Tuesday, January 31

Valentine Granola Bars

Yesterday afternoon, as Sweepea was drifting into blissful sleep in my arms, I had thoughts of Valentines and granola bars swimming in my head. Valentines Day is around the corner (it's one of my favorite holidays...and not just because its an excuse to eat chocolate :) and I have lots of Valentines crafts I want to try. Granola bars crept into my mind because I have been craving them. It's been a while since I whipped up a batch.

So I am rocking back and forth, enjoying my moment with Sweepea, listening to the quiet, when a thought popped into my head. What if I made heart shaped granola bars? I have a heart cookie cutter. I wonder if that would work. I placed Sweepea on my bead, covered her with her fleece blanket, closed the door, and headed for the kitchen. I mixed up my homemade granola bar recipe. I had posted the granola bar recipe on here a while back, but here it is again. This one below has a few changes made from the original...

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a cookie sheet.

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup wheat germ

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup unbleached flour

3/4 cup raisins, dried fruit, or mini chocolate chips

1/4 to 1/2 cup nuts (sunflowers, almonds, walnuts etc.)

**I did not use the nuts this time. I thought they might be too bulky and distort the shape. But sunflowers probably wouldn't. Or you could finely chop the nuts. I also used mini chocolate chips because of the same reason.

3/4 tsp. salt

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and had the following ingredients.

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey

1 egg, beaten

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together until well blended.

Place a cookie cutter shape (I used a heart) onto the greased cookie sheet. Scoop the granola mixture into the cookie cutter.

Plat it down. Make sure the granola gets into the corners. I filled mine until the granola was even with the top of the cookie cutter.

Gently lift the cookie cutter away from the granola. If you notice your cookie cutter is sticking, lightly grease it.
Keep doing this until all the granola is used. I was able to make six hearts. I place the granola hearts into the oven for 20-25 minutes. Do not over bake or they will be too hard. You know if they are done when the edges are lightly browned.

You could package a heart granola bar in a clear bag and give them to your special someone. Or better yet sew a cute valentine bag. They would enjoy the granola bar and they could keep the bag to use again.

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