OK, school begins next week and my son wants to make granola bars for Kindergarten snack time. Any good suggestions and tips?? I found an AB recipe on the Food Network site that I'm thinking of using as a jumping off point. He's begins by toasting the rolled oats, seeds and nuts, then heating brown sugar and butter with honey, mixing the toasty and melty with some dried fruits and then baking. There's a note about not cutting them until they are cool. It seems to me that they would crumble if you did that. But then again, I wouldn't expect AB to post a sloppy recipe.
If you've tried this or have another method I'd love some advice!
Many schools these days don't allow nuts- I'd check with your son's school before you make them.
Here's something absolutely delicious that comes out like a granola bar:
Whole Oat Flapjacks
And here's one I got from krissywats- I think it's a soft bar:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup whole milk (Kristin used fat free evaporated milk
Kristin also added about two Tablespoons of molasses
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a 2-quart souffle (or other baking dish) with a non-stick coating.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Mix in the oil and sugar; combine well. Stir in the oats, baking powder, salt, and milk; mix until combined well.
Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake for 40-55 minutes, or until nicely golden brown. Serve warm with the cream and fruit.
I have made Alton Brown's Granola Bar recipe three times and it's excellent. Best tasting 'energy' bars I have ever had -- and at a whole lot less than a dollar a bar!!
I have made variations in the last batches. I add more nuts. In the last batch, I added shelled pistachios (yum).
re: There's a note about not cutting them until they are cool. It seems to me that they would crumble if you did that.
The key is that when you put them in the pan, press them down quite firmly. (I used a silicone spatula.) You want them pretty well compressed. The main binder is honey and when it cools, it gets firmer.
Also -- I warp some in foil and freeze them. Good for months (or so I suspect - they usually don't last that long).
Thank you all so much! Our nursery school embraced the nut prohibition, but our Kindergarten seems not to be taking that route. Then again, while they enjoy a fabulous reputation, they are remarkably disorganizes so I wouldn't be surprised to learn about a prohibition after violating it!
We'll be trying the recipes this afternoon (probably just one of them to start) and I'll check back with my results! Oddly, Whole Foods didn't have a large selection of dried fruits so I had to settle for cranberries and apples. I'd hope to get some cherries and pears, maybe next time!
I make the Alton Brown recipe quite often - just last night, in fact - and it is a great jumping off point.
I'd suggest adding something to lighten the oatmeal - some puffed rice cereal or cheerios will do. A little millet adds a nice crunch. I also add 2 oz peanut butter and cut back the honey by that much. For fruit, I use raisins & craisins since the more exotic dried fruits would be wasted on my kids. And salted peanuts are quite delicious in it.
About the cutting, there is a magical moment to do it. When it comes out of the oven, I press it down more. When somewhat cool, I score it, cutting about halfway through. Then you can fully cut when it's cooled.