The Easiest Granola Bars Ever

Feb 2015 004

I don’t know if it’s just me, but my kids seem to eat non-stop.  I can’t seem to understand how 3 little people can eat so much.  My husband says I’m a grazer and they get it from me.  Whatever the cause they MUST have 3 meals and 2 snacks EVERYDAY without fail.  What does this mean? To keep them and me from getting cranky, we must have snacks readily available.  Enter my favorite granola bars.

I LOVE these granola bars because they are the easiest ones I’ve ever made! You pretty much dump everything into a bowl, stir, and bake.  Well, there’s a little more, but not much.  I don’t know who Aliceyn Fukuhl is, but I found this recipe years ago and would LOVE to thank her because I can’t count how many times I’ve made these granola bars.  They have been a permanent fixture in the Hill House for almost as long as we’ve had children.  I’ve made at least a dozen different variations of her original recipe.  They are great to take for play dates, class snacks, team snacks, you name it! When people taste these, they usually ask for the recipe.  It’s great knowing you have complete control over what’s going into a snack and that it doesn’t take a lot of time to have something homemade.

Another reason we LOVE this recipe is because it is really versatile.  I have used almonds, peanuts, cashews, and pecans and they all work well.  I have also omitted nuts completely in other versions, or substituted them with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. The sky is the limit. They key is just to keep the proportions the same.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1- 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted (lately I’ve been using coconut oil)
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (or whatever nuts you like)
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 15 x 10 inch pan with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sweetened condensed milk, oil, coconut, almonds, chocolate chips and cranberries until well blended.  Pour onto the prepared pan and press flat. (For this step I use a sheet of waxed paper to press the mixture into the pan because it’s pretty sticky and this avoids a lot of mess.  This is particularly important if you’re like me and have lots of little helpers.)
Feb 2015 001
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes depending on the desired crunchiness.  The less time in the oven the chewier (Is that a word?) the bars.  Let cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares, and let cool completely before serving.
Note:  In a pinch I have made these with honey instead of condensed milk.  They are pretty sweet, but still tasty.  I would simply cut the bars a little smaller.

5 Minutes to Dark Chocolate Love!

Feb 2015 033

I am NOT a patient person.  In fact I have often told friends and family, “Patience is a virtue I do not possess.”  This is probably the reason I don’t have any real hobbies.  At least not anything that takes a long time, like gardening or knitting or …??? My lack of patience is one of the reasons I am really excited!!!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE dark chocolate! And I LOVE the idea of instant gratification. Some nights I want a warm chocolatey treat that doesn’t take a lot of time.  For those nights I don’t want to wait until the kids are in the bed I had to come up with something I could share. This is a recipe my son can eat too! This dark chocolate cake made with coconut flour is so moist and fudgey and rich and yummy you will not believe it only takes 5 minutes to throw together.

I haven’t managed to get a great picture of this dessert and I’ve made it a number of times trying to get a better shot. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Hey, my husband may read this.  Photographer I am not.  You’ll simply have to trust me when I say this is really good.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 Tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 5 Tbsp milk
  • a splash of vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients  together in a large mug.  Add egg and combine well.  It will be gooey.  Add coconut oil and milk and stir.  Add in chocolate chips and mix.  The batter will be very stiff.  Microwave for 3 minutes.  Eat warm straight from the mug.  Send me a note to thank me later:).