It’s been a while, huh? I spent most of June and July either studying, getting married or vacationing. Not a bad couple of months, no question, but I woke up this morning and it was suddenly August. Yikes! I had grand plans of having posts up while I was on the honeymoon, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Oh well, good intentions all around. This month-long hiatus has really just made me even more behind in my backlog, but hopefully I can get through it eventually. Like these granola bars. They come from the Flour Bakery Cookbook. For two full years, I was privileged enough to live right down the street from this wonderful place. I think I tried almost everything there, but now it’s just a faint memory.
Here’s a funny story about how I came about being the proud owner of this cookbook. When I heard that Flour was coming out with a cookbook, I already knew that it would be added to my collection. Since I couldn’t walk down the street anymore, I figured I could at least try and make myself some treats to help me forget that I didn’t live in Boston anymore (no offense Woo, you know I’ll always love you!). I was reading a blog that I love, Food on the Food, who was giving away a copy of the cookbook based on blog comments. Well, long story short, I won! I don’t think I’ve ever won anything before, so I was pretty psyched and the owner of this amazing book. And yes, this was back in November and I probably got around to making something from it in March or April. And I’m writing about it in August. I’ve been a little busy.
These granola bars are excellent. They are probably not low fat or low calorie, but they have real ingredients in them and are dangerously addictive. I knew that these were going to be something special when I was eating the dough by the handful. So delicious. You can also customize it based on what types of dried fruit and nuts you have at home. Rabi and I can polish off a large tray of these pretty quickly. They’re perfect for breakfast, snack, or even dessert!
For the Granola Jam
1 cup dried apples
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
For the Granola Bars
1 cup walnut halves
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not the quick cooking variety)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
First make the jam. Combine the apples, cranberries, apricots, granulated sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let sit for about an hour. Transfer to a food processor and pulse for 8 to 10 times. Leave it a little bit chunky. You can make this ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. You’ll know when they’re done because they’ll be lightly toasted and fragrant.
Like a 9 by 13 pan with parchment paper. Combine the flour oats, brown sugar, coconut, salt, cinnamon and butter in a food processor bowl. Pulse about 15 times or until evenly combined. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and drizzle honey on top. Work the honey into the mixture using your hands until everything comes together.
Press 2/3 of the mixture into your prepared pan. Keep the rest of the mixture in the fridge.
Bake the base for 30-40 minutes or until it’s light golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the jam on top. Spread it evenly with a spoon or spatula. Remove the reserved mixture from the fridge and break it up with your fingers. Add sunflower seeds and combine it together. Sprinkle the mixture over the jam like a crumb topping.
Return the pan to the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the top is golden brown. Once it’s doen, let the whole pan cool on a wire rack for 2 to 3 hours. Wait to cut the bars until they have cooled enough. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.