School is out in Colorado! As always, I have grand plans for the 2-1/2 months ahead – including some food-related learning for the kids:
- How to make scrambled eggs
- How to make eggs over-easy
- Pancakes 101
The last two winters I conducted “baking class” for the kids on weekends – they may not know how to cook eggs, but at ages 7 and 9 they can crank out a pan of chocolate chip cookies, baby! And yet… it seems like we are long overdue to kick things up a notch in kitchen independence.
Meanwhile, today’s our first non-holiday summer break day and I have been short-fused lately (did not sleep so well over the weekend camping at altitude – 32-degrees overnight!) so I whipped up a pan of these easy chewy granola bars for the kids to help themselves to this week as needed.
This is one of those recipes that didn’t turn quite the same when I substituted gluten free flour – the GF bars were more crumbly than the whole wheat ones. In both cases, I recommend allowing the bars to cool in the pan completely before you cut them.
If you should happen to find that your raisins and dried cherries/cranberries are a bit on the over-dry side when you open them up for this recipe, you can plump them over simmering water in a strainer for three minutes.
I typically do this with raisins before baking as a matter of course – makes them tender to chew and less likely to stick in the teeth.
Honey Trail Mix Bars
These bars are a tasty treat, easy to modify with your favorite dried fruit and a little chocolate (or other chips - cinnamon, butterscotch, etc.).
- 5 cups Old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup Whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 3/4 cup Honey
- 1/2 cup Brown sugar
- 2/3 cup Butter Softened
- 1/2 cup Chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup Raisins
- 1/2 cup Dried cherries or cranberries
- 1/2 cup Sliced almonds or chopped pecans
Grease the inside of a 9x13 baking dish (ceramic works best but glass will do as well - just reduce baking temperature to 300F).
In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer cream vanilla, honey, brown sugar and softened butter.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture (batter will be fairly heavy). Then stir in the remaining ingredients (chocolate, dried fruit, nuts).
Press into prepared pan with a spatula or wooden spoon (or your hands if you like). Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely in the pan before cutting them into bars.
What my 7-year old is reading: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1