My sister Meg’s Granola Bars

My sister Meg is a wonderful cook and especially loves baking. She adapted this recipe and introduced these to her local coffee shop, Icons, in Grand Rapids. It is by far one of the best granola bars! I recommend lining the pan with parchment as I have had a hard time getting the bars out of the pan. I bag up the non bars and give them to my husband to eat on ice cream or out of the bag!

Recipe By: Meg adapted from here:http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/02/thick-chewy-granola-bars/ You can vary the fruits and nuts-I did not have coconut, pecans or flax so I made up the weight in pistachios, sesame seeds and more almonds.

Serving Size: 14

Ingredients:

DRY (BASE INGREDIENTS):
9 1/2 ounces oats – (about 4 1/3 cup)
3 1/2 ounces oat flour (about 2/3 cup)
9 3/8 ounces sugar- (about 1 1/4 cup)
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
NUTS, SEED, FRUIT PART:
This total amount of nuts, seeds, fruit measures about 4 3/4 cups (so you could substitute anything and aim for 4 3/4 cups). For Icons, I do the following:
3 3/4 ounces dried cherries- about 3/4 cup
3 3/4 ounces raisins- about 3/4 cup
3 ounces pecans- about 3/4 cup
3 ounces pumpkin seeds- about 3/4 cup
3 ounces sunflower seeds- about 2/3 cup
1 ounce flax seeds- about 3/8 cup
1 1/2 ounces sliced almonds- about 1/2 cup
3 ounces coconut- about 1 cup
LIQUID:
6 ounces peanut butter ( about 2/3 cup)
12 ounces   butter (1 1/2 sticks)
5 1/2 ounces honey (1/2 cup)
2.5 ounces light corn syrup (1/4 cup)
2 T. water
2 t. vanilla

Directions:

Mix all of the dry ingredients together (including nuts, seeds and fruits)
Heat and blend together the wet ingredients in a sauce pan.
Stir into the dry ingredients well till all coated.
Spray a 9 x 12 pan  with Pam ( I use a coated Wilsonart pan from Meijers or a coated Capalon pan I got a Target- both were sold with a nice plastic cover on them) and put the mixture into it. Pack it down hard with a flat metal spatula.
Bake at 350 for 28-30 minutes. Let cool about 3 hours and cut into bars. I cut it into 14 bars for the coffee shop- each is just under 1 3/4″ wide. (It is easier to cut the pan into 16 bars since it is an even number but I wanted to make the Icons bars a little bigger.)

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