Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes, a great book full of improvisational cooking and healthy, practical, delicious recipes. We promised to share one more recipe, and here it is — a tried and tested, easy, terrifically yummy recipe for homemade crunchy granola bars.• Buy the book: Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes, $16 at Amazon.com • Visit the author's website: Emily Franklin Related: Kitchen Tour: Emily's Wide-Open Inspiration Originally published May 5, 2009. (Images: Faith Durand)
I realize that we already shared one granola recipe from Emily with you; she made homemade granola during the tour of her kitchen. But at the risk of making you think she only cooks granola (she most emphatically does not; every other recipe in the book is non-granola, I promise), I just had to share this one. Homemade granola and protein bars are perhaps the single biggest recipe request we get from our readers. You want fast, easy recipes for breakfast on the go. We've shared dried fig and nut bars and some other baked breakfast items, but no granola bars yet. Well, these bars are a fabulous recipe for the morning or for snacking, and they are definitely the keeper we've been looking for.
If you keep these ingredients around already then these are very cheap to put together. I substituted agave syrup and molasses for the brown rice syrup, since I just don't keep it around. I also used a nutty flax cereal instead of bran buds, which I couldn't find at my little co-op. And, sadly, I completely forgot to put in the fruit! I had a nice little bag of dried cherries all ready; I will have to save them for the next batch. Because, you see, there will definitely be a second batch. These granola bars are so quick and easy, and they turned out exactly as I hoped they would. They're crunchy, but not brittle, with a slight chewiness still in the center. They are sweet, but with the sweetness of natural things — not sugary and over-sweetened. They are marvelously full of flavor, and they are much more filling than you would expect. My only quibble is that they are slightly more crumbly than I would like, but this may very well be due to my substitutions and forgetfulness. Also, my peanut butter was rather dry. Next time I will add a touch more honey and peanut butter. So, all of you who have emailed and asked for granola bar recipes — this is the one! Enjoy! And thank you, Emily.