Chewy Granola Bars

"Quite Possibly The Best Thing To Come Out Of My Oven, Ever" Chewy Granola Bars
based on a recipe from my friend Valerie

yield: about 3 dozen 1x3" bars

3/4 c. soft butter
1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour (I used 1 cup of almond flour* and 1/2 c. all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. oat flour* (made by pulsing rolled oats in a food processor) + 1 c. rolled oats
2 c. rice krispies
1 c. chopped nuts
1 c. raisins or dried cranberries, or a combination
1/2 c. dried sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together wet ingredients in a small bowl, then add sugar.  Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl and add in wet ingredients (I did this step in a mixer with a dough hook to save myself the stirring).  Press into a well-greased 9x13" pan.  Bake for 25-35 minutes.  Cool then cut into bars.


I hit the jackpot with this.  I am definitely not telling you I'm an amazing cook -nope, what I'm saying is that this is an amazing recipe.  And it made a TON!  I cut these into 1"x3" bars because they are really hearty, and it turns out that they are just the right size for stuffing in my mouth when the kids aren't watching.  What's that?  You've never done that?  Oh.  Well, I sneak food all the time because my precious vultures sweethearts love to eat as much as I do.  Don't worry, they're getting them too ... just not every time they happen to walk by the fridge!

So, go.  Make these.  Be a better person than me and share them with those you love.

*If you don't have almond flour, no biggie - just use 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour.  And if you aren't in the mood for pulverizing oats in a food processor, omit the oat flour and throw in an extra cup or so of rolled oats.


Cookies, and First Things

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (an updated version of these

3/4 c. coconut oil
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips, or any combination of things to equal 1 cup (dried cranberries, coconut flakes, chopped dates, rolled oats, chocolate/white chocolate/butterscotch/peanut butter chips, etc)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together coconut oil and sugar until fluffy and light in color.  Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips/other additions.
Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges (the tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than 10 minutes!).
Let cool on the sheet on a wire rack for five minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.  Makes approximately 3 dozen.

Ya'll.  This girl started preschool!  I may or may not have used these cookies as an incentive to let me get some first-day-of-school pictures.

She loves it!

Prepare yourself for a bit more preciousness.  She finally fits in these teensy Chacos that have been in the "to-grow-into" box for two years.

Also, we just completed our first sewing project together: a ruler holder.  Maybe you didn't know that rulers needed cases, but they do.  Let us know if you need one for a measuring device you possess.  She's really good at these.

So many first things!  Good thing there are plenty of cookies for mommy ...