Almond Granola Bars

I spend a lot of idle time scrolling through Pinterest or Food Gawker admiring all manner of food, but we all know it’s the desserts that really catch my eye. These days, though, I’m always curious to see the newest iteration of granola bars (or oatmeal cookies, or energy balls, what have you).

Even though there are a lot of common themes and flavor profiles, there always seems to be a new twist or formation that makes the next recipe healthier or tastier. When I visit my parents’ house, I often try a new variation that I’ve found for my family to snack on all weekend.

I try to find recipes that have some purposeful ingredients or “super foods” but are still tasty. I came across a recipe for these Almond Energy Bars on one of my favorite blogs: Carrots ‘N Cake, so I wanted to give it a try.

snack time

She was posting on behalf of an almond company so she used almond flour, but I used AP flour instead. I didn’t want to buy an ingredient that I wouldn’t use regularly. Plus she used brown rice cereal to make it gluten free, but I went traditional with normal rice cereal, because the flour choice already killed my gluten free dreams.

These bars are a little on the crumbly side (even though I did my best to pack down the batter before baking), and not too sweet. But I like the idea that I’m not snacking on too much sugar, but I’m still getting some nutrients from almonds, cranberries, chia seeds, etc.

The next time you need something to munch on between meals, give these a try!

Almond Granola Bars

Yields about 9-16 small squares, Adapted from Carrots ‘N Cake


  • 1 cup rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds (I added a little more)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt


batter up

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8×8 baking pan (or a pan with an equivalent area) with parchment paper (it’s just easier that way).
  2. Combine everything in a mixing bowl, and make sure everything is incorporated evenly.
  3. Pack the batter into the parchment lines baking pan. Press down to ensure bars hold together.
  4. Bake 25 minutes until top is lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely before you slice.



Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

When it comes to cookie recipes, one thing I have yet to fully master is the aspect of a recipe that makes the cookies chewy or crispy, cakey or crunchy.  I realize that it is likely a combination of ingredients that determines these factors, but it perplexes me.  I often have attempted recipes that claim “chewy” but come out crunchy.  Is it my fault, or the recipe’s fault?

I think it’s a combination of the two.  From my limited experience I would assume that a combination of the fat choice (butter, oil, shortening) along with the number of eggs, has a large effect on the texture of a cookie.  More eggs would be more cakey, and the softer the fat, the softer the cookie.  I’ve even heard that using melted butter rather than typical room temperature butter, will make cookies softer.  Also over-mixing the batter leads to developing too much gluten, which leads to harder cookies.

All this being said I tried a “chewy” oatmeal cookie recipe from Martha, because if there’s one type of cookie that I love to be “chewy,” it’s an oatmeal cookie.  Her original recipe only called for dried cherries, but I swapped those out for chocolate chunks, walnuts, and craisons.  While not quite as chewy as one of those classic large oatmeal cookies at a local bakery, I think this recipe lives up to the chewy title.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yields about 40 cookies depending on size, adapted from a Martha Recipe


  • 1 1/4 cup AP Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup craisons
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chunks
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Use an electric mixer to beat together butter, brown sugar, and honey until fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add flour mixture in gradually.
  5. Add in oats, chocolate, craisons, and walnuts.  Mix until just combined, try not to over mix.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out equal cookie dough balls about 2 tablespoons each.  Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to cool completely.