There are so many different variations to granola bar recipes.  The question is, how do you choose that perfect recipe?  Most granola bar recipes have similar ingredients, with different ratios for each ingredient.  This recipe was only altered slightly from my favorite recipe made by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.  Chocolate Pecan Granola Bars are a family favorite in our house, and with my dear friends.

Granola Bars Made With Love!My best friend had her first baby a few weeks ago.  Insert a “SQUEEEEEE” here!  So a fun care package was sent to her, and her wonderful hubby, AND of course their little one!  One of the things that my sweet friend loves……AND requests from the cafe, is my granola bars.

The granola bars have been made with fruit just like Ina shares in her recipe.  However, what my friends, and hubby always ask for are the chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch variations!!!

Granola Bars Made WIth Love!This post is not about a recipe I created, it is about sharing my favorite granola bar recipe.  Once we have a favorite, why try to mess with happiness right?

So instead, this post is about sharing a favorite recipe with those you love.  These granola bars were made with tons of love, and all for my dear friends.

Even with my diet changes, I still made these lovely bars.  I did promise my friends and family I would still make them sugary treats after all!

Granola Bars Made WIth Love!

Granola Bars Made With Love!
 
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Serves: 12-16 bars

Ingredients
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (I used toasted pecans)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • ½ cup toasted wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup chopped pitted dates
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • (Instead of fruit – I used 1½ cups of dark chocolate)

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
  4. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

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Summer is almost here I can feel it!  My Grill Master and I are ready to grill to our hearts content!  If you are new to CafeTerraBlog, my hubby and I have four grills that we love making savory or sweet dishes with.  Here is our Pinterest board of some of our grilled treats. Now with any grilled savory treat, a good barbecue sauce is always required.  There may be sugar in this recipe, but I can assure you, this sauce is all savory love!  What makes this sauce ROCK is the bourbon included to enhance the flavor.  This Bourbon Barbecue Sauce uses our new favorite bourbon, Alibi Whiskey.

Bourbon Barbecue Sauce with Alibi Whiskey

Here at the cafe we are bourbon lovers.  So you can image our excitement when we received a fabulous gift at our doorstep from Alibi Whiskey.  The whiskey is 90 proof, smooth when it goes down, and will keep you warm on the inside.  Bourbon is fun to use in grilled dishes, sweet treats, and of course refreshing cocktails.

Alibi Whiskey

This recipe is easy to make, and will keep in your fridge for about 14 days.  Now since my day job is working as a food safety inspector, 14 days is the max you really should keep any prepared item.  BUT the everyday cook, you may notice your sauce could hold in the refrigerator for maybe a month.

This recipe is truly the very definition of easy, and can be altered for each dish you make.  The recipe below will provide more than enough sauce for your meal.  However, we did double the recipe so that we had some for our lunches during the week.

Bourbon Barbecue Sauce with Alibi Whiskey

Bourbon Barbecue Sauce with Alibi Whiskey
 
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Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups (24 oz can) tomato sauce
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter
  • ½ cup bourbon (Alibi Whiskey)
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp molasses
  • 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions
  1. In large sauce pot, set to high, bring all ingredients to a boil, then set to medium-low and let sauce simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool.

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Banana + Fries?  Say what?  For some people, a big bowl of ice cream covered in chocolate is considered a perfect dessert.  Or several Oreos soaked in milk is the best snack ever!  How about taking a healthier approach, with a little sugary love included?  Bananas have natural sugars, and dark chocolate will have lots of antioxidant love!  Chocolate Covered Banana Fries will satisfy your sugar craving for sure!

Chocolate Covered Banana Fries

With all my diet changes, trying to find a satisfying treat can be a challenge.  It may be easy for some people, unless you loved ice cream, cake, and brownies A LOT!

You can find recipes for banana bites on the internet, and in your local grocery store freezer section.  I do love banana bites, who doesn’t?  So I decided why not have more than just a bite of a banana?

Chocolate Covered Banana Fries

The recipe can be a bit messy in the process.  Messy makes the recipe even better!  This treat would be fun to make with your kids!  You can double the chocolate sauce below, and double or triple dip those lovely bananas!

Chocolate Covered Banana Fries

I may need to make more ASAP!

Chocolate Covered Banana Fries

Chocolate Covered Banana Fries
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 10oz. bag of chocolate chunks
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 4 bananas

Instructions
  1. With sheet pan, covered in parchment paper, peel bananas, cut the bananas in half, then cut one half in four pieces, continue process. Image above shows how banana fries are cut.
  2. With double boiler, stove top set to medium, place chocolate chunks, coconut oil, and coconut sugar in pan, let melt together. Once melted remove from burner.
  3. Use a fork or utensil that will help drain excess chocolate. Place bananas in chocolate and carefully coat each side, with fork transfer to parchment covered sheet pan.
  4. Since the parchment will have excess chocolate around bananas, you can then transfer dipped bananas onto another clean parchment sheet, then freeze the bananas.
  5. Optional – you could dip the bananas two or three times in chocolate (you may need to double chocolate sauce,) to completely coat the bananas evenly.
  6. Let bananas freeze for at least six hours, or overnight.
  7. Enjoy!

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