Friday, December 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Nut Granola Cakes

I have been dying to make the Verry Berry Granola Bars that Lacey made a few months ago, and I finally got around to it. These were originally adapted from Joyful Abode - and I made them with my own twist too!

I have a sweet tooth for anything peanut butter and chocolate, so that is what I added in to my recipe. I also added in cinnamon, which can do amazing things if you can incorporate it into your every day meals (including curing arthritis and balancing sugar levels for diabetics). Ingredients weren't too expensive and this yielded 22 cupcake sized granola bars. I love snacking and this is a great option to cure my snack cravings and also get in dried fruit and nuts, which are high in protein. Granola is gluten free too!

(most) of the Ingredients!
2 cups of oats
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar OR 1/2 cup stevia & 1 T molasses (mix together with fork)
1/2 cup all natural honey
2 tbsp butter (We use Earth Balance natural spread)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cup mixed nuts and berries (I would add blueberries next time!)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cinnamon
All natural Blackberry Honey - straight from the mountains of East Tennessee
1. Mix flax seed, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and oats together. Put on cookie sheet (with sides) and put in 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted (mix halfway through).

Dry ingredients mixed together
Smells so good toasting in the oven

2. Put brown sugar, honey, butter, and vanilla extract in saucepan and simmer, constantly stirring.  This will be the "glue" for your bars.

 3. Put all the dried fruit and nuts mixed together in a large bowl, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of cinnamon to it.

Dried Cranberries
Mix of  Nuts & Berries
Mix of  Nuts & Berries
 4. Mix everything (including dried fruit) in large bowl. Stir a lot until all of the dry ingredients are coated with your "glue".

Mix it all up!
 5. I decided to make these granola bars as yummy granola cakes in my cupcake baking sheets! Just fill them up and pack down very tightly so they will stick together when you eat them. *If you would rather make them as granola bars on a baking sheet, use Lacey's directions!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Nut Granola Cakes
 6. Put them into the fridge or freezer for around an hour to solidify them. I am storing mine in the fridge to avoid any melting issues.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Nut Granola Cakes

Cheers to a happy, healthy 2012 :)

- Stephanie

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