pan of (granola) bars

Pre-kids (and pre-Internet), collecting cookbooks was my thing. Consequently, my shelves are lined with hundreds of books I can’t seem to part with. While I’ve pared the collection down some, I still have far more cookbooks than I’ll ever need or use.

I’m betting many of you can relate. Cookbooks are more than recipes–they remind us of the people who gave them to us, restaurants enjoyed, travels made, classes taken, places lived. Even though there are plenty I’ll never cook from, each has its own reason for sticking around.

Why, though, would I purchase another cookbook? There are few recipes that can’t be found online and decluttering has more appeal than acquiring.

my new toy

my new toy

But I’m easy prey for a good deal and a pretty face. Hamilton Book offered both when its recent flyer advertised Entenmann’s Home Baking for a mere $4.95. Shipping didn’t add much and the memories I have of Entenmann’s baked goods, sitting on supermarket shelves in their blue and white boxes, drew me in. I wanted–no, needed–this book!

So in my collection it now sits and I’ve enjoyed turning its pages. Muffins, cookies, crumb cakes, pies, fancy desserts–they all look wonderfully homespun and there are many I would make. The Almost Homemade chapter uses Entenmann’s products as ingredients (their frosted donuts–along with coarsely chopped popcorn–somehow morphs into Dreamy Chocolate Bars). It all looks like great fun and I’ve already gotten my money’s worth by making two recipes.

Their basic chocolate chip cookies got a bit of a makeover when I subbed in cut-up Halloween candy (still trying to make my way through our stash) for the chips and are rich and buttery and delish.

Nutty Granola Bars were almost as successful. The photo reminded me of the Nature Valley bars we buy in bulk to keep my husband in constant supply. I’ve tried to make DIY versions with varying levels of success (thanks, Ada, for one of my favorites!), but have yet to achieve the crunch of store-bought brands.Open book

pan of bars

pan of bars

Instead of corn syrup, I used honey (seemed a cleaner ingredient) and maybe that was why these bars were softer than expected. Flour and a longer bake time differentiated this recipes from others, but the bars were still more soft than crisp.

Nutty Granola Bars

Nutty Granola Bars

Ironically, the other issue was that the edges crumbled and I had a cup or so of granola left in the pan after cutting and wrapping. The granola–and bars–were fantastic: buttery, a bit salty (did I mention I sprinkled the bars with Maldon sea salt before baking?), just slightly sweet. A splash of almond milk added to the granola crumbles made a fine supper.

granola for supper

granola for supper

I’m glad to have tried this recipe, but would add a bit more honey next time in hopes of better gluing the dry ingredients together. Perhaps a slightly longer bake time, higher temp, and larger pan would crisp them up a bit. Most likely, I’ll find another granola bar recipe to try (if you have one you love, please holler in comments or message me via my deLiz facebook page). Entenmann’s Home Baking will see more use, though, as there are crumb cakes, et al. to be made. This book will earn its place on my shelf.

Nutty Granola Bars

adapted only slightly from Entenmann’s Home Baking

  • 2 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or corn syrup

Heat oven to 350ΒΊF. Grease 9-inch square pan. (original recipe calls for 8×8-inch)

In large bowl, mix oats, hazelnuts, flour, and cinnamon.

In saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and honey; cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Pour over dry ingredients; mix well. Spoon mixture into pan, pressing down and smoothing top. Bake 25 minutes or until golden and firm to touch. Cut into 16 pieces while still in pan; cool completely. Makes 16 bars.

53 thoughts on “pan of (granola) bars

  1. Sugar syrup, maybe made with organic brown or coconut sugar might work? You could take it to the soft ball stage of caramel and then ” glue” everything together with it πŸ™‚
    I make my own muesli and I love your idea of bars, I’ll have to give it a go!

  2. I know what you mean about collecting books! To me, books are like a memory time capsule. When you see an old book on the shelf, it somehow triggers a history of thoughts and past experiences that all come flooding back and that’s just with looking at the outer book cover! By the way, thanks for the Nutty Granola Bar recipe..this brings back a memory of when I was in Primary School and was up to mischief….

  3. yum, and i still have my old betty crocker cookbook, a gift many years ago when i was first married. i love it, not for the contents, but because it has the burn rings on the back from when i was learning to cook and set it on the still-hot burner. as i was learning my cooking lessons, this one stuck with me. do not put things on a still-hot burner. )

    • love the story of the burn rings, Beth. Now if only you’d have a cookbook smudge caused by a microwave cooking explosion πŸ˜‰ Thanks for coming by!

  4. I have a feeling that your cookbook collection is far more impressive than mine (and my shelves are bulging). I’m going to try these – they sound really good and if I screw it up (which is always a possibility with me), granola for dinner is a fantastic option.
    I can only imagine what the pictures in the Entenmann’s cookbook look like – yum..

    • granola for dinner definitely gets a thumbs-up from me. Would love to get a look at your cookbooks, Mimi! Always think a person’s books say a lot about who they are.

      Good to see you today–thanks for coming by πŸ™‚

  5. I used to make granola bars for my son and husband. I don’t know why I stopped, as they were a real hit with the guys. I used honey and almond butter to hold them together, and put a fair amount of dried fruit in them. If memory serves they were soft bars though. This recipe sounds great, and the addition of salt sounds right up my alley. Thanks for the idea! I’ll be curious to hear about anything else you end up making out of that book.

    • funny thing with guys and garnola bars! My husband can’t be without a box of his NV.

      These granola bars didn’t have dried fruit, but that worked for me as I’m not a big fan save for out-of-hand eating.

      Good to see you πŸ™‚ Thanks for your kind words!

  6. Liz – Oh, the Maldon sea salt and honey sounds just delectable! Your bars look beautiful – and I am glad to hear the honey made them soft. YUM. I bookmarked this. Your supper looked so comforting and perfect for Fall. Thank you for sharing. Warmly, Shanna

    • Thanks, Shanna πŸ™‚ You’re also kind with YOUR words. Sea salt and honey, yay! Thinking we should build a dish just out of that.

      You’ll definitely appreciate that I was eating the granola while my kids were eating frozen pizza we’d bought from a school fundraiser. Everyone wins!

      • Hi, Liz,
        Honey and sea salt – That is inspired. Pink sea salt, honey, goat cheese and figs on toasted bread (bruschetta) maybe? MMMM.
        Oh, those SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS. We all end up with frozen pizzas or cookie dough. You had the better dinner for certain.
        Warmly,
        Shanna

  7. It’s great how you have a large collection of cookbooks! I only have a few, plus some cooking magazines I’ve saved, but my book collection doesn’t stand out at all on my bookshelf (it’s mostly DVDs and video games haha).
    Did you take any pictures of the cookies??
    Thanks for the granola bar mention πŸ˜‰ It would be great to make homemade granola bars that are as crunchy as the Nature Valley ones! Aside from the points you mentioned, I’m thinking granola bar factories have machines that pack down the mixture really well. Maybe that could be a factor?

    • sounds like you have fun-packed shelves cookbooks or no πŸ™‚ I’ll send you a picture of the cookies soon. Didn’t have good daylight when I put this post out there and hadn’t taken a picture yet. They’re definitely packed with Halloween goodness.

      Good point on the machinery for the NV bars. I’m sure they can do many more things than we can in home kitchens. Speaking of, are you out of business again? So excited for the result!

      • If only we had the equipment that manufacturers have!
        I am for now–there’s quite a bit of dust from all the work being done. Hoping to get everything cleaned up over the weekend, then I can start cooking and baking again! Need to make some desserts for Thanksgiving πŸ™‚

  8. Golden syrup may also work? It’s awfully sticky judging by the mess it makes. This looks way healthier than the popcorn choc chip cookies we have in the cookie jar! Do you think it counts as a “balance” to chocolate??

    • I would like some of those popcorn choc chip cookies, please! I don’t know that I’ve seen golden syrup in the State. Would love to try.

      And of course a granola bar balances anything with chocolate in it!

      • Popcorn cookies post coming after a post tonight about the Moroccan dinner party. Do you want some golden syrup in the post? It’s everywhere in Australia, and essential in our national cookie (Anzac biscuits).

  9. These look delicious Liz! Not that I’m surprised, of course πŸ™‚ You had asked about granola recipes – my mom makes a fabulous one from The Barefoot Contessa (with dried cherries, *swoon*) that she’ll bake into bars or leave loose to be sprinkled on yogurt or ice cream. It’s wonderful!

  10. Granola bars are my life my friend, at school, soon at uni, I absolutely love them! But they are expensive and sugar filled so your homemade recipe sounds like perfection!

    Cheers
    CCU

    P.S Unfortunately, I have lost around 1000 subscribers on my blog, and I have no idea how, so if you were subscribed, would you be able to resubscribe? Thank you!

    • You’d make killer (in a good way) granola bars, I’m sure of it. Weird about the lost subscriptions. Recently I saw that I was no longer getting notification on posts I had subscribed too. Weird. I’ll resubscribe for sure πŸ™‚

  11. Oh I want one of those books, I still collect cookbooks, love them. Those granola bars sound great!! They look wonderful. The granola with almond milk is one of my favorite things. I still see Entenmanns every time I go to the supermarket.

    • not surprised you share my love of cookbooks. Sometimes it’s just enough to walk by and touch the cover. Makes me smile. Bit of a stretch to say they’re like children as they don’t offer any sort of discipline problems, but they are treasured possessions. Bet you’d have an excellent granola bar recipe or two. And yes, Entenmann’s–whether their bakery is very good or no–seems so vintage. I don’t remember the last time I had one of their products, and would bet it’s “pretty good” at best, but fun just the same.

    • It gets pretty wild around here, Kaela. πŸ˜‰ Glad to have you over. Thanks for your enthusiastic comment πŸ˜€ Chopped up Halloween candy can be so many things…

  12. I’ve never made homemade granola bars before. I’m sure they’re better than the boxed ones. I don’t really have cookbooks. I have a 3-ring binder that I keep recipes in that I tear from magazines or print off the Internet that I know I’ll make. With cookbooks I know there’ll only be a couple of things in them I’ll make and the rest of the pages just take up too much space. So I made my own 3-ring binder cookbook myself.

    • very cool on the DIY cookbook binder. Only recipes you know you want to try! Agree that cookbooks are not only about recipes. I have books I know I’ll never cook from, but they’re fun reads so keep them around. Thanks for coming round πŸ™‚

  13. Those Dreamy Chocolate Bars sound very interesting! And I totally understand about cookbooks. My husband has a serious problem. We keep buying bookshelves for the overflow, which are then quickly filled, and the cycle begins again. But it’s so hard to get rid of them. Who knows when it might be needed — even if it’s just for visual inspiration. Anyways, those granola bars looks great — especially with the Maldon salt addition. Salty sweet is my favorite combination!

    • Agreed, J. Boxed donuts (which are a bit dense and cakey if I remember correctly) made into bars? I would certainly try one πŸ™‚

      lol your husband is the one with the “problem.” There are worse pieces of furniture go overboard with then bookshelves.

      And cookbooks are all about inspiration. Often, the copy is fun to read and inspiring, too. Hoping they never go completely away, replaced by internet versions.

      Yes to sweet-salty. Thanks for your kind words and a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours πŸ™‚

  14. Liz – this is great!

    I am such a granola girl and that’s not just because I live in CA! I like fruits and nuts too! πŸ™‚

    These look awesome and while I am nowhere near the cook and foodie you are, I have a thing for cookbooks too! I don’t have the collection you have nor have I gone through them the way I could, but I love to look at them and I suppose they are full of all kinds of possibility in a way. And,the pictures are just pretty to look at.

    I made a kind of granola bars that I blogged once way back and they are yummy! http://paperkeeper.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/girl-on-the-go-and-food-to-go-with-her/

    and now I really want to try this recipe you used! I agree with Mimi..so what if they crumble…cereal for dinner? Now we’re talking! πŸ™‚

    • hey, Bonnie. Good one with the fruits-and-nuts line. Wondering if you remember the Scarecrow and Mrs. King scene where the bad guy (girl, really) gives herself away by saying she is from CA, the land of fruit and nuts. Or something like that. And what she said contradicted with what she had said earlier.

      But back to food. Thanks for coming by for the granola bar post πŸ™‚ Love that you enjoy cookbooks, too. What are some of your favorites? What do you cook from?

      Glad for the link, so thanks. I see I even Liked it way back when, but hadn’t remembered. Will add it to my list of Granola Bars to Try.

  15. Pingback: Cardamom, Meet Chocolate and Cherries. A Granola Love Story. | CURLS AND CARROTS

  16. I have soo many cookbooks too! honestly, I can’t give them up though I seem to go online more than to my books, but when I want to curl up with a book, a cookbook is what I grab! I love these granola bars, so much better than buying commercially made!

    • Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚ Glad to have you here.

      Just checked your site out and LOVE it. lol the carrot mash as I did something similar as I was bored with plain cooked carrots. My 7-year-old snuck a handful of peanuts into the pan when I wasn’t looking and came clean after we were at the table. I had pureed the nuts into the mash without knowing, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the nuts gave the mash a subtle, salty hit. Would recommend! Though your combination of mint and orange sounds lovely. You do good things with food πŸ˜€

  17. Pingback: Thanksgiving in the blogosphere, French bread, and lots of blog links | food for fun

  18. Good looking bars! I didn’t know there was an Entenmann’s cookbook! I used to get those goodies in the store. My parents told me sometime before I was born, my mom asked my dad to get some Entenmann’s at the store, but she pronounced it in such a way that my dad replied, “What? Get ‘in ten months’? So, I always chuckle a little bit and am reminded of that story when I see those baked goods. πŸ˜€

    • Thanks, Sam! LOVE your story about Entenmann’s. That is precious. I wouldn’t have known about the cookbook either if it hadn’t caught my eye in the flyer

      So glad you’re here, Sam! Hope your holiday season is off to a good start.

    • let me know if you do πŸ™‚ Not sure if you’ve been, but my most recent post (12/11) features another granola bar recipe. Much granola in the blogosphere right now!

      Appreciate your visit very much.

  19. Cookbook collection, who me!? I have definitely bought less since blogging and Pinterest though. I remember Entenmann’s baked goods too, I cringe to think about all the fat and additives. Glad I bake it all now, but their chocolate covered donuts, I could go for one of them now!

    • love it, MamaD. You like the cookbooks too πŸ™‚ They’re just so pretty! A pleasure even just to run my hand over the cover or a page. Thank goodness I haven’t done much with pinterest or I would NEVER come up for air.

      And yes, I don’t think Entenmann’s could boast a “clean” ingredient listing, but they have the nostalgia thing down. Now I want a choc-covered donut, too πŸ˜€ Thanks much for coming by.

  20. Pingback: eggnog blog (plus granola bars, too) | food for fun

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