**on a sidenote...yes i know it is ten smile tuesday...and i will get to that eventually...even if it becomes ten smile wednesday or thursday!came across a recipe in our new fav cookbook (america's test kitchen baking cookbook...which i bought the fam as a Christmas present)--and let me tell you that so far we have loved everything we've tried...rosemary and olive oil focaccia bread, their pancake recipe, challah...and more. but these granola bars tasted SOOO much better than the store bought variety AND they don't have high-fructose corn syrup, etc... and as an added bonus, i snuck some chopped carrot into the recipe to hopefully slip a veggie past kate! try them...you'll love 'em!
7 cups old-fashioned oats (don't use the quick cooking...apparently the consistency doesn't work)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp salt.
**1/2 cup finely chopped carrots--optional!--or you could try another veggie
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (whatever you prefer...I used almonds this go around...it's what we had on hand...they suggest almonds, walnuts, pecans, or peanuts--I think cashews would be tasty too)
**dried fruit (microwave with water briefly to "soften")--optional
1-Preheat oven to 300. Combine oats, oil, salt, and carrots (if you choose to use a veggie). Toss together so oil coats mixture; then place in oven for 20 minutes...stirring frequently. (When you remove this from the oven bump the temp up to 375.)
2-In the meantime, combine honey and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add vanilla and cinnamon.
3-In a large mixing bowl combine oat mixture, honey mixture, and nuts (add any dried fruit now as well). Toss and stir until well coated. Pour this mixture onto a foil lined 18x13 baking sheet (be sure to grease the foil very well to prevent sticking!). With a greased metal spatula press the mixture firmly down onto the pan. Bake in oven at 375 for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking.
4-Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes. Turn out onto large cutting board and cut into bars. Let them cool completely, and enjoy. They will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container!