Of the many items on that list, a good road trip was nowhere to be found. A road trip is definitely on my summertime list. Who doesn’t love a quick afternoon car adventure or a lengthy drive to a much-anticipated vacation spot?
Last weekend, David, John and I were invited to a friend’s cottage in the Huntsville area. It’s safe to say that David and I were both a little nervous about how John would take to being car-bound for three-plus hours on highways 401, 400 and 11.
We played it safe and packed a few new toys and lots of yummy treats in case of an emergency — the emergency being rather loud verbal protesting by John, in case you’re wondering.
I’m both pleased and proud to announce that little John did very well in the car, although that didn’t stop us from devouring the yummy “emergency” treats like these granola bars anyway. As it turned out, David was more in need of pacifying than John...
Because granola bars are inexpensive and easy to make, as well as easy to eat on the run, they make for perfect road food. This recipe was adapted from the Whitewater Cooks granola bar recipe. I added cocoa powder, various seeds and dried fruit for richness and texture.
'emergency' granola bars
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut, toasted
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 3/4 cup dried fruit — cranberries, blueberries, for example
- 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
- 3 and 1/2 cups oats
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 13” by 18” rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large frying pan, toast the coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds over medium heat until coconut is light golden and seeds are glistening. Set aside to cool.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Next, add the peanut butter, vanilla and cocoa powder until whipped and well combined. Next, add in the maple syrup and corn syrup until combined.
- On medium low speed, add in the coconut seed mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure that everything is well-mixed.
- On low speed, add in the oats, dried fruit and chocolate chips.
- Pour the granola mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and pack down the granola until it is spread evenly across the pan.
- For crunchy granola bars, bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown; rotating the pan every 10 minutes or so. Let cool slightly and cut into 30 squares while still warm.
- For chewy granola bars, bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden, rotating the pan once after 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and cut into 30 squares while still warm.