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Easy Enough Granola Bars

This is branching off from my granola recipe.  I have been trying to make some granola bars that stick together, don't burn, and taste scrumptious.  BINGO!  The trick is that you don't make the granola "bar" until the last minute.  Here is how it goes..........

First you make the grain-free granola recipe
This is a big recipe because we eat a lot.  The granola bars store well so it is well worth it to make a bunch of granola bars at one time.  


5 cups small almond grounds (just whip some whole almonds around in the food processor)
2 cups unsweetend flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries (or other fruit)

1 cup soy-free buttery spread (Earthbalance)
1 cup honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter and honey together over the stove top, then pour the liquid over the dry ingredients.  Pour the granola mixture into two large glass baking pans and bake at 350* for about 1 hour or until golden brown on top.  You will have to stir the granola mixture around in the pan every ten minutes so it doesn't burn. 

Next find a mold you like.  I have used a mini muffin pan, a mini loaf pan, and a silicone chocolate mold.  You won't be able to cut these after they have cooled down so make sure you like the shape of your mold.  The smaller you make these the better that is why "mini" is the key word here.  

When the granola is done baking and is all golden brown, pop it out of the oven. You can let the granola cool just a little bit.  You want it to be very soft for the mold.
Press the (still warm) granola mix into the mold.  I use a small wooden mallet to compact the granola and save my fingers from burning.  THIS IS HOT, be careful.

The tighter you pack it the better it will hold together when it cools.

Let the packed granola cool in the mold for a little bit then pop the granola bars out on the counter.  Allow them to completely cool on a rack before packaging them.

These granola bars can store at room temperature for about a week.  If you live in a humid environment they will become slightly soft but will still stay together. 

Carb counts depend on how many granola bars you make.  Simply divide 400 by the number of granola bars you made and there is your carb count for each individual bar.  This is a great snack to pack for those relentlessly "hungry" kids.  It holds up well in the lunch box.