Things have been a little quiet on the blogging front these days, but I have been hard at work in the kitchen. Tis the season (at least for me) to work on the masses of Christmas cookies that I make. More on that later. For now, I thought that I would sneak in a quick recipe for something healthy and fall like, and good to kep the munchies at bay while you are doing all your holiday food prep. These granola bars are great — very harvest like. Yummy.
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3/4 cup sunflower kernels, roasted
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup unsalted almond and walnut butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries (chop them a bit, if they seem big)
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (mini-chips, if you can find them)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a foil sling for your 9 x 13 baking pan and spray with cooking spray.
Toss the oatmeal and almonds together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the toasted wheat germ and sunflower kernels.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.
Place the butter, honey, almond or walnut butter, brown sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then remove from the heat and add the vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dried cranberries and stir well. Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes then stir in the chocolate chips. You want them to mostly melt, but if there are little bits of chocolate chip left, that is fine too.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into rectangles or squares.
*walnut butter is great, but hard to find and is expensive, so almond butter works just as well.