Friday, December 17, 2010

Granola bites

I suck at making granola.  For real.  My older sister gave me a great recipe, but I always end up burning it because I get distracted with the kiddos and forget to stir it at just the right moment.  Or, my timer is beeping at me, but I'm changing a diaper, and that extra minute is just too much for the finicky granola!

Then, I found this recipe.  Super easy, and I love that it packs an extra nutritional punch with the flax seed and wheat germ.  You'd never know it was in there watching Isaac gobble these goodies up!  Mine turned out a little more brown {though not burned!} than it probably should have, so I'll just knock a couple minutes off the bake time next time.  I'm guessing it's because I used a mini muffin pan instead of the silicone cups.  You can also make granola bars using the same recipe, but it just seemed like a little too much extra for me at the time.  I might give them a go eventually.

Granola Bites

2 1/2 C. quick oats
1/2 C. crisp rice cereal
1/2 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips {I used reg. chips because I didn't have the mini!}
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. canola oil
1/4 C. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
* optional: ground flax seed and/or wheat germ {I use 3 heaping Tbs. or so of each}.

Mix all ingredients {except for the chocolate chips} really, really, really well. Start with a spoon, finish with your hands. Make sure everything is really blended. If your mixture seems dry after mixing then you may need to add a little more oil and/or honey - a teaspoon at a time - until it starts to clump up a little.  Then, stir in chocolate chips.

Holding the mini muffin cups, scoop the granola mixture in and form the mound compactly. I use a rounded tablespoon to help form them, a small cookie scoop would work too. You need to use both hands to press the granola and support the muffin cup at the same time. Line them up on a baking sheet to place in the oven.  Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until tops are golden.

**If you use a mini muffin pan, make sure you grease/spray the pan before adding the granola.  I used the spoon idea to help compact the granola into them.  I'd say cook them for 8-10 minutes in the mini muffin pan.  Once they cool, they pop out really easily with a butter knife.

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