Walnut and Date Stuffed Mushrooms

date and walnut stuffed mushrooms

Walnut and Date Stuffed Mushrooms

This isn’t your ordinary stuffed mushroom. It’s extraordinary! This is a vegan alternative to those cheese stuffed globs that everyone else makes. Make this and you’ll be extraordinary, too. The crunch of the walnuts, the savory tarragon and the sweetness of the dates will tantalize your taste buds. Your mouth will love you for it.

The ingredients:

stuffed mushroom ingredients

Stuffed mushroom stuff

You’ll need a couple dozen whole mushrooms, walnuts, some onion, panko bread crumbs, tarragon and some diced dates. You’ll need some wine, too. The kind really isn’t important, so get what you like. I’m using Marsala just because it’s what I had.

First off, wipe the mushrooms off with a damp paper towel. Then, break the stems off and set them aside.

stemming mushrooms

remove the stems

Get out a large skillet and heat it over medium. Toss in the walnut halves.

toasting walnuts

toast the walnuts

Toast them for a couple of minutes. Then, remove them to a cutting board. Let them cool a bit, then chop them into smaller pieces. Dump the pieces into a large bowl.

chopped walnuts

chopped walnuts

Dice up that sweet onion.

diced onions

diced onion

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and scrape the onions into the pan.

cooking onions

cook the onions

Cook them a couple of minutes, while you are chopping up the mushroom stems.

chopped mushroom stems

chop the stems

Now, add the chopped stems, along with that wine, to the cooking onion.

cooking stems

add stems and wine

Let the whole simmer for 2 or 3 minutes until most of the liquid had evaporated and the stems have cooked.

cooked stems

stems are done

Turn the stove off and let the pan cool a bit. While you’re waiting, chop up some tarragon,

tarragon

chop up the tarragon

and add it to the walnuts bowl.

walnuts and tarragon

walnuts and tarragon

Pile in a half cup of date pieces, some panko, salt and pepper. Pour the mushroom stem mix into the bowl, too.

stuffed mushroom mix

stuffed mushroom mix

Mix it all up.

Preheat the oven to 375º. Get out a 9 x 13 baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Or foil. Whatever you have, is what works best.

baking sheet

get the pan ready

Stuff the mushroom caps with a very generous tablespoon if filling. Mound it up and pack it tight.

stuffing mushrooms

stuffin’ the ‘shrooms

Line them up on the baking sheet until you run out of mushrooms or stuffing, whichever comes first. This is when I notice Punky, the kitchen kitty is here to supervise. Am I doing a good job, Punky?

kitchen kitty

Punky cat supervises.

When your tray is ready to bake, drizzle the mushrooms with a little olive oil.

oil topped mushrooms

drizzle with olive oil

Bake for around 20 minutes. You want the mushroom cooked but still firm.

baked mushrooms

all baked.

Take them off and arrange on a pretty tray. Garnish with some chopped parsley, if you are so inclined. I was so inclined.

Walnut and date stuffed mushrooms

Walnut and date stuffed mushrooms

They’re slightly sweet, a little savory, a bit crunchy and a whole lotta good!

Walnut and Date Stuffed Mushrooms
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18 to 24
 
A full of flavor, vegan stuffed mushroom that's easy to prepare.
Ingredients
  • 2 – 10 ounce packages of whole white mushrooms
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil - divided
  • ¼ cup diced sweet onion
  • ¼ cup Marsala or other wine.
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • ¾ cup panko crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover a 9 x13 rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Remove the stem ends of the mushrooms. Chop stems and set aside.
  3. Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove and spread out on a cutting board and let cool slightly. Chop walnuts into smaller pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the chopped tarragon to the walnuts.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add in the diced sweet onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the ¼ cup of Marsala and the chopped mushroom stems. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Pour the mushroom mix to the walnuts in the bowl. Blend in the dates, panko, salt and pepper.
  6. Place a generous tablespoon of stuffing into each mushroom cap.
  7. Place stuffed mushrooms onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Remove to platter. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

Kale Chips

Southwest Chipotle Kale Chips

Southwest Chipotle Kale Chips

Chips, or actually, crisps made from Kale. Light, airy, little, wisps of flavor. Flavor that costs a ton of money. Look at these prices! Well, now. We don’t have to pay those kind of prices, do we. Nope! We don’t. I have a dehydrator. Sure, you have the initial output of cash to buy the dehydrator, but you can do so much with it. Careful shopping can get you one on sale, or use one of those 20% off coupons that Bed Bath & Beyond are always sending out. Still not willing to put out the cash? Look at it this way. You’ll be saving all that money and more, simply by reducing your waste. Parsley about to go bad? Dry it. Far, too many jalapenos in your harvest? Dry them. Freeze coming and your pretty, purple basil plant is loaded with leaves? Dry them! Make the kid’s some fruit roll ups. That way, you’ll know for sure what they are made of. Just fill the dehydrator, turn it on and go read a book. It’s that easy. The savings will really add up. I paid $2.50 for a pound of organic kale and it made a gallon baggie full of crisps. Those are real savings.

Let’s make some kale chips, ok?

Southwest Chipotle Kale Chips

Simple ingredients, great flavors.

The special equipment needed? The dehydrator and a salad spinner. That’s it. This is going to be easy. Open the salad spinner and set it beside you and the kale. Fold a kale stem in half and hold it in one hand, using the stem and a handle. Use the other hand and tear handfuls of kale off and drop them into the spinner basket.

kale

Tear off chunks.

You want the pieces of kale to be around 3 inches wide. They shrink up quite a bit, so bigger is better. Keep going until all the kale is torn. Then, carry the spinner basket to the sink and rinse the kale off.

Rinsing off kale

Give it a shower.

Shake off the water and pop the basket back into the spinner and spin it!

Spin dry kale

Spin dry

Spread out a clean kitchen towel on your counter and rump the kale out onto it. Grab a paper towel and blot up the excess moisture from the leaves.

drying kale chips

Blot dry.

Take that same paper towel and dry out the salad spinner bowl.

dry bowl

I have a new photo editor. Can you tell? lol

Place half the kale into the spinner bowl.

kale in bowl

Half in the bowl

Drizzle them with 2 teaspoons of olive oil

kale kale kale

Drizzle with oil

and rub it into the leaves with your fingers.

oiled kale

Give your kale a massage.

Then, here’s the tricky part. You have to decide what to flavor them with. Yes, I understand that this is tough, but I have faith. You can do it! Pick something that you like. Curry powder, garlic salt, Old Bay seafood seasoning, lemon pepper, herbs de provence, or, even, ranch salad dressing mix! If your seasoning mix is salt free, add a shake or two of salt, or just leave it off. There is no limit to what you can add for flavor! I am using a southwest chipotle blend because I like it. So, sprinkle on 2 teaspoons of seasoning blend and hand toss to mix.

spicy kale

Sprinkle with spices

Get out your dehydrator.

dehydrator

My dry guy

Open it up and set a tray beside your kale bowl. Start laying the kale out on the trays, keeping them in a single layer.

layer 1

1st layer

Keep on layering.

loading th edehydrator with kale

keep on layering

When you run out of seasoned kale, start the flavoring process again using the other half. Don’t bother to wipe out the bowl, that’s just extra flavor!

Repeat oil & seasoning with the last half

Repeat oil & seasoning with the last half.

Hopefully, you run out of kale and empty trays at the same time.

Dehydrator is full

All full

Pop on the top and start it up. Mine has direction printed right on top. Those are what I use, too. Can’t argue with brilliance. Check your kale about halfway through the cooking time. I like to rotate the trays at the time. Maybe it helps them dry evenly. I don’t know why I do it, but it make me feel better. Any how, after cooking time has passed, you’ll find that your kale has shrunk quite a bit.

kale chips

All dehydrated up.

It’s supposed to. You did everyting right. You’ve made kale chips! Clean up is a breeze, too. One dirty salad spinner and a couple of dehydrator trays. Easy as can be. So, keep your money in your pocket and make your own kale chips. And fruit leathers, and dried fruits, and dried herbs, and oh,oh,oh, your own sun dried tomatoes!!!

Southwest Chipotle Kale Chips

Southwest Chipotle Kale Chips

Here’s the recipe.

Kale Chips
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Kale is seasoned and then dehydrated into light, airy, flavorful crisps.
Ingredients
  • 12 to 15 stems of fresh kale
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil - divided
  • 4 teaspoons seasoning, such as curry powder, garlic salt or southwest chipotle – divided
  • Salt, if necessary.
Instructions
  1. Special equipment needed – a dehydrator.
  2. Get out a salad spinner. With the kale leaf folded in half, hold the stem in one hand, and with the other, tear off handfuls of kale. You want pieces about 3 inches wide. Place the torn kale pieces into the salad spinner. Rinse and spin dry. Dump the kale out onto a clean towel and blot off excess water with paper towels. Using the same paper towels, dry out the salad spinner bowl. Place half the kale inside. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves with your hands. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the seasoning powder over the leaves. If your spice mix doesn't contain salt, sprinkle a little salt over the leaves, also. Toss in bowl using your hands.
  3. Place a dehydrator tray beside your kale bowl. Spread out the kale, in a single layer. Repeat with additional trays. When the first bowl of kale is used up, repeat the oil and seasoning steps from above. When mixed, fill remaining dehydrator trays.
  4. Assemble the dehydrator and process the kale according to your machines directions. For my Nesco model, it was 135º for 7 hours. Always check and rotate the trays halfway through the drying time.
  5. It's done when it as crispy as you want it to be!

 

 

Pumpkin Cider Baked Donuts with an Apple Cider Glaze

Pumpkin Cider Baked Donuts with an Apple Cider Glaze

Pumpkin Cider Baked Donuts with an Apple Cider Glaze

Can we talk? Come on, pull out a chair and sit a spell. Look, I’ve already made you a plate. Let’s sip a cuppa joe and munch on a donut or two and chat. I have a confession. This food blog thing? I’m not so good at it. Oh, you’ve noticed? Well, I’m sorry. I have every good intention of updating it more often. But, then, you know, life happens. Work, kids, friends, parents, holidays, rain, sleet, snow, the flu, you kno LOOK, A SQUIRREL. I am lousy with my time management. I want to do a post, but the next thing I know – I’m out of time. I’m never out of excuses, though. Here’s my New Years Resolution – I’m gonna try my durndest to post more. I’m still learning. So, bear with me, it’s going to get better! Did you enjoy your donut?

Pumpkin cider donut

Yum!

Here’s the recipe –  Gather the ingredients and set the oven for 350º.

Baked donut ingredients

Baked donut ingredients, missing 3 eggs.

Pretend you see 3 eggs in that picture. They were still in the fridge. Whoopsie. Anyhow, crack 3 eggs into the work bowl of your mixer. Add in 1 cup of sucanat.

eggs and sucanat

Look! The missing eggs.

Sucanat is just dried sugar cane syrup. I use it for most my sugar needs. Don’t have it? No matter, just use 1/2 cup each of white and brown sugar. Start up the mixer. When that’s blended, add in the pumpkin puree and vanilla.

pumpkin puree

add pumpkin

If you have homemade pumpkin puree, that will work. Just adjust the flour amounts so you end up with a thick batter. Mix it up. Now, combine the flour – I used a soft white whole wheat – the spices, salt and baking powder.

dry mix

the dry mix

Stir it up, so it’s all combined.

dry mix combined

mixed up

Take a cup of apple cider and pour it into the mixer bowl.

add apple cider

add the cider

Then, add the dry mix and blend it all together.

batter is ready

All blended together.

Grab your donut/muffin pans and coat them with spray oil.

coat pans with oil

coat pans with oil

Here’s a neat trick. When you have to get a thick batter into a small or unique shape, put it into a zip top bag.

zippe bag

zip top bag

Fill it with the batter –

batter in a baggie

bag the batter

squeeze out the air and seal it up.

in the bag

all bagged

Squish the batter away from a bottom corner and snip it off.

about an inch wide

about an inch wide

Carefully squeeze the batter out into the pans, filling them about halfway full.

fill the pans

fill the pans

Place them into the oven, you can stagger the trays to cook. Rotate them after half the baking time has passed.

stack them

stack them

Bake from 12 to 14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in one comes out clean. Remove and cool in the pans for a couple of minutes.

Hot!

Hot!

Then, flip them out on racks to cool completely.

Cool completely

Cool completely

While they cool, let’s make the apple cider glaze.

for the glaze

for the glaze

You need apple cider, a tablespoon of unsalted butter and powdered sugar. I just whizzed up some sucanat in my vitamix to make powdered sugar. Pour a 1/4 cup of cider in a small sauce pan with the butter.

cider and butter

cider and butter

Bring it to a boil,

reduce the cider

reduce the cider

lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the cider has reduced by half. Let it cool. When cool, put into a shallow dish and mix in 1 tablespoon of fresh cider. We want the flavor of the cider reduction without trying to mix the powdered sugar into that goo. So, thin it out a bit.

Don't worry about the little specks. They're good!

Don’t worry about the little specks. They’re good!

Add in the powdered sugar, until you have a thick glaze.

It's ready!

It’s ready!

Now, dip the donuts in the glaze, coating halfway up.

Use a small dish.

Use a small dish.

Stand your racks over some wax paper or paper towels, cause it’s going to get messy! Set the donuts/donut holes on the racks to dry.

Oh, Oh, Oh!

oh, Oh, OH!

Oh yeah, baby!

Oh yeah, baby!

Then, simply plate them up.

Pumpkin Cider Baked Donuts with an Apple Cider Glaze

Pumpkin Cider Baked Donuts with an Apple Cider Glaze

Resist the urge to lick the excess glaze off the waxed paper. Oh, no one is looking, do it!

Pumpkin Cider Baked Donuts with an Apple Cider Glaze
Author: 
Recipe type: snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
A delicious blend of whole wheat flour, pumpkin, apple cider and spices, baked into a tasty donut.
Ingredients
  • For the Donuts:
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sucanat sugar or ½ cup each of white and brown sugars
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour, I used a soft white wheat
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • For the Apple cider glaze:
  • ¼ cup apple cider, plus 2 Tablespoons – divided, use as needed.
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray donut pans and mini muffin pan with oil.
  2. Crack three eggs into the work bowl of your mixer. Add in the sucanat (sugars). Mix until blended. Mix in the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Pour in the cup of apple cider.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together: flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
  4. Spoon the batter into a zip top bag, snip a hole in a bottom corner, and pipe the batter into the donut pan and mini muffin pan, filling each about halfway full.
  5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted, comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.
  6. For the apple cider glaze – Pour the ¼ cup apple cider into a small sauce pan. Add in the tablespoon of unsalted butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. When cool, blend with 1 tablespoon of reserved cider. Stir in the powdered sugar until dissolved, adding additional cider, if needed. Dip cooled donuts halfway into the glaze, then set the donuts on a wire rack to allow the glaze to set.

Fresh donuts & coffee!

Fresh donuts & coffee!

Zombie Eyeball Cookies

Zombie Eyeball Cookies

Zombie Eyeball Cookies

Are you going to have a little spooky soiree? Do you need to send a tray of treats to school. Are ya just hungry? I am. Hungry, that is. Hungry for some cookies! These gory, little blobs of goodness are easy to throw together. I based this recipe on those monster eye cookies that float across the web. I really didn’t like them because they had cream cheese as an ingredient. Dude! Cream cheese goes on bagels, or pastries or, I don’t know, how about CHEESECAKE? Not cookies. Not Zombie eyeball cookies, anyhow. I did like that they are made out of a cake mix. That’s very handy. No need to measure out flour or sugar. Just dump it in the bowl with some eggs, oil & vanilla extract. So, that’s what I did and now you can do it too!

The beginning of our cookies:

Zombie ingred

Cookie ingredients

You’ll need a box of white cake mix, 2 eggs, vegetable oil, butter, vanilla extract, green and yellow food coloring, red and black edible food markers, a tube of red decorating gel, a cup of white sugar to roll the dough balls in, and some yogurt covered raisins or peanuts. There are premade candy eyeballs available, but read your labels. Most contain gelatin. This is why I chose to use yogurt covered candies.

Get out a couple of cookie pans. I use silicone mats on mine. You can use those or parchment paper or just use nothing. You’ll need 2 pans for the 24 cookies that we’re making. Set up your mixer. Add the butter to the work bowl and cream it.

creaming butter

Cream the butter

Scrape down the bowl and add in the eggs, vanilla and oil.

Add the eggs, vanilla & oil

Add the eggs, vanilla & oil

Mix it up.

mixing cake

Mix it.

Now, add in the box of cake mix.

add the cake mix

add the cake mix

Mix it until it’s well combined, pausing to scrape the goo off the sides. It’s going to be thick, like mashed potatoes.

cookie dough

Not mashed potatoes

Now, divide the dough into two bowls.

cookie dough

A dough divided can not be beaten.

Starting with one drop at a time,

tint dough

One drop to start

tint one bowl yellow.

yellow cookie dough

it’s really yella

Then, one drop for the green –

tinting green dough

One drop of the green

and mix it up. I started out with a fork, then went to the spoon to finish it.

Green cookie dough

Not lime sherbet.

It’s time to chill the dough for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes have passed, preheat the oven to 350º. While the dough is chillin’, we can make the eyeball centers. Get the candies and the edible food markers.

making eyeball centers

It’s eyeball making time.

I used two different brands of markers, Wilton and Americolor. I prefered the Americolor. It had a long, fine tip, whereas the Wilton one was bluntish. You may have more available to you. Anyhow, get out about two dozen candies. You might have to eat a few booboos, but you can manage. Put a black dot in the center of each candy. Then, use the red edible marker to make squiggly lines out from the black dots on half of the candies. Or all of them, if you want. Set them aside, while you go fuss with the cookie dough.

candy eyes

Why do I feel like somebodys watching me?

Get out the chilled cookie dough. You’ll need a tablespoon or a scooper about that size. I use those scoops for so many things, so very handy to have. Scoop some cookie dough and plop it in the dish of sugar, that you so cleverly have ready.

yellow cookie balls

Roll in the sugar

Roll them around until they are well coated, then place on the cookie sheet

 

dough balls on tray

dough balls on tray

and bake for about 10 minutes. They are done, when the bottoms are slightly brown.

cookies

Done!

Let them cool on the baking sheets for about two minutes, then remove them to a tray. Push a candy center into each cookie while they are still warm. Don’t move the candy center after it’s in there, it’ll be melty.

Cookie eyes

Bug eyes

Now, do the green.

more cookie eyes

They’re multiplying.

Let them cool completely. Get out the red decorating gel.

Red decorating gel

Red decorating gel

Using the gel, start at the center, by the candy piece and make some squiggly bloodshot eyeball veins. Yuck, huh?

eyeball vein cookies

Are you gellin’?

Let them rest for a couple of hours to set the gel. That is some sticky stuff. It’s gets everywhere. Then, set them on a nice party tray and decorate appropriately. And remember to give one of the little bony guys a cookie. He’ll be too full of cookies to eat YOU!

Zombie Eyeball Cookies

Eat a cookie, put some meat on them bones!

Zombie Eyeball Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: undead
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen
 
A scary, spooky zombie eyeball cookie easily made from a packaged cake mix and candies.
Ingredients
  • FOR THE COOKIES:
  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • ½ cup butter – room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons of oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Yellow and green food color
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • FOR THE DECORATIONS:
  • 20 yogurt covered raisins or yogurt covered peanuts
  • Red and Black edible food markers
  • 1 tube of red decorating gel. Approx size, 1 oz.
Instructions
  1. You'll need two baking sheets, either lined with a silicone mat or left ungreased.
  2. For the cookies:
  3. Cream butter. Add eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix for 30 seconds. Add in the cake mix. Mix, pausing to scrape down sides, until well combines. Divide batter into two bowls. Starting with 1 drop, add enough food color to reach the shade you desire. Tint one bowl yellow, and the other green. Chill dough for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes have passed, preheat your oven to 350º.
  4. Pour the cup of white sugar into a wide, shallow dish. Using either a tablespoon or a scooper of that size, scoop balls of cookie dough and drop into the sugar. Roll the dough balls to coat and place 2 inches apart, on a prepared baking sheet. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until done. Let cool on the sheet for 2 minutes. Remove to a tray and push one candy piece into the center of each cookie. Do not try to move candies once they have been pushed into the cookies. Let the cookies continue to cool for an additional 5 minutes. Using the tube of red decorating gel, add some bloodshot eye veins to each cookie. Start at the edge of the candy center and squeeze a zig-zag line out to the cookie edge.
  5. For the decorations:
  6. While the cookie dough is chilling, get out 20 yogurt covered raisins or peanuts. Using the black food marker, color a small dot in the center of each candy. Using the red food marker, draw squiggly lines, leading away from the center dot, like in bloodshot eyes. Set the completed candies aside.
  7. Place finished Zombie Eyeball Cookies on a decorative tray and goblin them up!

 

Zombie Eyeball Cookies

Zombie Eyeball Cookies

Easy No-Bake Granola Bars

A good to eat, tasty treat!

stacks of granola bars

Yummy granola bars

We all love our families, right? We want the best for them. Want them to have healthy meals and treats. We want something fast and easy to make. Well, I have got that covered. Homemade granola bars! You don’t even have to start the oven to make them. The beauty of these bars is, you probably have all the ingredients on hand. Missing craisins? Use raisins. Don’t have almonds? Use peanuts, walnuts, or sunflower seeds! Want to add something else? Chocolate chips? Do it! Just leave out and equal amounts of the nuts, coconut or fruit. Soon enough, you have a handy, portable snack that will make anyone happy! Plus, you know exactly what’s in them. No mystery chemicals, no artificial anythings. Whole grains, fruits & nuts. Everything that’s good for you and good for them!

The cast & crew for today’s play.

no bake granola bars

Soon to be granola bars.

You’ll need a large, heat safe mixing bowl. Measure out the craisins and give them a rough chop. Dump them in the mixing bowl. Add the shredded coconut, too

dried cranberries and coconut

dried cranberries and coconut

. While you’re chopping, give those whole almonds a rough chop, too.

chopped almonds

chop the almonds

Set them aside, so you can toast them after the oats are done. Find a saucepan and put it on the stove. Cube up the butter and put it in. Dump in the dry sugar and cinnamon. Pour in the agave, molasses and almond extract

sugar and spice

Wet & dry sweeteners, butter, almond extract and cinnamon.

. Heat until boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar.

sugar syrup

The syrup is ready.

Remove from heat and set aside until done toasting other ingredients. If you are super cool and can multi task – you can get this all done at the same time! Get out a large skillet. Heat it over medium heat and dump in the oats.

dry toasting oats

pale untoasted oats

Toast them, stirring every now and again, until they start to brown. About 3 to 5 minutes.

toasty oats

lovely brown toasted oats.

Pour them in the mixing bowl. Carefully, carefully, wipe out the skillet and return it to the stove. Add in both kinds of the almonds

toasting nuts

Add the almonds

and toast them, stirring frequently, until light brown.

toasted nuts

All toasted.

Add the nuts to the mixing bowl. Stir up the dry ingredients until they are really mixed up.

dry granola mix

The dry mix

Pour in the hot sugar mixture and stir until all the pieces are coated.

wet granola mix

Almost done.

Now, get out an 11 x 7 pan and some plastic wrap. I find it helps to swish a little water around the pan and dump it out. The dampness makes the plastic wrap stick better. Tear off a piece of plastic that is twice as long as the pan.

pan

prepare the pan

Center it, so that you have about 6 inches hanging out each end. Smooth the plastic out in the pan. Dump in the granola mixture and spread it out. Fold over one side of the plastic and then the other.

fold sides

Fold the sides over

Press down firmly on the granola mix to compress it.

compress the mix

Smash it down.

Place the pan in the refrigerator for an hour. When it’s firm enough for your tastes, plop it out of the pan and peel off the plastic wrap. Cut it in half lengthwise.

cut in half

Cut in half,  lengthwise

Then, cut that half in quarters.

halve again

Cut those halves in half

Keep on going until you have 16 bars.

into eights

Then into eights

Wrap each bar in plastic wrap or a snack baggie. Then when the need arises – grab one and munch away!

Easy No-Bake Granola Bars

Easy No-Bake Granola Bars

Easy No-Bake Granola Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
An easy no bake granola bar that you can change to meet your needs.
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups of rolled oats, not instant
  • ¾ cup whole almonds, rough chop
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries, rough chop
  • ½ cup of shredded coconut
  • 5 Tablespoons of liquid sweetener - like honey or agave
  • 2 Tablespoons of molasses or maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • ½ cup of sugar - I used evaporated cane juice.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. Toast the oats in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until the oats have a nice brown color, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and empty into a large, heat resistant mixing bowl. Carefully, wipe out the skillet.
  2. Return the pan to the heat and add in the chopped almonds and the sliced almonds. Toast, stirring frequently, until nuts are light brown. Remove from heat and add to the mixing bowl.
  3. To the mixing bowl, add in the rough chopped dried cranberries and the shredded coconut. Mix well.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the liquid sweeter and the molasses or maple syrup. Mix in the sugar, cinnamon and almond extract. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Pour over oat mixture and stir until the mix is completely coated.
  5. Prepare an 11 x 7 in pan by lining it with plastic wrap. Allow a 7 inch length of wrap to over hang the ends of the pan. You'll use this to press the mixture down. Spoon the mixture into the pan, smoothing it out. Fold one side of the wrap extension over the mix and then repeat with the other side. Press down on the mixture to compact it. Place in the refrigerator to set up. Check for desired firmness after one hour. Is still too soft, check again after another hour.
  6. Once firm, turn out of pan. Remove plastic wrap and cut into 16 bars. Slice into halves lengthwise. Then slice each portion into 8 bars. Wrap each bar with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for soft, chewy bars or in the fridge for crunchy bars.