I am paired up with Amie from My Retro Kitchen. I was first introduced to her blog back in April when she featured Alicia (aka Poise in Parma) on her Fridays, Feasting with Friends segment, but I had the pleasure of meeting Amie in person at last month's OBA event. Amie has some really great recipes so I hope you'll check out her blog.
Hi everyone! I am so excited to be guest on Cooker Girl today- so fun! My name is Amie and I write the food blog My Retro Kitchen. The concept of My Retro Kitchen grew from the idea that a home-cooked meal is something of the past. It is a retro idea. I think it is one of the best things a person can give their family! A huge part of nurturing my family is by feeding them well. In my book, full happy bellies = a happy husband and children. And when you have a happy family, you also have a happy mommy!
Jackson, my 4 year old son is my number one assistant in the kitchen. He has developed a love for cooking and has a huge appetite for yummy food. These granola bars are one of our most favorite things to cook (and eat!) together. They are easy-peasy and so super versatile. So easy, that it almost makes it silly to ever buy them from a store again. Plus when you make them at home, you know exactly what is going in them- no weird processed stuff in these babies!! Almond, White Chocolate Cherry is the most requested flavor, but don’t be afraid to play around with your ingredients; different dried fruits, mixed cereals, nuts and seeds. The possibilities are endless!
With the Christmas Season approaching it is time to start thinking about gift giving. A tin of these homemade treats wrapped with a pretty bow would make a beautiful, heartfelt gift that anyone would love!
Almond, White Chocolate, Cherry Granola Bars
recipe from My Retro Kitchen
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup almonds
1 cup rice crispies
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup white chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven to 325. Line a square 8" baking pan with 2 crisscrossed rectangles of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang at 2 opposite ends. The overhang is what will assist you in lifting the granola out of the pan for cutting.
Combine the oats and almonds and spread them out evenly on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes. When the oat mixture has been toasting for about 10 minutes, combine the honey, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, oil and water in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar.
When the oat mixture is done toasting, transfer it to a large bowl and add the honey mixture, rice crispies, white chocolate chips and fruit; stir to incorporate. Spread evenly in bottom of pan, pressing down to create a smooth, even top.
Bake the granola mixture for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. After about a half and hour, press down again super HARD to make sure everything sticks together and you can get nice, firm bars. A measuring cup works well for this. Sprinkle the rest of the white chocolate chips on top and press down lightly.
Let cool completely. I am serious here. I know it is insanely tempting, but if you cut them too soon they will crumble everywhere and they won't be granola bars anymore. Just granola. Wait at least 2-3 hours before trying to cut them apart.
Once cool, lift out of pan using paper as handles. Cut into one-inch wide bars with a large, sharp knife. Then, cut them again in half lengthwise. Store in an airtight container. If you aren't going to eat them all within a week, be sure to refrigerate or freeze them. There are no preservatives in these, so they won't last forever and a lifetime in your pantry like the store bought kinds.