Friday, April 8

G = Granola Bars

One of the things I've held on to is the memory of dishes prepared by family members of ex-boyfriends.  Someday I will attempt to create a book filled with those recipes.  This is one I hope to include.  I call it:

Packham Ranch Bars

1 cup brown sugar (I use Sucanat)
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup rolled oats (not quick!)
1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup chopped walnuts (I have used almonds)
3 cups rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Melt sugar in butter.
In food processor pulse 1 cup oats and prunes.
Add remaining ingredients and pulse until well combined.
Press firmly into greased (or parchment lined) 10x13 jellyroll pan.
Cut before baking into 32 bars using spatula/bench scraper/dull knife.
Bake 350° for 20 - 25 minutes - be careful not to overbake.
Remove, separate and cool on wire rack.

I have a tiny food processor.  When I make these I dig out a giant bowl and have to process the ingredients in small batches, dump them into the bowl and then mix them by hand.  I save the butter/sugar mixture for last.
This recipe is amazingly basic and has so much flexibility and potential for creativity.  Chocolate chips, coconut, other seeds, nuts or dried fruits could be mixed it.  Be careful with the chocolate chips though.  The one time I tried it they were sort of an afterthought.  I forgot that the butter had been heated and quickly found my chips melting as I stirred.  I did not find this oops very appetizing.

I've wondered what really makes a "ranch" recipe.  You know, like "ranch cookies".  I'm not meaning to say these are "ranch" bars or meaning to resemble the "ranch cookies".  These were bars made on Packham Ranch.  Just in case there was any confusion.


  1. Hum, I'm not a fan of the prune (stands to reason since I'm not a fan of the plum) do you have any substitution recommendations?

  2. Honestly, I hate plums. I had no idea when I first had these that they were prunes. I had to ask a few times when I got the recipe - "Are you sure this is the right one?"
    I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions - I think anything else would be a little too sweet.

  3. I'll have to try that sometime. Thanks for the suggestion!


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