Espresso-Laced Chewy Granola Bars

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I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect granola bar for the past… five, six months? I like loose granola just fine in my yogurt, but I wanted a chewy, not rock-hard, not-too-sweet granola bar. I wanted it to be full of oats and nuts, but I wasn’t so enamored of the idea of a granola bar full of dried fruit. And I finally found it, through multiple Google searches, which finally led me to 101 Cookbooks’ Big Sur Power Bars. I should have known that Heidi would have exactly what I was looking for, being the harbinger of great, whole-foods-based vegetarian recipes, that she is.

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I made these to take with me to Austin City Limits last weekend, but unfortunately, you’re not supposed to take any food into the festival grounds. (Ugh, stupidest rule ever.) The original recipe calls for twice as much brown rice syrup as below, which yielded a very sticky bar, too sticky for me. For the second batch, I halved the amount of brown rice syrup, but kept everything else the same. The result is a nutty, sweet (but not cloyingly so), chewy-but-not-sticky granola bar. I joked to B about these being the rolled oats-version of a cup of coffee, but unless you’re super sensitive to caffeine, I doubt these will affect you much. The espresso is a great unexpected upgrade on flavor, though, which is all it’s there for in the first place. The brown rice cereal and the oats have great interplaying textures, too, so you get the whole crispiness associated with a Rice Krispy bar, but it’s still chewy and hearty from the oats, coconut, and nuts.

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The recipe definitely introduced some new ingredients for me. I had never used brown rice syrup before, and at first I didn’t know where to look for it (it’s in the baking aisle next to honey, at least at my grocery store). The brown rice cereal was even harder to locate, but I found it in the Whole Foods cereal aisle. If you can’t find the brown rice cereal, then just use Rice Krispies.

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Oh, and just let me point out… for all the hard work we do around Case de Kitchenette… making fresh pasta, canning whole tomatoes, and making butter from scratch… this recipe doesn’t require any cooking at all. Unless you count toasting the coconut and nuts. (Which you could skip if you are suffering from Terrified-of-the-Oven Syndrome.)

Can I get a hell yeah for easy recipes?

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Espresso-Laced Chewy Granola Bars

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Makes 12 bars

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Gather:
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or butter)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup (unsweetened) shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup turbinado or light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons ground espresso beans
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal

Prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub a baking sheet with coconut oil or butter. Toss pecans, almonds, and coconut on baking sheet, and cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes until toasted and fragrant. Keep a good eye on the nuts and coconut, tossing a few times if necessary, to make sure the nuts down burn.

Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine the rice syrup, sugar, salt, espresso, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the toasted nuts and coconut with the rolled oats and rice cereal in a large mixing bowl. Pour the brown rice syrup mixture over the rolled oat mixture, adding in batches, and stirring in between additions of syrup.

Spread the sticky granola mixture into the parchment-lined baking pan. Let sit until cooled and stiff, about 2 hours. Cut into pieces as small or large as you like.

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Surfer Blood / Floating Vibes

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16 thoughts on “Espresso-Laced Chewy Granola Bars

  1. HELL YA!!!

    oh. wait. i thought we were all yelling….no?

    Anyhoo– I can give a first hand account of how fab these bars are! I mean, srsly, srsly good. Stickiness and all. Although, I did not get mine in fancy packaging like that. I feel so cheated.

    PS, i LOVE surfer blood. why are we musical soulmates?

  2. Hope I can find the Brown Rice Syrup – these look great as I hate the granola bars on the market and think we have tried them all. Will be checking the local Health Food Store and will then report back. I am optimistic.

    • Yes, I love these because they are so chewy! Someone else also left a comment saying they are great with some chocolate chips thrown in… that sounds awesomely delicious to me =)

      Thanks for visiting!

  3. Pingback: Coconut Almond Granola

  4. Pingback: Homemade Coconut Granola

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