Cherry Berry Granola Bars

I don’t waste time posting mediocre meals. All of the dishes featured on this blog are ones I consider deliciously yummy. I often speak of blogworthy recipes, and the easiest way for me to know if something blogworthy is Brent’s reaction to the dish. I made Cherry Berry Granola Bars on Saturday morning, and before they had even finished cooling Brent popped 3 bars in his mouth. As if he was playing a game of chubby bunny, he attempted to say, “These are really good!” I happen to agree. The variations on this recipe are endless. Switch things up by using pecans or almonds. Try any combination of dried fruits, and use a variety of nut butters for different flavors. Have fun with this tasty breakfast bar.

1 2/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oat flour (I processed rolled oats in a food processor)
1 cup dried fruit (I used a mixture of cherry, blueberry, cranberry)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup nut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Coat the parchment paper with non-stick spray.

Stir all the dry (including nut butter) ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, maple syrup, corn syrup and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them down to make sure they are evenly spread, and molded. I used a ziploc bag to help me press the bars down, as the mixture was very sticky! Bake the bars for 30-35 minutes, or until they’re brown around the edges.

Cool the bars in their pan completely. Once complete cool, cut the bars into squares. If they are too crumbly, try cooling them in the freezer for a few minutes. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or to be more eco-friendly, stack them in an airtight container. These bars can also be frozen for later use. Makes 12 bars.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.