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Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars

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Are you a crunchy granola bar person, or a chewy granola bar person? I’m the latter.  My favorite granola bars are the Sunbelt Bakery ones. and it has been a quest of mine for a long time to find a recipe that would duplicate their soft, chewy texture.  I felt that baking them wasn’t the way to go, as all the ones I baked were just a little too firm, a little too dry, and not chewy enough.  I made lots of my own recipes in the search to find that perfect recipe, and never did find it.

Until Sarah.  She posted a recipe for Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars and my search ended there.  I’m tellin’ ya, coconut oil is such a good friend in the kitchen.  Makes great cookies, coffee, and granola bars!  These are exactly what I was looking for, and a little healthier than Sunbelt Bakery’s with the flaxseed, honey, coconut oil, and lack of processed/weird ingredients.  And totally crazy delicious!

Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed* (I used whole)
1/2 cup mix-ins of your choice (I used peanuts)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
dash of salt
1/3 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used butterscotch chips)

*You can use wheat germ, wheat bran, or more rolled oats in place of the flaxseed.

Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil or wax paper, and grease well with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together cereal, oats, flaxseed, and mix-ins. In a saucepan, stir together honey, brown sugar, and salt. Turn heat onto medium-low, then stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 60 seconds, then remove from heat and gently mix in coconut oil and peanut butter, careful not to splash. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Pour wet ingredients over the dry and mix to combine.

Press mixture into prepared pan, then evenly distribute chocolate chunks over top. If you mix the chocolate in, it will melt. Press into granola mixture with a spatula then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to set. Cut into bars and wrap in aluminum foil or wax paper for easy transport.

Recipe source: The Pajama Chef


Peanutty Chocolate Truffles

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I got this recipe from my friend, Katy, around this time last year, and adapted it to increase the chocolate flavor, replacing the hot chocolate mix with Dutch-process cocoa powder.  If you’re a fan of chocolate and peanut butter like me, I guarantee you will love these!  Delicious, and so easy to make! These would be a great addition to holiday spreads or food gifts, particularly if you need something in a hurry.

For more Christmas cookie and candy ideas, scroll below the recipe.

Peanutty Chocolate Truffles

Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder is now widely available in supermarkets, but you can substitute regular cocoa powder if you are unable to locate any Dutch-process cocoa powder.
Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder is now widely available in supermarkets)
1 cup finely chopped cocktail peanuts

Line baking sheets with wax paper. Beat peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract in medium bowl until creamy. Add powdered sugar and cocoa and beat until incorporated. Mixture will be thick. Place peanuts in a flat dish. Scoop peanut butter mixture into 1-inch balls; roll in peanuts to coat. Place on prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm.

Recipe source: Katy R.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Chocolate Peppermint Chip Cookies

Sugar-Free Rugelach

White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies

Crispy Caramel Puffed Corn

Rolo Pretzel Turtles

Peppermint Patties

Cherry Cordials

Cocoa Almonds

Cake Pops

Soft Caramels

Oreo Truffles

Triple Chocolate Caramel Corn

Cinnabon Caramel Corn

Easy Peanut Clusters

Nutty Toffee Popcorn

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Eggnog Pumpkin Bread

Easy Italian Creme Cake

Butter Pecan-Rum Cake

Millionaire Shortbread Bars

Chocolate Caramel Walnut Brownies

Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce

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I checked out a cookbook from the library called You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan, by Lacey Sher and Gail Doherty, and I knew as soon as I saw the recipe for the “Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce” that I had to try it. It seems that all my foodie friends are cooking up Asian fare lately and I don’t want to be the only one left in the dust, even if my past attempts have somewhat disappointing.

Well, I now have ONE successful Asian dish under my belt! I’m so proud, it’s ridiculous!

I asked my friend, Pia, what she would call this type of dish and she said “fusion” b/c the noodles are Japanese, but peanut sauce is usually used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking. Whatever it is, the combo here is delicious! I rounded out the meal with some bright vegetable spring rolls, which was kind of like eating a hand-held salad. How fun is that?!

Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce 
Serves 4
 Savory & simple, these soba noodles are tossed in spicy peanut sauce and served with fresh carrots and scallions. Top with snow pea shoots and sesame seeds for a gourmet touch.

8 oz soba noodles
1/2 c Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 c matchstick-cut carrots
1/4 c thinly sliced scallions
1 T toasted sesame oil
Pinch of sea salt
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Bean sprouts, for garnish

Fill a 6-quart stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the soba noodles to the boiling water and cook for 7 minutes. Drain the noodles into a colander and run under cool water until slightly cool to the touch. Using a medium-size bowl, toss together the noodles, peanut sauce, carrot, scallion, sesame oil, and a pinch of salt. Serve family style or divide into individual servings, garnished with sesame seeds and sprouts.

Peanut Sauce
Yield: 2 cups

1 c peanut butter
3 cloves garlic
3/4 c water
1/4 c plus 1 T tamari
Pinch of cayenne
1 (2.1 oz) package Eden Pickled Ginger with Shiso, with liquid, leaf removed*

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well. Will keep for 4-5 days refrigerated.

*Variation: Instead of using pickled ginger, you can add 1 T of finely grated fresh ginger, 2 T of agave syrup, and 1 T of rice vinegar.

Veronica’s Notes: I cheated and used a prepared peanut sauce (House of Tsang Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce), which was spicy and delicious. This made the recipe super easy and only took 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Also, I would imagine that sugar would work fine in place of the agave nectar (in the variation on the peanut sauce) if you don’t have any and don’t want to buy it.

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