Friday, July 9, 2010

Chewy Granola Bars

or I would call these "I'm going on vacation to Hawaii bars"!

Yep, I leave for Hawaii tomorrow for a whole week of nothing but Pina Colada's and fresh Mahi Mahi. I will be sad to not get to bake for a whole week, but I did a lot of pre-vacation baking to get it all out of my system. I wanted to make some granola bars because they are easy to pack and seemed like the healthier option with all the vacation eating that will be going on. Does anyone else own "vacation shorts" or is that just me?


I couldn't decide which type of granola bars to make, so I made both. Making two nearly identical recipes at the exact same time is a great idea. One kind is for the chocolate lover in me and it has dark chocolate chips, raisins, almonds, and sunflower seeds. The other is a Hawaiian themed bar with white chocolate chips, crushed almonds, dried mangoes, apricots, and pineapple chunks. They are both amazing, it really just depends on what mood you are in to decide which one to eat first!


Chewy Granola Bars

1 and 2/3 cup quick rolled oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 cups dried fruits and nuts
1/3 cup peanut butter
6 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup, light corn syrup
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper, then grease exposing pan and parchment paper. Combine oats, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and dried fruits and nuts, set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, honey or syrup, light corn syrup, and water. Mix wet and dry ingredients, adding in peanut butter, until well combined and crumbly. Press mixture into pan, try using a greased piece of plastic wrap. Bake bars for 25-30 minutes or until slightly brown on edges. Let bars cool to room temperature, then place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until chilled. Remove from pan, cut bars, and enjoy.

This recipe was adapted from the King Arthur Flour site. It called for Sticky Bun Sugar, which I have never heard of so I didn't have it. The site gave a substitution of 3/4 cup granulated sugar + 2 tbsp light corn syrup + 2 tbsp melted butter, which you see above in the recipe. I also did not add as much sugar as suggested because I added a bunch of fruit and chocolate, if you are using less sweet fruits and nuts then I would recommend adding more sugar. For the chocolate granola bars I used honey, but ran out so for the Hawaiian granola bars I used maple syrup and you could taste both in each bar, both tasted equally great! Lastly I did not have oat flour, so I used 1/3 cup of oats and put it in the food processor for 15 seconds.


Also in preparation for my trip, I have really been trying to learn the features of my new camera. I took a class at the Houston Center for Photography with a friend and it has helped immensely. I used the granola bars as practice for trying out the different lighting settings and manual focus on the camera.

Below are camera light settings Tungsten, Sunlight, and Auto taken in a room with all the window blinds open at 5PM and my overhead kitchen lighting.


Looks like auto setting wins for my inside food photography.

Something you cannot get with a point and shoot are all the focusing options. Here I used manual focus to bring each object in the scene into focus.


Any last minute photo tips for landscape and water photography?

24 comments:

  1. What perfect babies these are...They sound wonderful:)

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  2. definitely will try these next time i will be travelling! It is always good to pack your own food and these just seem perfect! thanks for sharing!

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  3. Hope you have an awesome time in Hawaii… the bars look like perfect pick me ups when you need something to munch!

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  4. I love homemade granola bars! Your Hawaiian inspired bar sounds fantastic :) Have a great trip!

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  5. These sound fantastic, thanks for sharing!

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  6. These looks so yummy and healthy!

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  7. Hi Debbie
    When you have time please stop by my blog, I have some awards for you if you would like them!
    Dennis

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  8. How nice, my friend Chef Dennis Littley told me what your name is!

    Hello there Debbie,
    I love your close up of the eggs here; it really has a nice effect when you tile it as you did. :-)
    It is amazing how a simple ingredient can have an impact when it is photographed the way you did.

    My name is Polly Motzko in the food world, or "Paulette Le Pore Motzko"...in the journalistic/business world....which is my full name.

    You can find me on Face Book by looking up my entire name, as I am the ONLY ONE in the WORLD. :-)

    I was going to edit one of my own recipes and then upload some new pictures I took of my Spumoni Cookies...of the doughs and how I used 3 bowls for the 3 different flavored doughs: Cherry, Pistachio and Chocolate. The Silicone Loaf Pan worked well to put the layers of dough in as it doesn't stick to the dough, when I go to slice and bake them tomorrow....or later today.

    I really love your recipe here and I had my peanut butter on the table to search to find a recipe for granola bars that incorporated that in it-the Daily 9 saved me and your recipe is a winner.

    I want to put it on my cooking blog and would love you to join it and see it there.

    Polly Motzko

    http://www.CookingUpAStorminCa.ning.com

    You can email me any time at:

    CookingUpAStorminCa@gmail.com

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  9. love the granola bars!!! i've tried making them before and couldn't get them the right chewy consistency, so i'll have to give your recipe a try!!

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  10. Congrats on Top 9! I knew this post would make it. Hope your having fun in Hawaii.

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  11. Congrats on the Foodbuzz Top 9!! Woo HOOOO

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  12. These sound yummy... and I love your photo comparisons. :)

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  13. Good for you! Congrats on top 9! These look awesome!

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  14. I'll take the non-chocolate kind! They look wonderful. Have an outstanding trip!!

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  15. Yum! these sound great :)
    oh, and have fun in Hawaii!! Don't forget to try shave ice!!!

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  16. These look so delicious and beautiful. You're probably already there but have fun in Hawaii!!

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  17. hey! these look so good, and i actually have what i need to make them in my pantry, which is always the best part of encountering a new recipe. i want one for snack!!

    - lauren, lauren's little kitchen

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  18. Ever since I started making my own granola bars I can't even look at them in store anymore! These look great- especially the chocolate ones :)

    I'm jealous of your upcoming trip/photography class...I need to take one!

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  19. I have to try making my own Granola bars. I think I'll go for the chocolate ones although the fruit is tempting too. Wishing you safe travels.

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  20. Great post and great blog. I love making my own granola bars so easy and good. Yours look delish. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. How cool!! I never thought making your own granola bars was this simple -- I must try it out sometime. I am tired of buying the stale and overly sweet ones from the store. Thanks for sharing :)!

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  22. Oh how I love a tasty granola bar. Yours look delicious! Have a great time in Hawaii. I can't wait to hear all about your trip!

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  23. These granola bars look perfect for any time during the day and packed with a lot of good ingredients. Great to pack for back to school and nibbles at the office!

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