Friday, August 03, 2012

Macaroon crunch

I bought some Nature's path macaroon crunch granola bars a while ago (for a train trip i didn't take!) and we proceeded to eat through them much too rapidly afterward. Before the last one was over, I was thinking about how to make them.

A little Googling turned up some options, but they were not quite right, and didn't include the exact ingredients on the ingredient list. Plus, the ingredients, despite all being organic, were full of things I didn't understand (why put vitamin E in granola bars? what natural flavors? why oats and oat fiber and oat syrup solids?) and things I'd rather do without (a dash of honey, uhoh, not vegan! and invert cane syrup).

Instead, with abundant modifications from, I came up with the following. I recommend using organic and/or local ingredients where possible, and fair trade cocoa and chocolate. Yay for treats without unrecyclable wrapping!

Homemade Macaroon Crunch Bars

1/4 c vegetable/canola/etc oil
2 cups oats
1 heaped cup powdered coconut flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c chocolate chips (or broken dark chocolate, or more to taste!)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 325oF.

Pulse oats in a food processor/blender until coarsely ground but not fully powdered. Set aside, and pulse chocolate chips until very coarsely chopped (or chop chips roughly by hand, if desired). I got some of it powdered and some whole, but it was fine.

Mix the oil and oats and bake at 325oF for 20 minutes, stirring halfway in between well. Turn oven down to 300.

Transfer the oats to a bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients (salt, sugar, vanilla, chocolate chips, cocoa). Add just enough water to make it wet (1/4-1/2 cup) but not at all soupy. 

Line a 9x13 pan with parchment, and spray/drizzle/brush with oil. Press the granola mixture into the pan evenly. Bake 25 minutes - don't let it get too dark or it'll be very hard.

Remove from oven and cool completely, then cut into bars or squares. Eat all the powdered bits immediately! Store in an airtight container up to a week.

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