Thursday, March 14, 2019

granola bars

Making home made granola is a moment of pure joy and happiness plus it's cheaper and what is even more important you get to chose what goes in. With bars it's the same. More often I make granola but this time I have decided to do bars, milky granola bars to be precise. 
Back in time when I was in school there was just one manufacturer that produced granola bars in three or four flavors. Corn flakes, oats, puffed wheat, dried fruits and nuts in traces, everything glued up with honey. Sticky and sweet memories can be evoked easily, as even now after so many years this same manufacturer produces exactly the same granola bars plus few new flavors. I never liked the one with raisins, I like raisins in general but never with oats. There is one with dried apricots, a classic, and when in supermarket I usually reach out for this one. It's simple and modest. Also there is one covered with chocolate. This one was most wanted as a 'healthy' snack back in school days, which reminds me that I like bites of dark chocolate in granola. 
But to get back to milky granola bars.

I was left with some extra sweetened condensed milk and dulce de leche and used it as a substitute for sugar and oil. 
You get 16 bars, that feed two for a week. They can serve as a breakfast or snack. What I like is to deconstruct it and eat with milk or yogurt, sometimes I catch myself just stuffing it. Also, sometimes when I eat it with yogurt I add fresh berries or fruits. You see all these big chunks, I like that.

Granola Bars
280g sweetened condensed milk
100g dulce de leche
250g rolled oats (not instant)
100g coconut chips, gives extra cunch
100g dried cranberries
40g sesame seeds
80g natural unsalted peanuts
60g raw hazelnuts
good pinch of salt

Oats are a must and all other ingredients you can adjust as per taste. 
Place all dry ingredients in a big bowl and mix it. Add warmed condensed milk and dulce de leche. Put disposable vinyl glove on your hand and mix well everything before you spread the mixture and press down into a prepared tin (23x33cm, oil the tin or cover with parchment paper). You can use wooden spoon or spatula for this but try with gloves, so satisfying. Place in a preheated oven to 130°C and bake for one hour. 
Remove from the oven and, after about 20 minutes, cut into bars. Let cool completely before storing. 

(Recipe inspired by breakfast bars - Nigella Lawson)

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