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Crunchy, yet chewy. Sweet, but with a hint of saltiness These bars have it all! I am always looking for delicious, healthy snacks to make for my husband to bring to work, and I nailed that challenge today. I want to give a big shout out to my dear friend Rebecca Pliner, fellow Kosher food blogger and life long friend, who introduced me to Bakto Flavors. Bakto Flavors is an amazing company that produces kosher, GMO free, and gluten free natural flavors, spices, extracts and natural preservatives. This week I received some wonderful new products from Bakto, including blueberry extract, natural lavender flavor and almond extract. My mind is exploding with the possibilities!

This morning, as I was looking through my cabinets for inspiration, I came across a small bag of filberts that I had completely forgotten about. Filberts, chopped in this instance, are hazelnuts. My Quaker quick oats caught my attention , and I knew what my next baking adventure would be. I decided to first test out my new almond extract, something I have never before used ( or even seen on the shelves of my local grocery store!). I love almonds, I try and keep a Ziploc baggy full of them in my handbag where ever I go because they are nutritious and very filling. I wasΒ  surprised to find that almond extract has a faint hint of nutty flavor, but is actually very sweet and delicious! Thank you Bakto Flavors for this amazing, natural extract, I feel like my world of baking is forever changed..for the better!

Filbert & cranberry granola bars

You will need:

2 1/2 cup Quaker quick oats

1 cup filberts, chopped

1 cup coconut, shredded

4 tbs unsalted butter

2/3 cup honey

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 tsp Bakto almond extract

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss oats, filberts and coconut together on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

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Reduce oven to 300 degrees and spray either a loaf pan for thicker bars, or an 8 by 12 inch baking dish for thinner bars.

Place the butter, honey, dark brown sugar, almond extract and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a quick boil. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes then pour over toasted oat mixture. Add dried cranberries and stir to combine.

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Pour mixture into your prepared pan. Lightly press granola mixture evenly into pan with your fingers. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool at least 2 hours before cutting into bars.

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Try not to eat these all in one sitting!

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