Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chewy Granola Muffins

I've been experimenting with a chewy granola bar for a long time now. Found a recipe and kept tinkering with it until I got it the way I like it. I hate crunchy granola, but I love chewy oatmeal, so with these, I think I've found the perfect sort of breakfast/snack bars.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
8 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white grape juice concentrate
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 heaping Tbsp ground flaxseed or oat bran
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix butter, brown sugar, juice, eggs and vanilla. Stir in oats, flour, flaxseed, and soda. This is your base. Use this and add whatever you enjoy. Using non-stick large muffin pans, fill them up until they're almost full. You'll have to push the mix into the muffin cup to smush it down. These are very dense and crumbly. They won't stick together like a regular muffin will. Baking time depends on what you put into them, but generally 13-17 minutes. Let cool minimum of 5 minutes in pan, because these are very crumbly and prone to fall apart when you take them out, unless they're cool.

Here are my two current favorite variations.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins (Daniel's favorite)
1-1.5 cups peanut butter
1-2 cups chocolate chips
Makes 18 full size muffins.
Bake 13-5 minutes.

CCC Muffins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of unsweetened flaked coconut and chopped nuts combined, in whatever ratio you like. I use mostly coconut and about 1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces.
1 cup dried cranberries, blueberries, cherries, in whatever ratio you like or have in the pantry.
1 cup chocolate chips.
Makes 12-15 full size muffins.
Bake 15-17 minutes.

Other suggestions include chopped dried apricots with 1/2 cup apricot jam in the mix instead of sugar. Make a fall mix with dried apples, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg.

These freeze really well. I'll take one out in the morning and have it for an afternoon snack. They're very dense, chewy, and not too sweet, but full of fruit.

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