Gluten-Free Granola Bars

I had some leftover gluten-free oats to use after I recently made these gluten-free oatmeal fudge bars (rave reviews and gone in less than 24 hours, BTW).

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After researching some similar recipes, I decided to make my own gluten-free version of granola bars. I used my Vitamix blender, but honestly, a food processor would have been better since I needed to stop the blender and push everything down a few times.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup crunchy almond butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate flavored almonds (I used these)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

Directions:

  • Spray an 8″ x 8″ pan with olive oil or coconut oil spray and set aside.
  • Briefly pulse the almonds to coarsely chop; set aside.
  • Add the oats to the blender or food processor and pulse for a few seconds to roughly break them up.
  • Combine almond butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl. Heat about 20-30 seconds to soften.
  • Add warmed almond butter and honey mixture to oats and pulse again until combined.
  • Add chopped almonds, chocolate chips and dried cherries. You may want to stir these in by hand if you don’t want them to be cut into smaller pieces.
  • Press into prepared pan and refrigerate. *These have to stay refrigerated for best outcome.*
  • Eat and enjoy! This makes about 10 bars.

Full disclosure: I wasn’t completely sold when I first finished these. I tasted the mixture as I was pressing it into the pan and thought it was ok, but I wasn’t convinced it was worth the sticky mess in my blender. After refrigerating though, they were great, especially with a glass of cold almond milk.

These were so much better than any other granola bars I’ve ever had.

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P.S. This cute appetizer plate is from CB2.

 

 

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Fudge Bars

At the start of our recent trip to Alaska, we spent two days in Vancouver, BC, one of my favorite cities.

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My first trip to Vancouver (last fall) was full of so many delights, but one simple one was eating an oatmeal fudge bar at Starbucks.

OMG, are these good.

Growing up, my grandmother used to bake something exactly like this. She’d make a sugary oatmeal cookie dough, press some of it into a cake pan, add a layer of fudge and dab the rest of the oatmeal mix on top, bake and voila!

My contributions to this endeavor were to eat an obscene amount of the dough (fingers crossed, no salmonella – ever), generously sample the fudge, and of course to consume the finished product. Winning!

Having one of these last fall fueled my nostalgia and when we were back in Vancouver a few weeks ago, I meant to get another one.

Except I ran out of time.

(Don’t cry for me; there was more than enough vacation indulgence on this trip to last a lifetime).

Last weekend we were invited to a family picnic and I was determined to resurrect this treat, but this time, a gluten-free version that Trixie (with her severe celiac disease) could eat.

I started with this Rachael Ray recipe and essentially only swapped out gluten-free ingredients where appropriate. I also cut back on the butter.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used this Pillsbury blend)
  • 3 cups gluten-free oats (these)
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine butter, sugars, eggs and 1 t vanilla (ok, I used a huge pour because I like it vanilla-y) in mixer.
  • Add baking soda and salt; combine.
  • Slowly add flour, especially because the gluten-free variety is very fine and will spray everywhere.
  • Stir in oats.
  • Generously sample dough. Totally worth the risk of food poisoning.
  • Press about 2/3 of the dough into a 9″ x 13″ pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Prepare the fudge:
    • Combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and 1 t vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl.
    • Microwave about 45 seconds and stir until smooth.
    • Taste a few times. This is an important step.
  • Pour the fudge mixture over the raw dough.
  • Dab small pieces of the remaining 1/3 dough on top of the fudge.
  • Bake 30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Here are a few shots of the action:

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See! I used the Kitchen Aid mixer at least once this year.

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Final product. I meant to take a more appealing shot of an individual bar, but then we ate them all.

The gluten-free products I used:

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This was my first time trying the Pillsbury flour mix, which contains rice flour, potato starch, pea fiber, tapioca starch and xanthan gum.

One of the reasons I’ve previously shied away from gluten-free baking is because a lot of other recipes individually require these ingredients, and there is just no way I am going to buy a whole bag of xanthan gum.

Another reason is that a lot of gluten-free flours have a gritty, unpleasant mouthfeel. This doesn’t.

An unsolicited review from Trixie when I was adding the oats to the mixer:

Ewww! That has granola in it! I hate those!

Her redaction upon consuming the finished product:

These are soooo good. May I please have two more? I just can’t help myself.

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I’ll chalk that up as a win.