Thursday, January 23, 2014

Heart Shaped Granola Bars {Healthy Valentines Treats}

You know what I recommend?  Trial runs for homemade Valentines Day treats!  Ha ha...why not- right?  We did that the other day with these heart-shaped granola bars as I wasn't sure how granola dough would work with cookie cutters.  I'm happy to report that it works just fine (said through tasty granola crumbs).

I vote for making these above actual heart-shaped sugar cookies for the following reasons:

1.  Much less sugar (and what mom won't thank you for that?!), plus-- since they're decorated with a few little candies, kids still think they're a treat.
2.  Actual nutrition.  I'm printing my recipe below, but you can include whatever extra healthy things you want (flaxseed meal, pumpkin seeds, etc)
3. These puppies are EASY.  No dough to roll out, and moving them to the cookie sheet is not tricky (unlike delicate sugar cookie dough)
4.  Less mess.  Kids decorate the granola bars before they go into the oven; so you don't have to clean frosting off the chairs and ceiling.

Convinced?

Here's the recipe I use (adapted from this one).

Cookie Cutter Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 t. cinnamon
1 cup flour
3/4 t. salt
1/3 c. honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. canola oil
2 t. vanilla

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands.
  3.  Scoop the dough by spoonfuls into a cookie cutter.  Pat down with a spatula to make even.  Decorate with little treats (mini m & ms, almond slices, 
  4. Remove from cookie cutter, and place on parchment paper.  Cooking time will vary, depending on how big your cookie cutters are.  Begin checking at 9 minutes.  Granola bars are done when they begin to turn golden at the edges.  Do not overcook- they will be hard! Cool on pan for 5 minutes, and remove to cooling rack.
I think we may try this for other holidays as well.  I'm imagining little pumpkins or gingerbread men...any other ideas?




1 comment:

jenni said...

Very fun! I look forward to trying these soon.