Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cranberry Granola Bars (Giveaway Post 2)

The Good Neighbor Cookbook
As soon as I read Joyce's draft about the Big-Batch Bolognese, I anxiously waited my turn to check out The Good Neighbor Cookbook by Sara Quessenberry and Suzanne Schlosberg.  When I heard the garage door open, I assaulted my husband for the book; I knew Joyce delivered it to him earlier in the day.  Reading the first paragraph of the introduction by Suzanne, I felt a kinship-someone else eats peanut butter out of the jar while trying to make it through the newborn phase.  Andrew is nearing 9 months, and I am still eating spoonfuls because there just isn't much time, and I NEED the protein.

I focused on the "Bringing Home Baby" section of the book; I am still nursing while training for a half-marathon, and the recipes offered high energy snacks and one-dish main courses.  The Cranberry Granola Bars did not last long in my house-they were delicious.  I collected the pieces that broke and bagged them; they were great on my Greek yogurt.  I am always concerned about what types of snacks my kids are eating and the oats, almonds, sesame seeds, and cranberries found in these bars are filled with nutrients they (and I) need.

Win this handy cookbook by entering our giveaway found in Joyce's post!

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 T sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
Note: I was able to buy coconut, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds in the bulk food section of a local grocery store-saving money by getting just what I needed.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides
  2. Spread oats, almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until lightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Decrease the oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the syrup, sugar, oil, and salt, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the toasted oat mixture and cranberries. Stir to coat. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, firmly pressing down in an even layer with a rubber spatula
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until golden brown and set, 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely on a wire rack, at least 2 hours. Grabbing the ends of the parchment, lift out the granola and slice into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Difficulty: Medium
    Time: 10 minutes prep, total time 3 hours (including cooling time)
    Source: The Good Neighbor Cookbook by Sara Quessenberry and Suzanne Schlosberg

    Win this handy cookbook by entering our giveaway found in Joyce's post!


    1. Is there any substitute for maple syrup as it isn't available in the place I live... :-(

      1. I used maple syrup since that was what the author called for, but it is very expensive. I would probably try to use a pancake syrup...and will probably try that myself next time since I have it on hand a lot. When I looked up baking substitutes for maple syrup (1 cup), I got 1 cup honey OR 3/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup butter, and 1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional). Good luck!