Saturday, March 2, 2013

Individual Cookie Butter Granola Bars

Finally! I have a post for you about something sweet that is made from scratch! is a beautifully dangerous thing. I've mentioned before that if you have a life, a job, a family, anything that requires you to be an attentive human being, do NOT get a stumble account. It's Pinterest before Pinterest, so if you have that then you might as well be a glutton and get stumbleupon. Anywho! I found this recipe online for Cookie Butter Funfetti Triple Chip Bars (say that three times fast). I had no idea what this "cookie butter" was. I didn't really pay any attention to it because it's a Trader Joe's brand, and the closest store we have is an hour away in a city that we really only pass through on trips. On one of those pass-throughs though, Nissa brought home a jar of this stuff. Holy cheese is it delicious! It's exactly what it says: speculoos cookies (the cookies you get on air planes) ground up into a peanut butter consistency. If you haven't tried this stuff and you're able to, try it. Seriously.

We stock up. They even have crunchy cookie butter!
Once I had this delicious spread at my disposal, I started researching what I could do with it. I wasn't really interested in putting it on anything--I've heard it's good on waffles--because it has such a distinct flavor, but I basically found out that you could use this in any recipe that calls for peanut butter. Um, okay. I can do that.

I found yet another recipe on stumble for granola bars made with cookie butter and decided to try it out. Cooke Butter Granola Bars. When I've made granola bars like this recipe, where you put the whole mix in a cake pan and slice it after it's baked, it NEVER bakes evenly. I get crunchy edges and too gooey of a center. I make my brownies in a cupcake pan so I decided to do the same with these bars. I've made a few other small changes from the original, so you can choose which one you'd like to follow. Here we go!

Individual Cookie Butter Granola Bars

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 egg white
1/2 HEAPING cup Cookie Butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

**Note. I really hate wasting an egg yolk when something calls for just the whites, so this time I decided to use meringue powder. Mixed with a bit of water it's a substitute for egg whites; we normally use it in icing recipes. For this recipe, however, I'd stick to the egg white. The flavor doesn't change, but it was more work. I can also assume that you don't have meringue powder sitting around in your pantry.

Preheat oven to 350. Spread almonds on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 8 minutes.

While the almonds are toasting, whip the egg white in a mixing bowl until light and frothy.

Next, add the cookie butter, brown sugar, and honey to the egg white froth and mix. If you have a stand mixer, I switched to the paddle attachment...even though it doesn't show that in the picture...I highly recommend switching...

Yay for Disney measuring cups!

By now, the almonds should be about done. They always say on Food Network that when you smell them, they're done. I never want to risk burning anything, so I just go by the times that the recipe gives me. Take those suckers out of the oven, add them to the cookie butter mixture along with the oats and melted butter.

After that is all mixed up, add the mini chocolate chips. I decided to use mini chips because the very first time I made this recipe I used regular sized ones, and they overpowered the great taste of the cookie butter. They also make a bigger mess when they melt, and this is a treat you should be able to grab and go with.

Mix the chips until evenly distributed. All done! Kind of.

Next, spray a cupcake pan with cooking spray and using a large disher, (one of my favorite kitchen toys) place one scoop into each cupcake well.

Because there isn't any leavening agent like baking powder or any cold butter to cause the bars to spread, leaving them in the pan like this isn't a good idea. I just used my fingers to smoosh them down a bit. This will help them to bake evenly and, of course, look pretty!

Bake for 12 minutes. This is the best baking time for my oven, but things always vary when baking. I would say "bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown" but these are already golden brown in color. I really hate when recipes do things like that. "Golden brown and gooey in the center". How am I supposed to know if it's gooey in the center when the entire thing is going to be gooey before it's cooled all the way?? And then by that time I can't go back and bake them some more because they're already cooled and baking doesn't work like that!!! 12 minutes is fine.

If you do look closely though, you can tell that the edges are a little browner and drier than the center. That's when they're done. You really should let them cool completely before eating them. Biting into warm gooey granola isn't quite the same as biting into a warm gooey brownie. These are better at room temperature.

Keep them in an air tight container and they'll be good for a while. That's something else I don't really like about recipes, the time limit. For example, when I make salsa, the recipe makes a huge tupperware container. Like, the biggest ones in the Rubbermade set. I get done making the recipe and then it says it'll keep in the fridge for a week. What, am I supposed to bathe in salsa?? I can't eat that whole thing in a week! Unless there's mold growing out of these bars--which there shouldn't be because there's nothing in it that would spoil that badly--you should be fine keeping these for awhile.

These bars are seriously delicious and seriously easy to make. If you have access to a Trader Joe's, pick up some cookie butter and try these out!....and maybe pick up a few jars for me while you're there.

1 comment:

  1. Cookie butter is straight crack. I think I ate my way through like, four jars of it during the campaign. Also probably why I got fat. I cannot let myself buy it anymore, even though I shop at Trader Joe's like, every weekend.