Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Very Berry Chewy Granola Bars

These Very Berry Chewy Granola Bars are great for snacking. They’re loaded with toasty oats, cashews, and an assortment of dried berries.

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Let’s talk about horror films for a moment, shall we?

Love ’em or hate ’em, they sure are fun to watch. They’re not exactly what I call scary. Yeah, I tend to jump in fright when the unexpected rat comes peeling around the corner or the “bad guy” creeps out of the pitch-black shadow unannounced, accidentally tripping over a rusty metal bucket while wielding a bloody axe.

The anticipation of what’s to come kills me more than actual fear. I know it’s going to happen. It has to! It’s a horror film, and horror films pride themselves on catching you off guard. Since I don’t know when the action is going to take place, I sit patiently on the couch or in the theater with my butt cheeks clenched waiting for it to unfold. That damn boo-factor gets me every time.

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Horror films are essentially all the same: blood, gore, murder, squealing women, cocky men folk, and a hero or heroine. That’s it. If it’s not an angry guy running around with a chainsaw, it’s a guy with a hook for a hand. Same premise, different bad guy.

Squirrel and I watched the hundredth Texas Chainsaw Massacre the other night. Cracks me up every time. I’m not a good movie partner when it comes to horror films. I’m usually cracking up laughing at the slaughter of some squealing blonde (seriously, run!) or adding my own commentary, “Pah-lease, is that bloody axe all you got?” I can ruin a horror film.

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While I’m poking fun at the film, I like to snack. Hey, it takes a lot out on a gal. I have to replenish my nutrients so I can keep up on the witty commentary.

These Very Berry Chewy Granola Bars are the way to go.

I’ve made several types of granola in the past, but never a granola bar. These granola bars were inspired by The Back in the Day Bakery cookbook. Whew, is there a lot of good stuff in that book. Healthy? No. Delicious? Heck yes! Their version of the granola bar looked amazing, but twelve tablespoons of butter was far to much…even for me.

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I decided to create a healthier version. I used a ton of good-for-you ingredients: cashews, dried cherries, blueberries, cranberries, and even pecan flour. Don’t get nervous. Pecan flour is just ground up pecans. The flavor that the pecan flour adds to granola is off the charts delicious. Imagine a toasted pecan. Got it? Now, imagine that same toasted pecan, but now imagine its toasty flavor throughout an entire pan of granola. I know, right?

I used a mixture of butter, coconut oil, and honey to bind the bars. Mmm, they’re buttery, toasty, and ooey-gooey sweet.

You want the parchment to hang over two opposite sides of the pan. This helps make transferring the granola from the pan to the wire rack a cinch. If the granola sticks to the pan slightly, run a butter knife along the edges to loosen it.

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I think Squirrel enjoyed the granola, too. When I was munching on a mouthful of granola, there was less commentary and joke cracking. In other words, he could actually enjoy the film.

Very Berry Granola Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup pecan flour (see note)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sided of a 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment, allowing the parchment to overhang on two opposite sides.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, pecan flour, cinnamon, salt, cashews, and dried berries.
In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, butter, vanilla extract, and honey. Add to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula.
Press the granola mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Fold the parchment overhang onto the granola and press firmly. Unfold the parchment before placing in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Lift the sides of the parchment and transfer the granola to a wire rack to cool completely.
When the granola is completely cooled, remove from the parchment and onto a cutting board. Cut into squares. Layer the squares between wax paper in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

***Note: To make pecan flour, add pecans to a food processor and pulse until it becomes a fine crumb.

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21 Responses to “Very Berry Chewy Granola Bars”

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    1
    movita beaucoup — May 22, 2013 at 5:15 am

    I have a theory that the suspense created by horror films cancels out any calories you might consume during the movie. I don’t “do” scary movies, because the last time I attempted to sit through one, I lost about 5 pounds and 2 years off my life. It may have been the butt clenching.

    That said, those granola bars look freakin’ awesome. Not scary in the least.

    Reply

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    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — May 22, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Ooooh that pecan flour sounds amazing-love these bars!

    And aghhh I cannot handle horror movies, they are so scary to me (unless I’m in them, horror movies I’m in lose their scare factor :P)

    Reply

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    [email protected] — May 22, 2013 at 7:07 am

    This is my kind of granola bar!

    Reply

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    Laura Dembowski — May 22, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Love the addition of the pecan flour – great idea. I’m so into granola and granola bars right now. I’m gonna go grab some granola for breakfast!

    Reply

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    Julia — May 22, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I’m such a pansy when it comes to horror movies. I feel like they’re getting scarier and scarier…with creepy crawly people walking up walls and turning their heads 360 degrees. aaaaaaaaaah so creepy! Your granola bars look faaaabulous, my dear! Must action this soon!

    Reply

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    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — May 22, 2013 at 9:46 am

    These look so delish! Wow, how awesome!

    Reply

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    Anita at Hungry Couple — May 22, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Good for you for making a healthy bar that actually is healthy. :) And the only way I can watch horror films is with the sound on mute. It’s amazing how much less scary they are that way. :)

    Reply

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    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — May 22, 2013 at 10:56 am

    These bars sound amazing, Jennie! Love that you used half coconut oil and half butter. Now pass the pan!:)

    Reply

  9. #
    9
    CCU — May 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Haha I am a horror movie addict so I could definitely use these bars to not get scared out of my socks – plus they look rather tasty :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply

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    10
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Love all the dried berries in these beautiful bars! Great recipe, Jennie!

    Reply

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    Dan from Platter Talk — May 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Now, these look wonderful! I’m not such a fan of cheesy horror movies, but granola bars, I’ll take one every time! Great post!

    Reply

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    mjskit — May 22, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Good for you to be able to poke fun at horror films. I never can make it through the first slaughter and I certainly couldn’t imagine “eating” while watching one. You’re just like my husband who laughs at them. Well, I would easily eat a whole batch of the granola bars, but not during a horror film. :)

    Reply

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    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — May 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I hate/love horror movies. I hate being scared but I want to see the scary movies people are talking about. I am still having nightmares about the first Paranormal Activity, but I still want to see the other ones. Crazy. What’s not crazy? These granola bars. I maybe want to serve them with ice cream on top!

    Reply

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    The Ninja Baker — May 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    My hat is off to you, Jennie. I can barely swallow during a scary film…Of course, if I were presented with your granola bars, I might be able to handle 2 or 3 =)

    Thank you for anotheryummy recipe!

    Reply

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    Monet — May 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    I’m all about snacking during movies too. And don’t horror films burn more calories? All that heart-racing and jumping up in your seat? Thank you for sharing these delicious and chewy bars. They look and sound heavenly!

    Reply

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    Nancy @ gottagetbaked — May 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Jen, you’re a riot. Poor squirrel. I love scary movies but only if they’re done well. If it’s a lame-o slasher film, then I’m the same as you – I’ll laugh at inappropriate moments and make snarky remarks (which drives Tony nuts). Having a mouthful of delicious granola to chew would definitely make the movie watching experience more pleasurable for my friends and family. Granola bars are on my culinary bucket list so I’m printing this recipe for sure. You had me at toasted pecan (yummm…).

    Reply

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    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Love all the texture and flavors you worked into these bars! That’s my fave way to do granola bars!

    Reply

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    Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron — May 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make granola bars and these sound just right! The idea of toasted pecan flavor in every bite sure sounds good!

    Reply

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    Renee — May 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Pinned and on my to-make list. I love, love, love granola bars.

    Reply

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