Granola & Granola Bites

There’s two recipes in one blog post today. But since you can’t make one without the other – you get a two-fer day!

Watching my teenagers down an entire box of cold cereal in 2 days, caused me to re-evaluate breakfast.

We needed something that would be more filling – and more cost effective. It was time to dig out the granola recipes.

This one has become our new favorite. It’s perfect with some yogurt and sliced fruit.  It does makes a bunch, but around here it goes fast!

GranolaGranola

10 cups oatmeal (I like to use the old-fashioned)
2 cups barley flakes (can just use more oatmeal)
2 cups coconut
2 cups peanuts
2 cups slivered almonds
2 cups sunflower seeds
3/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter
1-1/2 cup brown sugar or honey

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a saucepan and cook until dissolved.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix until everything is moistened.

Pour out on 2 large baking pans. Bake at 275 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring twice.

Now that you have your granola made – it’s time to take some of it and make our new favorite snack – granola bites.

I got the original recipe from my friend Jami at An Oregon Cottage.  These little gems are not only packed with protein and whole grains – they taste great! They make the perfect snack for a teenager who can’t make it to the next meal!

Granola BitesGranola Bites

1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cup granola
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla in a bowl. Add the granola and chocolate chips.

Refrigerate for 3o minutes before shaping into balls with a cookie scoop and rolling in more granola, chopped peanuts or coconut. (This helps take away some of the stickiness)

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

You can experiment with different nut butters and add dried fruit or different chips.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Almond Macaroon Bars

BarsI couldn’t believe how quickly Dagmar pulled this recipe out when I asked her to make something for a recent potluck!

I guess she’d been drooling over it for sometime – and trust me – it was worth it!

An Oreo cookie crust with a creamy coconut and nut filling covered with a layer of chocolate ganache – oh my!

We didn’t even wait for it to cool down in the fridge before we cut into it and sampled!

Absolutely no calories in these bars – they all fall out when you cut them! 😉

Chocolate Almond Macaroon Bars

2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3-3/4 cups coconut
1 cup almond slivers (best if toasted)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup whipping cream (we used evaporated milk)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Combine Oreo crumbs, melted butter and sugar in large bowl. Firmly press crumb mixture on bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Stir together the sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and almonds. Carefully drop the mixture by the spoonful over the crust and spread evenly.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until coconut edges begin to brown. Cool.

Melt chocolate chips and whipping cream in double broiler on the stove. Cool until slightly thickened, spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with the white chocolate chips.

Cover and refrigerate several hours or until set.

Cut into bars and keep hidden in the back of the refrigerator!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Caramel Apple Bars & a Crazy Weekend

Apple DessertIt was a really busy weekend.

Our Sunday activities included a church potluck at lunch and a 4H Soup Supper Fundraiser in the evening – with exactly one hour between the two.

That meant that we needed to be totally ready for both on Saturday – which made for a pretty crazy kitchen on Saturday afternoon!

I had Angel Girl, her friend Bethany and Dagmar all assisting. When we ran out of dishes we’ll call Buddy and Pedro to wash a few so we could keep moving.

In one afternoon we made barbecue venison, Grandma’s Cherry Dessert (but with blackberries) a chocolate oatmeal cake, lasagna, bread sticks, homemade caramel sauce, potato soup for 100, and a new creation – some yummy Caramel Apple Bars.

At one point – when I was mentally multiplying potato soup recipes in my head and praying that it would all turn out okay (it did!) – I handed Dagmar 2 different apple bar recipes and told her to make something work.

She did! The end result was an oatmeal crust with a gooey caramel apple filling.

We used homemade caramel sauce – since I forgot to buy caramels when I was shopping that morning – and it worked great!

Caramel Apple Bars

Crust:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional – we didn’t use)

Filling:

4-1/2 cups peeled and chopped baking apples (we used a fat quart of our frozen apples)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 – 14 ounce package caramels
3 tablespoons butter or margarine

Cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add flour, oats, salt and baking soda. Mix well. Stir in pecans.

Set aside 2 cups.

Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13 x 9 inch pan.

For filling, toss apples with flour and spoon over the crust.

In a saucepan melt the caramels and butter over low heat and drizzle over the apples.

Top with the remaining oatmeal mixture.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool before cutting into bars.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps

Matt's homecoming balloonsWhile Jan and I were adventuring in Colorado to see Matt, the other four kids held down the fort at home.

Although they can all cook and had a stocked pantry, they lived on frozen pizza, canned soup, and ham sandwiches. 🙂

But then again – they probably didn’t have time to cook. They were much too busy cleaning the entire house, filling Matt’s room with balloons – each with a handwritten message or silly family memory –  and baking him these welcome home cookies.

While Matt was in Pagosa Springs he discovered a small coffee house that made the most wonderful chocolate chip gingersnaps.cookies

He raved about these cookies so much – that Dagmar went to work to replicate them for him.

And you know what? They are really good!

So good – they have earned a place on our Christmas cookie plates this year!

Soft inside with a touch of chocolate – they are everything I’m looking for in a cookie!

Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps
(adapted from Two Peas in a Pod)

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 – 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 – 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
3 – 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 – 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 cup granulated sugar-for coating cookie dough balls

Cream together butter and sugar. Add the molasses, canola oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix until well combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Slowly add in the flour.

Stir in the mini chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough into balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased baking sheets, about two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, the cookies will still be soft.

Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at At the Well.

Caramel Bars

CaramelI really should call these “panic bars” because I made them in a panic!

It was about 10:30 in the morning and I realized I had company coming at 1:00 – and that company didn’t like chocolate. (Poor kid.)

All of my favorite go-to quick recipes include chocolate (of course!)

To  make matters worse – I was out of butter and margarine.

A quick thumb-through my cookbook collection yielded this recipe – and a quick perusal of the pantry yielded the needed ingredients.

I was back in business!

With just five ingredients – not only were they fast to make –  but they were really rich and gooey and yummy!

Caramel Bars

1 package dry yellow cake mix
2 cups quick- cooking oatmeal (uncooked)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1- 12.5 ounce jar caramel ice cream topping

Mix together the cake mix, oatmeal, and brown sugar. Add the oil and egg; mix well.  Spread half of batter in to a greased 9 x 13 pan. Press a ridge around the edge; then spread with caramel topping. Sprinkle remaining batter on top. Bake 30 minutes ate 350 degrees.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at At the Well and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.