Well, Christmas is winding down at our house. The trees and decorations are down and (almost) all packed up and put away. I have left out some of my snowmen because they are cute and I still like to look at them (kind of like our kids, but I won't be packing them in boxes and putting them under our basement steps. Probably not anyway, there are days...)
I didn't do alot of baking for Christmas (ok, I did no baking whatsoever for Christmas) but I did make the most awesome home-made granola bars recently, which are all but gone (why do people say "all but" when they mean "almost"? Don't know. I just looked it up and they both mean the same thing. Just thought I'd share.)
Anyway, here is the recipe that I used to make home-made granola bars. It was originally given to me by my friend Jenni at church (thanks again Jenni!), and I modified it some. The original recipe was from allrecipes.com and was called "easy granola bars" but I like to call mine "themostawesomestgranolabarsever"!
Measure out: 3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup miniature chocolate chips. I know, I know...they aren't Ghiradelli. Don't worry, I am not cheating on Ghiradelli. He is still my first love, he just doesn't make a mini chocolate chip. At least not that I've ever seen. So I had to settle with Hersheys as my stand-in chocolate boyfriend.
Add 2 cups any combination of nuts, seeds, or whatever else you like. I used cashews, sunflower seeds, soy nuts, and some chopped almonds (I always buy them raw and toast them myself because they have so much more flavor than canned ones.)
Add 1/2 cup dried fruit, like raisins or craisins or whatever you find amazin's (hahaha! I crack myself up!)
Make sure that you photograph the raisins with your husband's beloved red-handled measuring cups in the background. I totally didn't even pose those. That's just how cool we are around here...things just lay around naturally in awesome photographical poses all the time.
Mix everything together and pour in 1 can sweetened condensed milk and 2 tbsp. melted butter. Hint: run hot water over the can of milk to soften it before pouring.
Mix everything together with your hands in a large bowl. Make your husband stop whatever he is doing and photograph your hands in an oooey gooey mess...
grease a 9x13 pan with butter
pour the mixture into the pan and spread around
With a piece of wax paper, press everything down really snug so the bars don't fall apart later. Call your husband over, again stopping whatever he is currently doing to photograph you. Oh, and try to make your hand look thinner while doing this. But it won't work.
Bake bars at 350 for about 20-25 minutes (I do them for 25 min. so they just start to brown around the edges. They are still moist and chewy). While they are still warm, cut them into whatever size bars you want. You can even cut them crooked style like I did if you want to.
Let them cool completely and then hide a stash of them for yourself because if you don't, baby they'll be gone.