Welcome to November! It’s hard to believe that we are already heading into the eleventh month of the year. Thanks to some cool, windy days the leaves on the trees are now a patchwork quilt of color gracing the lawns. About six weeks ago, we made our yearly trip over to Waubonsie State Park to walk the trails. It’s become one of the things I look forward to most about fall. A cool morning, hiking under the canopy of trees, the crunch of leaves and fallen acorns under our feet. This year we were a little early for the color, but it was no less beautiful.
Of course, after a morning of hiking, there must be snacks. I made a pan of these granola bars just as we were leaving, pulling them out of the oven just in time to load into the car. A bag with a few Honeycrisp Apples, some favorite jerky for the meat eaters, and we were good to go.
- 1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats (if gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free oats)
- 1/2 brown sugar
- 1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 to 3 cups dried fruits, chocolate chips and/or nuts
- 1/3 cup nut butter of your choice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line an 8? x 8? pan with parchment.
- Stir together all the dry ingredients, including fruit, chocolate chips and nuts.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, liquid sweeteners and water.
- Toss the wet ingredients with the dry, including the peanut butter.
- Spread mixture in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan.
- Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges.
- Cool the bars in their pan completely before cutting into bars.
- If bars seem crumbly, put them in the fridge to set them further before cutting.
- Best stored in airtight container in the fridge.
Adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen