Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tu B'shvat Granola Bars

Memories of the dried fruit in little bags, aren't good ones.  My birthday is erev Tu B'shvat, and my mother took that to mean that my birthday bag had to be day appropriate.  You cannot imagine how embarrassing it was for me to bring in those birthday bags.  Everyone else brought in bags filled with candies, and I always thought my mother was being cheap sending in those dried fruits.  Well, after doing my Tu B'Shvat shopping, I can assure you they weren't cheap, although possibly not what most girls looked forward to at a birthday party.

Tu B'Shvat (aside for being the day after my birthday) is never made into a huge holiday in my home.  Maybe a shechiyanu, but not much more.  This year I wanted to make the kids at least notice the day was on the calender, so I prepared a little fruit party.
I made a dried fruit platter, some fresh fruits of Israel and some Tu B'shvat Granola (and some granola with chocolate chips for the picky eater)

Tu B'Shvat Granola Bar Recipe
I came up with this granola recipe after to searching through numerous recipes online, but not finding any that either looked good to me or that I had the ingredients on hand.  In this recipe there are 3 of the Shevas Haminim (7 fruits of Israel), wheat, grapes, and figs but can easily be adjusted to including 5 by adding dates and replacing some of the oats with barley flakes.
Left Chocolate Chip Granola, right Tu B'shvat Granola 

4.5 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cups butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup of any combination of fruit (I used 1/4 cup raisins and 1/4 cup fresh diced fig)

Preheat oven to 325*F. Prepare a 9'x13' pan by lightly greasing and line with parchment paper. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Melt butter, honey and sugar in a small sauce pan over low heat until butter is melted.  Remove from fire and stir in vanilla. Add sugar mixture to dry mixture and mix well.  Stir in fruit.  Press firmly into pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, till top in brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, and cut into bars while still in pan.  Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.
Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler (hint: you can place chocolate chips in a ziplock bag and dip into a bowl of hot water - NOT boiling, until melted.) Place chocolate chips in sandwich bag and snip off small corner.  Drizzle over bars.

variation:  Chocolate Chip Granola: substitute 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips for the fruit.

Other pictures from our Tu B'Shvat:

Fresh fruit for Tu B'shvat

Dry fruit Platter

Fruits to enjoy for Tu B'Shvat

Thanks for stopping in,


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