What someone likes in their granola bars probably says a lot about them.

I like mine dried fruit free.  And preferably with lots of chocolate and peanut butter.  So basically, I like cookies.  I guess that tells you I'm six years old.

But for those times when I am actually setting out to create a more healthful snack option {aka when my hand is not permanently stuck in a bag of goldfish}, I'll omit the chocolate and peanut butter.  Sigh. I started to make these thinking: I hope they don't taste like cardboard.  And guess what?  They are way way way better than cardboard!

I guess that's not much of a recommendation, huh?  Ok, how about this: they were gone 24 hours after their creation due to continued, unstoppable nibbles throughout the day.  A lot of these this thought process was happening: "They couldn't have really been that good, right?  Maybe just another taste to check... Wow, I'm proud of myself all over again.  Should I make a second batch right now?  What's gunna happen when I run out if I don't make a second batch?  What if Mr. S&S likes them?  Then I'll have to eat faster to make sure I get my share!  I'd better just make more."

Guess what else?  Mr. S&S, the man who loathes coconut {and is thus the reason there are no recipes using coconut oil on this site, despite its uber-trendiness with food bloggers} ate these bars which include coconut and liked them.  Even when he knew the coconut was in there!  Miracle of miracles!

So I know you all will want to adjust this recipe to include the contents of your own pantry.  In which case I would beg and plead with you to keep the pecans.  Ohforgoodnesssake, they make the bar.  These are pretty subtly flavored bars and the toasted pecan flavor is key.  Just keep that in mind, pleaseandthankyou.  {Also, regular peanut butter would be a bit of a flavor risk since it's a much stronger taste than almond butter.  I would just use more honey and butter instead.}

Pecan & Almond Granola Bars
Makes 12 square bars

1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup ground flax seed
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup almond butter

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spread oats, pecans, almonds, and coconut on a large baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Then turn oven down to 300 degrees.  Place toasted mixture into a mixing bowl.  Measure out honey and almond butter (I measure them both into one cup to reduce dishes).  Melt the butter and pour hot butter into honey and almond butter.  Stir the honey, butter, and almond butter until its all combined (the heat of the butter should help this).  Then pour sticky mixture into the toasted mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated.

Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and press granola mixture into the pan.  Use wet fingers or the back of a spoon to press down the mixture into the pan.  Bake at 300 for 10 minutes.  Then let the bars sit out in the pan for 2 hours.  After 2 hours, slice into 12 pieces and store at room temperature!

It's on, Nature Valley.

One Comment

  1. Hi Jane! Deanna sent me this recipe because she said I HAD to try them. So I did. In fact, Nina and I could not wait the full 2 hours for them to cool before digging in. I thought you should know, they are even kid-approved. In Nina's words, "These are SOOO good. We should make these for Daddy's birthday." Thanks for sharing!


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