I got a new cookbook with this recipe, and since I’ve been in granola-bar mode, I thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m totally impressed with the result. The ingredients sound like a health food shop on their own, but incredibly, their sum is so, so delicious, and no one flavor overwhelms the taste at all. In fact, my kids inhaled these like any other cookie/bar I’ve made, so I am really happy. I thought for sure they’d turn their noses up at the seeds, but they didn’t. It’s a treat, but has lots of good stuff, too; a happy medium, and perfect for a lunch box.
The recipe’s a little on the cumbersome side, in terms of time, but definitely worth trying. You need a couple of hours (not consistent work, of course), and you probably can’t count on them for the same day unless you start cooking early in the day. The author says the bar tastes better after 2-3 days, but at our house, I don’t think they’ll last that long. Incidentally, the Flour Bakery is located in (just outside?) Boston.
Granola Bars with Cranberry Jam and Seeds
1 c. dried apples
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. dried apricots
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. water
1 c. walnut halves [I prefer pecans]
1 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. old-fashioned (not quick) oats
2/3 c. packed light brown sugar
2/3 c. sweetened shredded coconut
1 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
6 T. honey
3 T. flaxseeds
3 T. sunflower seeds
3 T. millet
TO MAKE JAM
In a medium saucepan, combine the apples, cranberries, apricots, granulated sugar, and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let sit for about 1 hour. Transfer to a food processor and pulse 8-10 times or until a chunky jam forms. (The jam can be made and refrigerated for 5 days or frozen for up to a month.)
TO MAKE BARS
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to a plate and let cool, but leave the oven on at 350.
Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine the nuts, flour, oats, sugar, coconut, salt, cinnamon, and butter, and pulse about 15 times or until the mixture is combined. Turn the mixture out into a bowl and drizzle the honey on top. Work in the honey until the mixture comes together, then spread 2/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until light brown. Work the millet, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds into the remaining 1/3 oat mixture. Cover it with plastic and refrigerate.
After the crust has baked, remove it from the oven and spread the jam evenly on top. Then, crumble the seed/oat mixture on top, breaking it with your fingers. Return the pan to the oven to bake for an additional 50-60 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 2-3 hours before cutting.
The bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a week.
The recipe yield says 12, but those would be huge! We’re going to get about 20 or more out of it.