Baking for the Firemen: Strawberry Granola Bars

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I wanted to find something new and different to send in for the firemen for the latest meeting so I went looking through my cookbooks and I found one in Martha Stewart Cookies that looked interesting. It involved making a coconut granola but the hubby does not like coconut so I knew I’d have to change it around a bit. It also called for blueberry jelly which I did not have on hand so needless to write the end cookie looks nothing much like the original recipe but it did give me a good starting point.

They turned out to be a really tasty bar cookie and the leftover granola was so delicous I’m making an even larger batch to have on hand just for snacking. So the recipe did two things for me – it gave me a snack for the firemen and a snack for me!

Strawberry-Granola-Bars

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Strawberry Granola Bars

Makes 2 dozen

For the Granola:
4 TBS unsalted Butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 packed brown sugar
2 TBS water
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cups cashew nuts
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

For the Shortbread Base:
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups strawberry jam
cooking spray

making-granola

Make the Granola:
Preheat the oven to 325°
Melt butter and honey over low heat in a small saucepan.
Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
Add water
Stir together in a large bowl; the oats, cashews and pumpkin seeds.
Add the butter mixture and stir well to combine.
Spread on a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes stirring frequently. I pulled it out at 10 minute intervals and it worked very well.

granola

Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

making-almond-shortbread-base
Make the Shortbread base:
Preheat the oven to 350°
Line a 13 x 9″ pan with parchment and spray the parchment with cooking spray.
Toast the almonds. Put them in a food processor with the metal blade and process them until they are finely ground.
Add the flour, confectioner’s sugar, baking powder and salt. Pulse to combine.
Add the pieces of butter. Pulse until you have course meal.
Mix the egg, egg yolk and vanilla together. With the processor running add the egg mixture through the top and process just until the dough comes together.

shortbread-in-pan
Pat dough evenly into the prepared pan.
Cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until firm.

poke-with-a-fork
Remove from the refrigerator and poke the dough all over with a fork.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until the edges are golden.
Let cool on a wire rack.

spread-strawberry-jam
Spread jam over the crust just to the edges.
Sprinkle the granola over the top.

baked-Strawberry-Granola-Bars
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes until the jam is bubbly.
Cool on a wire rack.

ready-for-the-firemen
Carefully lift out by the parchment and cut into 2″ squares.
Bars can be stored in an airtight container for one day or frozen.

Strawberry-granola-bars (1)

Don’t tell anyone but I held one back for me. I had thought that these were going to be very sweet and I was pleasantly surprised. The almond shortbread base was a perfect foil for the strawberry jam and the granola added a perfect crunch on top. The cashews and pumpkin seeds played very well together.

 

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