Sunday, July 27, 2014

Daily grind: Oat breakfast bars

It's true that much of the dark-roast beverages I post on here look much like this:

Yes, that's a Milk Stout from Left Hand, at Left Hand! Ah, memories... 

However, I'm convinced that is because every time I take a photo, what I've just put down is this:

Strong brew. It's what's for breakfast.

Call it an addiction, call it what you like, but as for me, I call it an alarm clock. You may also know this as "coffee".

Recently, I've started stopping at Dunn Bros. every so often, and I've developed a thing now of maybe sometimes needing a little snack to go with my daily grind.

Like, you know, a granola bar. But with chocolate. And without that rice puff stuff.

They happen to make and sell some homemade bars of awesome that really fit this bill, and it's getting to be a bit of a problem because I kind of want them all the time.

So, I thought I'd make them.

It turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought. I knew it had oats. Pretty sure on the peanut butter. But what the heck is the rest of that stuff?

I found a lot of recipes on the Internets, which were helpful, particularly one from Messy Baker. It's definitely a recipe you can make your own!

However, the key was in the grind. By grinding some of the oats and all of the flax seed, I managed to find the texture I was going for -- thick and chewy with a hint of chocolate.

I used a small coffee grinder and it worked perfectly. I only did the oats and the flax seed for a few seconds each.

Fyi, if you normally use your coffee grinder for spices, you can clean it by grinding a teaspoon of rice in there between grains, spices, etc. Works a treat.

So there you go -- breakfast bars for your daily grind!

Oat breakfast bars
Makes 8 bars

All you need:

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup old fashioned oats, ground lightly
1/2 cup flax seed, ground
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

All you have to do:

Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Spoon ingredients on one side of the lined pan. Then, using your hands, pat the mixture down, using the rim to help form the bars.

When I did this, I used a regular cookie sheet, and the mixture filled a little less than half the pan. You want the bars about 1/2 an inch thick. 

Chill the bars for about an hour, then cut and wrap bars with plastic wrap. Store in fridge for about a week if they last that long!

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