everyone else's. We'll have to find a time to bake it later during a rewind or a rainy day.