Fairmont Lake Louise Granola Bars


There’s something about the academic calendar. Even though I’m no longer a student and not teaching at the moment, fall brings out the ‘I want new pencils’ mentality in me. So with that, I’ve been thinking about making my favorite recipe for granola bars. Not that I have a lunch to pack. But even so…it’s a nice breakfast treat with a cup of coffee, good walking-the-dog energy, and a reminder of a winter hunkered down with snowshoes in the middle of nowhere. For those of you who have munchkins in school or are, yourself, immersed in academia somehow, make these and tote them to class. I have many times (as you can see by my scribbles and revisions).

I got this recipe from the nice folks at the coffee shop at the Fairmont Hotel in Lake Louise, Canada. My mom and my two sisters and I went up there a few years ago after Christmas. For some reason, I have a selective memory about the trip: I remember the absolutely heinous ride up the mountain with the driver drinking out of a flask, falling asleep, and swerving into the other lane of traffic numerous times (I don’t pray often, but I did that day); I remember realizing how hard cross-country skiing is…when I was miles from the hotel; I remember how much Asian tourists seem to love a good English tea service. And I remember these incredible granola bars. The snow-shoe guides created them for their own snacks, but they were so popular with people on their tours, that they started selling them in the coffee shop. My sister, Zoe, and I would make a pilgrimage downstairs in our little black ski pants, looking like we were about to take on the great outdoors when really we were about to take on The New York Times and some nutty goodness. Now you can, too.


Lake Louise Guide's Granola Bars

Lake Louise Guide's Granola Bars

  • Yield: 12 (four-inch bars)
  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 17 mins
  • Total time: 27 mins

The nice thing about this recipe is, although it calls for a variety of different nuts, you can really use what you have in your pantry. You obviously wouldn’t want to substitute the main ingredients (oats, honey, wheat bran) for something else. But if you prefer cranberries to raisins (as I do) or want to throw in some chocolate chips, dates, candied ginger, or dried apricots — this is the perfect recipe to experiment. Also, I go to the bulk section of the market as the recipe calls for small quantities of numerous ingredients that I don’t always have on hand.

Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free oats if that's a concern)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 cup wheat bran (or oat bran)
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup milk powder
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp. fancy molasses

Instructions

Preheat over to 375. Mix oil, honey, and molasses together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix well (I like to use my hands here). Press mixture out onto a shallow rimmed baking sheet (I use an 11 x 7 inch pan) that has been lightly oiled or buttered. Bake at 375 for 15-17 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before slicing into squares. When they come out of the oven, they’ll be pretty malleable to the touch, and you’ll probably be tempted to put them back into the oven. Don’t. When they cool, they will firm up. Wrap in plastic wrap and they should keep for a good week.

Comments

  1. Rachael

    These are also a great treat for those dieting (like myself :/) They provide a great, but small, filling snack! I'm definitely making some for my walks to the bus stop after a 9 hour shift!

  2. Megan Gordon

    Thanks, guys!. Marti: Hope this week has been going well. Student + teacher mix is always fun to negotiate. And Rachael, I never thought of them in terms of dieting but yes, they're actually not bad at all. Fat, but all good fat!

  3. Anonymous

    You made these!!! Oh how I miss them. Love, Jiggs.

  4. Glitterati

    Oooh, thanks so much for posting this! I too took their snowshoeing tour this past holiday season, and was too charmed by the yummy granola our guide had. (Was she a sweet blonde lady by any chance?)

    Anyway, I don't know if it was the snowshoeing-induced hunger, or the exhilaration of eating it on an icy mountain top with a cup of steaming maple tea. But I've been thinking about that granola ever since. The guide had put some good chocolate chips in the mix too. Can't wait to try this out!

    1. megang

      How cool that you've tried them, too. I know what you mean: not sure if it was the sub-zero temperatures, but I would get strangely excited when it was snacktime :) Enjoy...I've made them many times and they always turn out really well (chocolate chips would be a great addition!)

  5. Cari

    These look delicious! I'd love to feature them on my site, www.canigettherecipe.com if you are keen with full credits and links back to your site. Please let me know!

  6. Ardis Peck

    My friend made the bar and it was de-lish however it wasn't sticking together so well. She did use the 1/4 cup milk powder for binding power.
    Any hints out there?
    Thanks,
    Ardis

    1. megang

      Hi Ardis: Did she use the proper amount of honey and canola oil (the oil is really the most important part in keeping it all together?). Make sure she didn't skimp on those ... I've never had that problem. I hope they were still delicious!

  7. Charlene

    I tried these also this past weekend after seeing an article in a magazine. Mine did not hold together either. But then only baked for 12 minutes. I am eating it with a spoon- very delicious. I will crumble it back up and add a little more oil and bake in the oven for another good 10 minutes.

    1. megang

      Hi Charlene. So sorry to hear this. I have never had a problem, but I'm encouraged to try them again because it has been quite some time...you're a smart woman to crumble them up -- ice cream topping? Thanks for checking in and leaving that helpful feedback.

  8. Valerie G

    These are really delicious! I baked them for 17 minutes after pressing into a 11x7" glass dish -- they didn't hold together after fully cooled so I baked them again for another 10 minutes the second day, still didn't hold together. On the third day I transferred the whole thing to a 10x12" casserole dish and baked them again for another 15 minutes. (I was determined to make it work.) I'm happy to report I now have granola *bars*. Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe -- they really are incredible!

  9. Beth

    I love that your recipe is actually on Lake Louise stationary! These are in the oven now, and I can't wait to try them...(this is a perfect recipe to make on a cool Ottawa night while my hubs watches football).

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