These granola bars are a spin-off of a recipe that's been circulating among the moms in my Peoria neighborhood for years. I was recently gifted the ingredient list — and of course started making my own variations.
We're lucky to have lots of kids in our 'hood, and one mom and I often trade baked goods (and favorite cook books) when our kindergarten boys get together. Julie B. introduced me to these light and crisp bars.
By way of pure coincidence, these granola snacks originated with Charity J., a mom in an adjacent subdivision — who was my neighbor when we first moved to town.
In my never-ending quest to provide filling nibbles to my boys, I decided to try making these snacks with almond flour. As I'm learning, almond flour is a gluten-free alternative with more flavor, protein and healthy fats compared to regular flour. I even used it to make triple almond chocolate pudding.
With Max and Sam in the house, a tray of these sweet and chewy morsels disappears pretty fast.
Almond Granola Bars
Inspired by the moms of Hawley Hills
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (coconut oil would be delicious)
2/3 cups honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup almond flour
4 cups rice krispie cereal
4 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cups mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and honey. Add brown sugar and mix until smooth. Add baking powder, almond flour, rice cereal and oats. Stir until everything is coated in the honey mixture.
Mix in chocolate chips and cherries.
Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with enough parchment paper so that some hangs over the edges. Pour mixture into pan. Using a spatula, firmly press granola into pan. Don't be gentle. You want to really press hard.
Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is. (Mine runs a little on the cool side, so these took almost 25 minutes.) When the top is golden brown, remove pan from oven.
Let cool completely. Holding the ends of the parchment paper, lift granola from pan and set on cutting board. Slice into bars. Good luck trying to eat just one!