There are many reasons why people take up a hobby. Perhaps they are bored — maybe they are lonely — they might even want to learn something new.
There are a plethora of different activities to choose from as well. Knitting, painting, hiking — I could continue, but I think you understand the whole “hobby” thing. I know I’m dealing with a smart crowd here.
My hobby? Baking.
It’s not because I’m bored (okay, maybe that’s part of the reason).
It’s not because I’m lonely (only sometimes — but then the added bonus is that I can eat the creation).
It’s not because I’m hoping to learn something new either (although I usually do in the process).
So, why do I bake?
To keep myself sane.
It doesn’t have anything to do with the Husband using dish towels as nunchucks to see if he could be a ninja. Note to all husbands in the world: your wife is not the ninja enemy. Just sayin’…
There’s something about being alone in the kitchen on a Saturday morning (it doesn’t have to be at 6:00 AM, but if you’re anything like me, that’s when it will happen) to bust out the mini muffin tin and create something new. And something new I created.
This recipe has nothing to do with me being lazy. And that’s a lie. What’s a girl to do when she doesn’t want to cut granola bars but wants something small and crunchy like granola clusters? Make chewy granola bar bites of course.
Chewy Granola Bar Bites (makes ~30)
- 1 cup gluten free oats
- 1 cup crispy brown rice cereal
- 1/4 cup whole flax seeds
- 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp. flax + 3 tbsp. warm water = let sit for 5 minutes)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter (I used PB&Co. Mighty Maple)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2-3 tsp. cinnamon
Directions: Preheat your oven to 330 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine your dry ingredients (oats, cereal, almonds, raisins, flax, cinnamon) in a large bowl. Meanwhile, make your flax egg by combining 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds with 3 tbsp. warm water. To make a flax egg, your flax and water need time to sit and bind together. Let this mixture sit and thicken for about 5 minutes
Lucky for you, you’ve got a sauce to make. Combine your peanut butter, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and stir until smooth. You could heat this over a stovetop, but, well — it was 6:30 in the morning. That’s asking a little too much.
Pour the peanut butter sauce and flax egg onto your dry ingredients and mix until the mixture is evenly coated. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and spoon the mixture into the muffin holes. This will NOT stick together at this point — it’s okay. Just go with it. Press the granola mixture down into the mini muffin tin so it’s packed tightly.
Bake in your 330 degree oven for 20-22 minutes. The bottoms of your granola bites should begin to brown. Let cool completely before removing from pan.
I know exactly what you’re going to ask me — can I make this in regular muffin tins? Why yes, yes you can! See that big guy in the picture down below on the upper right side? That’s a Supersized granola bar bite that was baked in a regular muffin tin.
These are even better than I would have expected. One reason? Bite sized means I get to eat more. Another reason? They’re really tasty. Not too sweet, perfectly spiced.
However, you need to watch out — if anyone tries to take these away from me, I’m going to have to go get the dish towels.
I’ve been trained as a ninja, and I’m not afraid to use my nunchucks.
Question: What is your favorite hobby? And don’t tell me you don’t have one — I won’t believe you.