Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mother's Day is just around the corner . . . .

Are you brainstorming a sweet treat, T-shirt, or personalized mug for your mother? I can't give away any surprises about what our family is doing for the special matrons in our lives, but if both of them didn't live in Alaska (where we are originally from) I'd love to take over some homemade goodness like these homemade Chocolate Granola Dip bars. It's a homemade granola bar dipped in chocolate, LUV 'um! They are healthy, chewy, and chocolaty - can't beat that! Super easy too!

Chocolate Granola Dip Bars
1 cup pitted dates
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, finely ground
1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely ground
1/2 cup macadamia nuts - 1/4 cup finely ground and the other 1/4 cup coarsely chopped
1/3 cup papaya, chopped
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/3 cup dried blueberries
2 tablespoons oat bran
3 tablespoons ground flax seed
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 350. Place dates in sml sauce pan with just enough water to cover the dates and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, drain out water and puree in a food processor until smooth. This is the "glue," that holds our granola bars together. Set your "glue," aside. Now measure, chop and finely grind each ingredient that calls for it - when you are doing this think of what kind of chunks you or your mom like to see in granola bars ;) Now that each ingredient is ready mix them up in a deep bowl. Then add the pureed dates and honey and mix it up. Spray your pan with vegetable oil and press granola mixture into the pan. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, bars will be light golden brown. Cut your bars while they are still warm in the pan then let it cool till you can touch the pan without a hot pad. Now remove your bars and let them cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.

Once your bars are cooled completely, this is important otherwise your bars will break off in the chocolate while you are trying to dip them . . .Yikes! Choose whatever kind of chocolate makes your mom happy and start dippin! Lay them out on a piece of wax paper to set up, then drizzle with your choice of accent chocolate, sprinkles, coconut, or nuts.

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