(Recipe found on 101 Cookbooks site here.)
Step by Step Instructions:
To make these granola bars, here is what you’ll need: Espresso beans (if you have a coffee grinder, you can grind them yourself, otherwise you can always by ground espresso), old-fashioned oats, crispy brown rice cereal, raw cane sugar, brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, slivered almonds, chopped pecans, unsweetened coconut, and salt. (Not pictured – 1 Tablespoon of butter for greasing the pan).
Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then soften 1 Tablespoon of butter (or coconut oil if you have it, which I did not) and grease your pan. Depending on whether you want thin or thick bars determines what size pan to use. I wanted thicker bars, so I opted for an 8×8 inch pan. Otherwise, you can use a 9×13 inch pan.
Then measure out 1 cup of chopped pecans, 1 cup of slivered almonds, and 2/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut and put them all on a cookie sheet (I lined mine with a Silpat).
Place the cookie sheet in the oven for about 7 minutes or until the coconut is a lovely golden brown as you can see above. I stirred the ingredients a couple of times during this 7 minute span.
While the the coconut and nuts were in the oven, I went ahead and ground my espresso beans…
…until they were finely ground as shown here.
Once the pecans, almonds, and coconut are toasted, place them in a bowl and add 1 1/4 cup of old-fashioned oats.
Then pour in 1 1/2 cup of the crisp brown rice cereal (or Rice Krispies if that is what you are using). Mix all of this together and set it aside.
Get a small saucepan and place it on a burner over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup of the brown rice syrup.
Then you’ll add 1/4 cup of the cane sugar to the pan.
Next up you’ll add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. (I actually used kosher salt, and that worked well…it’ll be our little secret.)
Measure two tablespoons of the ground espresso and add that to the pan. (It’s at this point that you will also add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, but I actually forgot to add it at this point. Don’t be like me…add it when you’re supposed to instead of after the mixture has cooked…if you forget, don’t worry, it will still turn out great adding the vanilla after the cooking process is over.)
Then stir everything up and continue to stir it for at 4 minutes or so until it begins bubbling and gets a bit thicker…
…and looks similar to this concoction.
Then pour this sauce over the top of your dry ingredients you have already mixed up.
Then continue stirring until it is really well combined.
You’ll then pour the lovely mixture into your greased pan and then just set it aside for a few hours until it is completely cooled.
When the granola mixture is completely cooled and set up, take a knife and carefully go around the sides so that they release a bit from the pan. Then flip the pan over so the granola turns out onto your work surface.
I then took a large chef’s knife and cut them into 16 squares, but you can cut them to be whatever size/shape you prefer. I then took each bar and used my hands to shape each one because they may get a bit misshapen during the cutting process.
Isn’t it so pretty how you can see the flecks of espresso everywhere? Yum!!
I then took some plastic wrap (all I had was the press and seal kind, but that works well) and cut it into small rectangles that were large enough to wrap each bar. Then I put the wrapped bars in a bowl on the counter where they would be easy to grab when rushing out of the house or when I’m hunting in the kitchen for a snack. They are a perfect treat!
Big Sur Power Bar Recipe (by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or regular butter)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup (unsweetened) shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons ground espresso beans
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with the coconut oil. If you like thick power bars, opt for an 8 by 8-inch pan; for thinner bars, use a 9 by 13-inch pan.
On a rimmed baking sheet toast the pecans, almonds, and coconut for about 7 minutes, or until the coconut is deeply golden. Toss once or twice along the way. Mix the oats, toasted nuts, coconut, and the cereal, together in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine the rice syrup, sugar, salt, espresso, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes. Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until it is evenly incorporated.
Spread into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature before cutting into whatever size bars you desire.
Makes 16 to 24 bars.