Sunshine Bars

   In attempt to have healthier snacks this week, I thought I'd give one of Gwyneth Paltrow's recipes a go, these sunshine bars. I'm not sure exactly what the difference between a flapjack, granola bar or sunshine bar are. But I like the sound of some sunshine.

   Of course, in true Sophie style, there are sure to be some unhealthy snacks this week as I'm on annual leave for 10 days. Well, I did finish half a packet of chocolate chip cookies whilst making these bars. I also have a special bake planned for some festivities this keep your eyes peeled.

   My take on Gwynnie's sunshine bars are probably not as 'clean' seeing as I'm reluctant to fork out on ingredients like a jar of coconut oil that will most likely be finished in one use. But, am willing to give it a go if anyone can persuade me otherwise?

   I'm always on the look out for new recipe books, but have made a pact to myself to try out a few recipes before I buy. There seems to be more and more books out with not much substance and a whole load of bumf. For this reason, Dan Lepard's 'Short & Sweet: The Best of Home Baking' is on my Christmas list. From reviews, and flicking through it every time I walk into Waterstone's, it seems to be one of those books with just about everything you could want to ever bake.

   I found this recipe online and with a few of my own tweaks am impressed. So if anyone else has some links for other recipes of hers then I'd love to give them a go.

Sunshine Bars
(Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's 'It's All Good', makes 8 generous bars)
     145g rolled oats
     75g margarine, melted
     25g oatbran
     small pinch of salt
     70ml maple syrup
     40g flaked almonds
     50g sultanas
     handful of chopped hazelnuts
     handful of cacao drops (raw chocolate buttons)
     2tbsp ginger preserve (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, ensuring that all oats, nuts and fruit are coated evenly.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and pack down the mixture.
  • Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  • Cut into bars whilst still warm and allow to cool fully before serving.
These bars are no where near as sweet as shop bought granola/flapjacks but I don't mind that.
Use any dried fruit or nuts depending on your preferences or on what you have lying about in the cupboard. I added in the ginger preserve, as since receiving a few jars from Mackays I've been putting it on practically everything for a little warmth and spice! 

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