As I’ve said before, when I get bored, I bake. Since it’s usually a spur of the moment thing and all I really want is a sweet diversion, I try to take it as an opportunity to test out a new recipe, rather than just make the same old chocolate chip cookies. This time, I decided to try to COMBINE two of my favorite types of cookies, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter, into a beautiful marriage that would taste something like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. These would be great with raisins or other dried fruit instead of cranberries, but don’t skip the peanuts – they really give that crunchy peanut butter taste! Also, a note about the instruction to hit the pan on the counter halfway through baking: I didn’t make this up but I hoped it would help with chewiness. To hear about the origins, see this New York Times Cooking article.
My sister has been a vegetarian for 15 years and within the last year decided to go fully vegan. This has inspired me to eat vegan more often myself, both because it’s better for the environment and my health and so that we can share meals together. There are many things my sister had to give up when going vegan, and other things that are just very hard to find. Chocolate falls into this last category. Chocolate itself is already vegan – it’s just a bean. But a lot of chocolate has milk added to it, even if it’s not what you would consider milk or white chocolate. Even if the chocolate is vegan, the filling of a truffle might have animal products in it. It seemed so silly that my sister would have to give up chocolates, especially because they don’t require non-vegan ingredients. So this year for Easter I enlisted her help in making up a couple recipes so everyone could have a great holiday! To the full post!
This is a bit of an unusual post for me, because this is far from the first time I’ve made these granola bars. In fact, I eat at least one every day, so trust me when I say I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about them…
The reason I eat so many granola bars is that I have a serious hangry problem. My day can be going along fine, then suddenly my blood sugar drops and within 30 minutes I’m irritable and nauseated. As a result, I carry snacks everywhere, and these are my reliable favorites. I prefer them over store-bought granola bars because commercial bars are so expensive, and they often contain chocolate or some mysterious sticky binding agent, neither of which I enjoy. When I make my own granola bars, I can use big pieces of fruit and nuts, and I get exactly what I want. This particular recipe is so easy: just one bowl, one 13×9 pan, and they make enough for a few weeks. Making your own granola bars is something I recommend to everyone. Once you go homemade, you won’t go back.