Raspberry “Breakfast” Bars

When you’ve got a kid with a peanut allergy, there are a lot of things that end up off-limits.  Mostly it hasn’t been a huge deal for us.   But every now and again, there’s something I have to deny both boys for the sake of Isaiah, much to Gryffin’s chagrin.  One of the most frequent requests is for granola bars.  But I have yet to find a single store-bought granola bar that doesn’t have the warning at the bottom of the ingredient list, “May Contain Traces of Peanuts.”

For the most part we just skip out on granola bars altogether.  But Gryffin still occasionally requests them and they are fun to make for our summer camping trips and such.  These raspberry bars are a different take on the granola bars I usually make.  I’ve made them a couple of times now and I’ve tweaked and adjusted the recipe each time.  I want them to be breakfast bars; you know, hearty and… what?  Healthy?  Grainy?  I don’t know exactly but I’ll have to keep working on it because so far they still taste more like dessert bars to me.  Either way, they’re good!   And there are plenty of ways you can adapt and fine-tune the recipe to suit you.

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DSC_0735The original recipe, which I’ve changed, is from Smitten Kitchen who got the recipe from the Baked bakery in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Crust and crumb
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter a 9×13 pan.  Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.  I just use a spoon.  You can pulse it in a food processor but it’s not necessary.  Use a pastry cutter or your hands (I think it’s easier to use your hands) and fold in the butter.  Remove 1.5 c of the mixture and set aside.  Spread the rest into your 9×13 and flatten with the back of a spoon.   Cook for 10-15 minutes until golden.  Set aside and make your filling.  Leave the oven on.

Raspberry filling
2 Tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 pound raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Combine all of the ingredients and toss gently to coat.  Spread evenly onto the crust.  Top with the remaining crust/crumb mixture.  Bake for an additional 35-45 minutes, until the top is golden and the raspberry mixture is bubbling.  Allow to cool and cut into squares.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

My notes…

  • Next time I might add some chia seeds.  You know, in the name of making it more breakfast-y.  And maybe some very finely chopped (as in, basically powdered) walnuts.
  • I think these are plenty sweet and might cut the sugar down even more next time.
  • I might try whole wheat pastry flour next time.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!