Archives for posts with tag: Dark Chocolate

At Cal-Wood we literally go through hundreds of granola bars each week.  Since I first started at Cal-Wood a year ago I wanted to make the granola bars from scratch.  I started a few recipes last year but they were either too thick or fell apart.  I needed something that would hold together in a back pack but was not hard on the teeth.  My first trial recipes were also time-consuming and I had to keep labor costs down as well as cost of ingredients.  I scrapped the plan when we started getting busy for spring and summer and vowed to come back to it in the new year.

This year I have had success.  I researched different granola bar recipes on the internet and finally came up with one that was both chewy and sturdy.  This is a healthy snack treat that will keep the kids going with energy while out hiking.  My family loves these granola bars as a mid-afternoon snack while home-schooling.

The best part about these granola bars is that they are gluten-free and dairy free.  They taste great and kids on special diets do not feel like they are missing out.

Inspiration from Smitten Kitchen, King Arthur Flour and Ina Garten.

Granola Bars

1  2/3  Cups Whole Oats

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/3 Cup Oat Flour (process oats in food processor for 2-3 minutes until finely ground)

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

2 Cups Dried Fruit and Nuts (optional)

6 Tablespoons Canola Oil

1/4 Cup Corn Syrup, Maple Syrup or Honey

1 Tablespoon Water

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8 inch baking pan with foil or parchment and coat with non-stick spray.

Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl.

In a separate bowl. wish together oil. liquid sweeteners, vanilla and water.  Add to dry ingredients.

Stir until combined.  Spread mixture into baking pan and press down until firmly molded into pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool for 3 hours or overnight before cutting.  Store in the freezer for best results.

Tasty Variations:  Add 1 cup dark chocolate chips and 1 cup coconut shreds to replace fruit and nuts.

Add 1 cups sliced almonds for fruit and nut mixture and substitute corn syrup for all maple syrup.

Add 1 cup dark chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons orange zest.

Add 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds with 1 cup dried cranberries and substitute cinnamon for all spice.

Add dried mango, apricot and pineapple for 2 cups fruit and 1 cup coconut shreds for a tropical bar.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving was very relaxing this year.  I cooked several days ahead of time and kept my menu easy and traditional.  I cooked my turkey the day before se we were just warming it up on Thanksgiving.  This allowed me to have more time with my family.

I also cooked for AmeriCorps this year.   We have a group of hardworking young folks up at Cal-Wood from AmeriCorps.and they will be staying for five weeks to help out where ever we need extra hands.   When I heard that they were not going to be able to go home for the holiday I decided to cook dinner for them.  I cooked the turkey, stuffing, collard greens, mac and cheese and pies and they made some side dishes on their own.  I had a few offers for marriage but as nice as these people are I think I will stay with the Home-School-Scholar hubby.

December 3rd  is the Cal-Wood Christmas Tree Fundraiser.  Maddy and I spent the afternoon yesterday cutting pine boughs and picking up pine cones for cinnamon pine cones.  These will smell so good in the fireplace. We are decorating the lodge dining room in a natural theme so we needed to cut lots of pine boughs.

It was chilly but sunny.  One of those perfect mountain days.

I have also started making treats for the fundraiser.  This year I made some rich and dark Chocolate Bark with dried organic black mission figs.

It was beautiful as well as tasty and simple to make.  Bark is just melted chocolate with dried fruit or nuts mixed in.  Spread it out on a pan and let it harden.  Then break it into pieces.

Chocolate Bark with Black Mission Figs

12 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips melted in microwave

6 oz Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chips melted in microwave

8 oz Black Mission Figs sliced thin

Melt semi-sweet chocolate in microwave in 30 second increments until melted.  Chips may still hold shape when fulled melted so make sure to stir with a heat safe spatula every 30 seconds.

Mix in figs and spread out thinly on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Drizzle dark chocolate over the top.

Let it cool until hard and break into pieces and enjoy!

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