Monday, March 19, 2012
Secret Recipe Club: Aspen Power Bars
It's time for another Secret Recipe Club post. If you are not familiar with The Secret Recipe club, be sure to check them out here. Basically, each month I am assigned a blog, where I get to choose a recipe from that blog to cook and blog about it on my blog. And, someone else is assigned my blog to do the same. It's really fun, and I find tons of awesome food blogs. This month I was assigned Allies Clean Plate Club.
Allison is a fellow Midwest girl, originally from Illinois and now in the craziness of theWest Coast (her words). Although I'm not from Illinois, I'm just a few hours away in Michigan.
Well, it was really hard to choose a recipe! She has so many recipes that I'd love to try. But, I finally decided on the Aspen Power Bars. She had mentioned that the inspiration for these was a request from her cross training husband. That really drew me in because my husband is always training for something. So, I knew he would love these. Plus we are just granola eating people, I always make my own, so a granola bar was the perfect choice. I made a couple changes and they are noted in the ingredients. Plus I added a couple Tbs of flaxseed meal, simply because it's good for you.
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Heaping 1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup nuts or sunflower seeds (I used 1/2 cup seeds and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts)
3/4 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup raisins (I used dried blueberries)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon peanut butter--chunky is best (I didn't have chunky, so I went with creamy)
1 1/8 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 400. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, coconut, salt, nuts, seed, powdered milk, raisins and cranberries.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the honey, peanut butter, vanilla extract and jam until melted and fully incorporated. Remove from heat.
Pour the melted ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until fully mixed (I found the easiest way was with my hands). Press the mixture into the pan, compressing it as much as possible. Bake until golden, about 12-19 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, run a knife along the edges to loosen from the sides. Then invert the pan onto a large planner or cookie sheet. Cut into bars with a large knife.