Thursday, May 7, 2015

Gluten Free Granola Bars - Chocolate Dipped

I've always liked granola bars.  I've never made them at home...until now...and now I'm obsessed with them!  Who knew how easy and yummy a homemade granola bar is.  These Gluten Free Granola Bars are so versatile too.  You can add whatever nuts you want and any kind of dried fruit or no fruit at'a all up to you!  I had to dip mine in chocolate, although they are yummy without it too.  You could add chocolate chips or butterscotch chips or whatever tickles your fancy.  I used what I had in my cupboard at the time, which happened to be dates and dried pears.  Next time I'm trying dried cherries (cherries and chocolate...oh yum).
Gluten Free Granola Bars - Chocolate Dipped

The little parts on the edges that broke off when cutting the bars were made into granola...some of which I also rolled around in the left over chocolate after dipping the bars.  That made some yummy little bite sized bites of granola and chocolate heaven!  I dare you to make these and not get obsessed too!

Recipe from:  Goodies Gone Gluten Free
Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman
click here for Printable recipe

6 cups Gluten Free Rolled Oats (I used Trader Joes brand)
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cups canola oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple juice or apple sauce mixed with a little water
1/4 cup molasses
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups gluten free crisp rice cereal or Chex Cereal lightly crushed
1 cup Flax seed meal
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
2 Tbsp dates - optional
2 Tbsp dried fruit of choice - optional (I used dried pears)
1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, melted (I used semi-sweet) - optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, toss the oats with the canola oil, melted butter and salt.  Spread the mixture out on 2 baking sheets and toast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring oats on the pan twice to make sure they don't burn.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F.  In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, apple juice and molasses.  Heat the mixture slowly, stirring until all is combined.  Stir in the vanilla.  Toss together the toasted oats, cereal, flax seed meal, pecans almonds and fruit (if using).  Pour in the sugar mixture, stirring as you pour.  Toss to combine;  it will be sticky.

Press into 1 baking sheet (lined with foil and greased with butter or cooking spray.  Don't skip greasing the foil or it will stick to the bars) and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes, for a crisp granola bar, or 15-20 minutes for a softer bar.  Remove from oven and let cool.  They will set up and harden more as they cool. Once completely cooled peel off the foil ad,cut pieces into long bar shape with a sharp knife and remove from the pan.

If dipping in chocolate, melt chips at 50% power in microwave for 30 second intervals.  Stirring in between until melted.  Dips bottoms of bars in chocolate and place chocolate side down on parchment paper until set.  Putting them in the fridge to set will be quicker.  Store in airtight container.

Granola crumbles, with chocolate dipped ones!