Who doesn't love a good granola bar?
The problem with many that come from the store is that they are tooth-chipping hard.
These bars have just the right amount of crunch without having to worry about a trip to the dentist.
You'll want to toast the oatmeal (use old-fashioned rolled oats, not the instant) with a little oil and salt before mixing them with the other ingredients. Toasting really deepens the flavor.
These bars get their sweetness from honey (which also provides the stickiness to hold them together) and brown sugar.
To make sure the bars will hold their shape, spread the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet and then firmly press on it with a greased metal spatula or spoon.
Don't use a baking sheet smaller than 18-by-13-inches or the bars will be too thick and won't bake evenly.
Let them cool for 15 minutes before cutting. If any fall apart, just press them back together; as they cool they will firm up and stick together.
Hint: Spray your measuring cup with nonstick spray and the honey won't stick to it.
Oatmeal Granola Bars
Makes 36 bars.
7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup honey
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
1½ cups almonds, pecans, peanuts or walnuts, chopped coarse
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 F. Toss oats, oil and salt together in medium bowl. Spread mixture over rimmed baking sheet and toast, stirring often, until pale golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, line 18-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease foil.
3. Cook honey and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is fully dissolved, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
3. Transfer toasted oat mixture to large bowl. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F. Add honey mixture and almonds to oat mixture and toss until well combined. Transfer mixture to prepared sheet and press firmly into even layer with greased metal spatula or spoon.
4. Bake bars until golden, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let bars cool completely in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes, then cut into 36 pieces. Let cool completely, then remove individual bars from pan with spatula. Bars can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.