Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I cut the peanut butter granola bars into small pieces, in theory for portion control and storage.

The bars are packed with seeds and nuts and oats, and flavored with white chocolate wonderful peanut butter and honey.  Eating only one peanut butter granola bar, regardless of the size of the bar, may be a challenge!  The bars are delicious and addictive.

After baking, I refrigerated the bars hoping for smooth, straight sides while cutting the bars.  The bars become very soft at room temperature, and cutting large bars may not be the best option.
Packaging the peanut butter granola bars in mini cupcake foils within an egg carton (think recycle!) provides quick access to a snack or offers a grab-and-go travel container.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
(adapted from Renee at sweetsugarbean)
Ingredients:
  • 6 T brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter (from Peanut Butter & Co)**
  • 4 T honey
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 T ground flax
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 2 T cacao nibs
  • 2 T chocolate chips

Mixing:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line 8″ x 8″ pan with parchment for easy removal of bars after baking
  3. Melt brown sugar, peanut butter, honey, and butter in saucepan over low heat.
  4. Remove melted mixture from heat and add vanilla; sit aside
  5. In large bowl, combine oat, coconut, sunflower seeds, flax, sesame seeds, cacao nibs, and chocolate chips
  6. Pour the wet mixture over the dry, and stir to combine well
  7. Press mixture into parchment lined pan
  8. Bake for 20 minutes (per original recipe).  I would bake longer next time, hoping to achieve a more firm peanut butter granola bar
Hiking, camping, work, play, gift…..
The options are endless; the recipient will be grateful!

**The White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co. (endorsement given freely; no compensation) combines sweet white chocolate and peanut butter.  Peanut Butter & Co. was one of the sponsors at BlogHerFood ’11 in Atlanta in May.  If all their products are as good as this one, they have found a new home on my pantry shelves!

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cranberry orange sorbet

The sun will set in about an hour here on the banks of the muddy Mississippi.  It’s cooler now….but tomorrow is coming.  We are seeing a daily heat index of 100+ in early June.

feel the freeze

In the fall, I have great plans for the bags of cranberries that line the grocery produce area.  Sadly, the berries find their way to the freezer. But now, in June, they have burst into their full potential.

Cranberry Orange Sorbet

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cold juice from cranberry jam (see recipe below) (this juice, after cooling in refrigerator, was the consistency of chilling jello)
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 T Grand Marnier
  • 1 T superfine sugar

Mixing:

  1. Combine all ingredients
  2. Pour into ice cream freezer
  3. Freeze for 40 minutes; the sorbet will be soft, but frozen.
  4. Quickly transfer to freezer container and store in freezer.
  5. This scoops easily directly from the freezer.

This sorbet is rich; a couple of small scoops are both brain-freeze refreshing and filling

Cranberry Jam
(recipe adapted from here)

Ingredients:

  • 28 ounces cranberries
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 24 ounces granulated sugar
  • 24 fluid ounces water
  • pinch of salt

Mixing:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pan.
  2. Place on stove top and bring to a slow simmer.
  3. After you hear the first cranberry pop (it really does pop; first experience for me!), set your timer for 12 minutes.
  4. After the twelve minutes, remove pan from heat.
  5. Pour liquid through strainer (I used a food mill), separating the liquid from the solids.

Yield:

  • approximately 6 cups juice
  • approximately 3 cups cranberry jam

frost slopes across the edge of the jar as I enjoy the sorbet before it melts
not your Grandmother’s version of the Thanksgiving cranberry-orange sauce
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Amish Friendship Bread

Prepare the pans….many, many pans.
I baked Amish Friendship Bread in the mid 80′s.  I was a young bride, and AFB was the fad in the rural area I called home.  I have my original hand-written Amish Friendship Bread recipe, given to me by my dear friend’s mother, who many  (including non-family members like me) call Grandma Byrn.
The underlying principal in the book, ‘friendship bread,’ is the linking of people and their community and their lives.
The following is written on the back of my Amish Friendship Bread recipe card from Grandma Byrn:
     “From Sue Morton   Lake Geneva, Wisconsin”
At the time, Grandma Byrn and I lived in Obion County, Tennessee.  My first Amish Friendship Bread  starter traveled many miles. 
Grandma Byrn’s handwritten recipe card:
Grandma Byrn (2011) with her granddaughter Bridgid
I no longer have the original starter; however, after reading ‘friendship bread,’ I decided to remake an old memory.  So, committed I became to 10 days and extensive baking.  I’m currently working through round two and will bake again next weekend.
I must say that the recipes posted on Friendship Bread Kitchen’s website yield a better textured bread than the bread of the 80′s.
Here’s a link to iPhone pictures of my new starter, made using yeast, water, flour, sugar, and milk.
(http://www.blurb.com/mobile/show/016248283)
First baking with the starter – chocolate!!!  Almond Joy Amish Friendship Bread (the batter was very thick, but baked to a moist, delicious bread that I glazed with ganache)
lemon Amish Friendship Bread, glazed with powdered sugar, cream, and Penzey’s lemon powder
Seattle Amish Friendship Bread (I used the normal AFB recipe, omitting cinnamon sugar and adding 4 tea bags of orange-cinnamon tea from Seattle’s famous Market Spice in Pike Place Market.)
And, then I decided I should bake the original recipe.
(going into the oven)

 just out of the oven

 15 minutes out of the oven; we cut the bread warm; it was delicious!

beautiful visual appeal on top of loaf
Most recipes can be found on Friendship Bread Kitchen web site.
Look quickly, for this is all that remains.  Here’s an ‘inside look’ at the breads.
chocolate:
 lemon:
Seattle
Traditional Cinnamon
I have noticed that the bread crust becomes softer and the inside of the bread becomes more moist on day 2-3 after baked.
I have also found that I can sit (covered) 1-cup portions of starter from day-10 distribution on the counter for two days, and then bake bread with no ill effects. 
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