I’ve liked granola bars for as long as I can remember. Could it be the candy-like wrappers? The combination of sweet and salty? Their magic hunger killing powers when enjoyed with coffee, tea, water, soda? They are so convenient I always have a box or two at home and at work. Although I have made ‘loose’ granola at home before, this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Granola Energy Bars, was my first time baking and slicing it into bars. It won’t be the last. No brand that I know of has come up with apricot macadamia or fig and pecan varieties. And those are just the flavors I thought up with this week!
Dorie suggests a using a mixture of 2 parts old fashioned oats, to 1 part dried fruit and 1 part nuts . These granola energy bars are bound together with brown rice syrup and a couple of tablespoons of butter. It was the first time I stocked up on brown rice syrup. Per volume, brown rice syrup is one half as sweet as sugar. Its thicker texture also binds granolas better than honey, maple syrup or agave. Upon first smell, I was afraid the brown rice aftertaste would be too strong in these, but my fears were unfounded. The tablespoon of vanilla, along with the butter, nuts and figs muted the rice-y flavors in the syrup. I was happy to have that jar of sweetener on hand. I ran out of sugar after baking last week and it was a perfect alternative to stronger flavored honey for a sauce.
Tuesdays with Dorie is an online baking group where home bakers from all over the world work their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi and Baking with Julia. Check out other delicious varieties of granola energy bars inspired by Dorie’s recipe here.