Alright, I know what you’re thinking. Peanut butter granola bars for a birthday? It doesn’t sound very exhilarating, but they really are quite tasty. These granola bars are for my dear old dad, who turns 56 tomorrow. I contemplated sending him some fun pastry in the mail, but he protested and since I will be seeing him this Thursday for Turkey Day, I decided to freeze these for breakfast for him and the rest of my family.
I wasn’t surprised when my dad insisted I didn’t mail him anything. He is a very selfless person. In fact it’s difficult to even help him sometimes because he won’t let you. Robert has to practically wrestle him to the ground before my dad will allow him to assist on fixer-up projects. And let’s not even go to how things were after he got his hip replaced a few years ago.
My father is a very steady and reliable person. He always gives the best advice and I admire his patience. When I was eight years old, I received the greatest Christmas gift of all time- the Barbi Dream House. This toy kept me occupied for months-years, probably. Little did I know, the 3×4 foot toy came in a tiny box that came with the dreaded “some assembly required.” Little did I know, my dad stayed up all night to build that glorious home. Thanks, Dad!
The thing I appreciate most about my dad (and my mom for that matter), though, is that they aren’t afraid to march to the beat of their own drum. They tend not to get caught up in what other people think so much that it affects the way they live their life. I guess that’s why I went with more non-conventional birthday treat for my dad. It’s not the traditional cake or cupcake, but it’s still a treat all the same.
Happy birthday to my dad! I love you very much and will never be able to thank you enough for all you have done for me and my siblings.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Yield: 12-16 bars
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
- 2 tablespoons flax seed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup agave syrup (or light corn syrup)
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends.
- In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, pecans, wheat germ, flax seed, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and honey together. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until well combined.
- Spread the granola evenly in a thin layer on a large baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes to keep from sticking or burning, until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. (Do not overcook; the granola will crisp more when cooled.)
- Cool the granola on the baking sheet on top of a wire rack and stir in the raisins. When the granola is completely cooled, place in a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the brown sugar, agave syrup and peanut butter to a boil. Cook and stir for 30 seconds, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture, stirring to coat well. Cool slightly then stir in chocolate chips. Press into the prepared baking dish and let cool completely and harden before cutting into rectangles.