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There’s something about environmentally-unfriendly single-serving packaged snacks that children find irresistible. Maybe it’s the “all mine” factor, or the satisfying crinkle of those little bags, but it’s hard to compete with a store-bought granola bar for my kids’ affection in the snack category.
These bars did the trick partly because they were fun and hands-on to make, and partly because they’re basically cookies. Mmm, cookies. This recipe, from Good to the Grain, was a great starting point–chewy, sweet and oaty–but I expect to do a little experimentation in the future to find a granola bar that comes closer to being a healthy kid snack. On the other hand, these would make a great hiking snack if you actually needed a sugar boost, and I quite enjoyed them as an afternoon sweet alongside a cup of tea. We’ll just be calling them “cookies” from now on.
Granola Cookie Bars: Melt 1/4 c. butter in a heavy skillet and toast 2 c. oats, stirring often, for 6 minutes over medium heat. Transfer toasted oats to a large bowl and add 1/2 c. flaxseed meal, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 c. raisins, finely chopped with another Tbsp. flaxseed meal (to keep your knife from sticking). Mix everything up with the oats. Wipe out your skillet and return it to medium heat, adding 1/2 c. honey, 1/4 c. dark brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. unsulphered (not blackstrap) molasses, and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Cook syrup 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour syrup over oat mixture and stir well to combine. Transfer mixture to a well-buttered 9×9 (or 7×11) pan and press them firmly into an even layer. Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes, rotating pan after 15 minutes, until the edge of the pan is a little darker than the middle. Cool 15 minutes, then cut into 16-20 bars and cool on a rack.