Apple Granola Bars

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I love apple picking in the fall.  We always take the kids and get a bushel of “utility” or seconds.  They are significantly cheaper and are great for cooking.  When we get home we wash them and and use an apple slicer/corer to cut them.  I put the slices in a dehydrator and dry them crisp and store in mason jars to use mostly for this recipe throughout the year.

This is one of the maniacs favorite snacks I make for them.  This recipe usually lasts us a little over a week and it gives them a homemade snack for school lunches or after school snacks.

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I start off with my home dried apple slices.  As you can see I don’t bother to peel them or soak them in lemon juice before drying.  That is just another step I don’t want to bother with and since they always end up cooked in some way the coloring doesn’t matter to me.

What I want to get is about 1 cup of tiny broken up apple pieces.  For two years I would dump out a big pile and start dicing them with a large knife until the pieces were small enough.  Then somewhere around the 50th time I was making them it struck me using a food processor would be a lot less work.  Now I just throw 2-3 cups of slices into the processor and grind them until they are broken up into tiny pieces and powder.

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Into a large mixing bowl goes the dry ingredients.  3 cups old fashioned oats, 1 cup steel cut (quick) oats, 1 cup dried apple pieces, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg.  I stir these really good breaking up any large bits of brown sugar.

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Next the wet ingredients go in.  1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter, 1/3 cup honey.  Everything gets stirred together to incorporate, then I dump it onto a half sheet pan lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

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Using my trusty spatula I pat it down into an even layer covering the whole pan.  It is now ready for the preheated 350 degree oven.

 

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25 minutes usually works perfect for this.  They will be soft looking coming out of the oven and will harden as they cool.  I let them rest on the counter for about 20 minutes then I place a cutting board larger then the pan face down on the pan and flip it over, then give the bottom of the pan a few whacks and they come out on the board face down,  Then I peel off the silicone mat and slice them while still soft.  If you are using parchment you should be able to just lift them out and slice.

I have burned these a few times and the great part about over cooking them is you can crumble and use as granola in yogurt or cereal.  I love being able to cover up my mistakes!

This will give you about 40 square bars, enough for plenty of snack times and late night hunger pains. If you want to really score points, I sometimes melt a little chocolate and drizzle on them to cross over into more of a treat!

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Apple Granola Bars
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Blogging with Apples
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 40
A homemade kid friendly snack for school lunches!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried apples diced small
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup steel cut quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a half sheet pan with silicone mat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine apples, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. Pour in butter and honey and mix to combine.
  4. Dump onto sheet pan mat and spread in an even layer over whole pan.
  5. Bale 25 minutes and remove when slightly golden.
  6. Allow to cool about 20 minutes and invert onto large cutting board.
  7. Slice bars while still warm and soft then allow to cool completely to harden.
  8. Store in glass or plastic container at room temperature and enjoy.
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Jeff McIntosh

About Jeff McIntosh

Jeff's family lives in his childhood home on a 1/4 acre in town lot. Despite the small space to work with, they have challenged ourselves to produce as much of our own food as possible — and cook it! They document their journey at Blogging with Apples.