Thursday, January 19, 2012

Piña Colada Granola Bars

I know, it sounds kind of weird. But IT IS NOT. I assure you.

I mean, when I first made these up in my head, I knew they would be delicious, but I had no idea then what a wonder I was about to create. 

See, I sort of have an obsession with piña coladas. But sadly, this obsession can be a little bit of a problem because I suffer from this horrible affliction called being-nineteen-instead-of-twenty-one.

I know. It's really sad. I should make pamphlets of myself crying and looking really dirty and sad and write on the inside, "Poor child starving in Michigan. Send Piña Coladas because she's allergic to everything else."

But I don't think that would really fly, so I came up with a different plan.

You see, these granola bars incorporate all the tropical flavors that you and I love. The moment you take the first chewy, crispy heavenly bite, you will be transported to the Florida Keys. You crunch into a macadamia nut, chew into and bite of pineapple, and by this point you're pretty much bulldozing into some white chocolate chips, all the while enveloped in the sunshiny world of the heavenly flavor of coconut which is intensified by the coconut extract, until suddenly... you have nothing left but an empty pan with a few lonely pieces of toasted coconut because you simply could not help yourself from devouring the whole entire blissful pan in one sitting.

The best part about these is that they're appropriate for all ages!

I mean unless you want to add some rum to them...

(See those three dots? They mean DO IT!)

Oh, the other best part about these is that underneath all the butter and sugar, they're actually pretty healthy! I mean, oats, whole wheat flour, flax seeds, and whatever other crazy healthy stuff you might decide to throw in there. They're like power cookies.

So we won't feel guilty munching on these all the way to Florida. Because we're leaving TOMORROW!

Now, the car ride all the way down there can be puh-retty traumatizing. I mean, it's 24 hours of sitting on your butt, getting carsick, and smelling the putrid odor of McDonald's mixed with dirty diapers. Horrifying. So I'll just take a bite of these granola bars and let myself slide into the illusion that I'm already sitting on the sunny beach, soakin up the rays. 

I adapted this recipe from my chewy crispy peanut butter granola bars. If you thought that those were the best thing ever, prepare to have the foundations of the world shaken like never before.

Piña Colada Granola Bars

1 cup Rice Krispies
1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup coconut + 3/4 cup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried pineapple, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350º.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
Line a 9x13 inch pan with greased parchment paper. Leave some paper hanging over the edge so that the bars will be easier to remove from the pan.
Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting into bars. Put them in the freezer if you're impatient. 

OH, and before you leave, take a millisecond to answer the poll on the sidebar. I'm just wondering what you guys actually like me to post. I personally favor anything rich and sweet (OBVIOUSLY) but it seems that an equal part of you so far have voted for healthy stuff. So just answer the poll. You could change history.