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Monday, January 21, 2013

Chewy "No-Bake Cookie" Granola Bars

These bars taste just like no-bake cookies, but with a sticky, chewy mouth-feel.  They were created when I failed to follow the recipe for Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars - oops! (Sometimes good things DO happen when you don't follow your recipe to the letter....)
1 2/3 c. quick rolled oats
1/3 c. packed dark brown sugar

½ c. granulated sugar

1/3 cup oats, ground into flour

¾ tsp. kosher salt

1 ½ cups dried fruits and nuts (10-12 oz. total, I used ½ c. each: dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and chopped pecans)

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 c. shredded toasted coconut

¾ c. roasted peanuts

1/3 c. creamy peanut butter

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

6 Tbs. unsalted butter

4 Tbs. light corn syrup

¼ c. honey

1 Tbs. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9 x 13 pan with heavy duty foil, making sure there is extra foil extending at each end of the pan to form a foil “sling”. Lightly grease foil with a bit of butter.  In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients, including dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, coconut and peanuts.  In a small saucepan over low heat, combine peanut butter, vanilla, butter, corn syrup, honey and water; whisk together until combined and butter is melted. Let peanut butter mixture cool just slightly, then pour over dry ingredients in mixing bowl, stirring until well combined.  (Some of the chocolate chips will melt.)

Spread mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. (Don’t over bake or bars won’t be chewy.) Cool for 10 minutes, then use foil sling to lift bars from the pan and place onto a cooking rack to cool, pulling foil back from edges of bars.  When bars have cooled just a bit, cut into bars.  Wrap cooled bars in plastic wrap and place into an airtight container or baggie.  Will keep 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli