Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cranberry & Pecan Granola Bites

Cranberries and pecans go together like peanut butter and jelly in my mind. They just work so well in every dish, whether it's pancakes, bread, a salad, or granola bars. I recently tried Trader Joe's cranberries and they had a great flavor and were really plump. I didn't use those in these bars though, but I bet they would be really good. If you feel like you need a snack that's not so bad for you that fits in a small container in your purse they may be it. They're filled with cranberries, pecans, flax seed, and oatmeal.

There's so so much you can do with these like switching out the nuts or the berries for other ones like blueberry and almond granola bites, yes? peach bits and pecans? cherries and walnuts? The possibilities are really endless here. Don't skip toasting the oats, nuts, and flax seed though because it adds a nice flavor to the finished product. I made these in my silicone pan like this one. I use that pan for so much as you may have noticed, because it makes such perfect bite size portions. I have written this recipe to use with a mini muffin pan because most people have those. The recipe originally was made in a bigger pan and cut into squares but I prefer to not mess with the cutting and just have cute little pre-portioned bars. If you have kids that might like them in their lunches or as a snack they would be the perfect size for them also! This post has been linked up to the party over at BruCrew Life, you should check out the awesome crafts and goodies she has over there. :) Happy baking!

Cranberry Pecan Granola Bites
Makes about 22

- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
cup dried cranberries

1. Lightly grease two mini muffin pans with nonstick spray and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spread the oats, pecans, and ground flax seed onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. In the meantime, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
4. Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine.
5. Scoop even portions of the mixture into the mini muffin cups and press to level in the cups. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 15 minutes, then remove from pan. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Printable recipe

Adapted from Meal Planning Magic

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