Granola Bars

Grocery shopping can be such a pain in the butt some days, but I generally have a pretty good time when it comes time to pay for my goods. I know, the paying part is usually what people hate the most, but I stay occupied by judging the people in front of me and behind me in line. If they have a cart full of fresh veggies they win! If their cart is full of boxes of “food” filled with high fructose corn syrup and unpronounceable ingredients, they lose!

I’ve been trying hard to be a winner lately, but sometimes I have a bad day and I’m the one with the cart full of icky stuff.

On the days when my cart is full of fresh vegetables and fruits I proudly line those produce bags up on the conveyor belt and I sneak the few processed foods that I must buy in under the bags of fresh produce. Some days I have nowhere to hide the processed foods, so I just hang my head in shame and hope that no one else is playing my little game.

When my son used to go to public school (he’s homeschooled now) I used to play a version of this little game in my head each morning as I packed his lunch. If his bag was full of good, healthy foods then I would imagine the teacher nodding her head in approval at my superior mothering skills. On the days when we were out of the good stuff and I had to pack him sugary fruit snacks, sugary juices, and sugary granola bars with a side of deep fried potato chips, I imagined her shaking her head and clucking her tongue at me in disappointment.

I have issues.

If you have similar issues, allow me to help you out. You can now put one less box of processed food in your grocery cart and you no longer have to be concerned about the school thinking you are an unfit parent. These homemade granola bars are perfect. They are full of good things like whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and oats. I made this batch with chocolate and peanut butter chips, but I also use raisins or other dried fruits on days when I feel like behaving like a good girl. Your kids will love these and you don’t have to feel guilty about serving them.

Homemade Granola Bars

 

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (can sub dried fruits for the chocolate and peanut butter chips)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix well (it’s easiest to just use your hands). Pat the mixture out into the foil lined pan.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes if you want chewy granola bars or for 20-25 minutes for crunchy granola bars. When the edges start to brown, remove from the oven and let cool for a couple of minutes. Use a pizza roller to slice into bars. Finish cooling completely before removing from the pan or they will break apart.

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58 Responses to “Granola Bars”

  1. Em. April 13, 2010 @ 1:50 pm (#
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    I totally play that same game at the grocery store. I’m constantly judging people instantly based on what kind of garbage they’re hiding in their shopping cart.

    Now, do you think there’s a way to craft these yummy little friends without the wheat flour or wheat germ? More oats, maybe? And a different flour?

    [Reply]

  2. Karly April 13, 2010 @ 2:59 pm (#
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    Em,

    I’ve never tried baking with any flours other than wheat before, but I imagine that they would work just fine! I’d replace the wheat germ with more oats and try out a different flour. Let me know how it goes!

    Karly

    [Reply]

  3. Amber April 13, 2010 @ 3:21 pm (#
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    Judging people in the grocery line is my favorite part about shopping….glad to know I am not alone here.

    [Reply]

  4. Linda April 13, 2010 @ 6:48 pm (#
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    These look delicious, but it’s pretty classist to judge folks based on what’s in their shopping carts. Processed “food” is full of crap, yes, but it’s also much cheaper than Real Food. I’m not saying I’ve never judged anyone with a cart full of processed crap but not everyone has the resources to eat well and that shouldn’t be a moral issue.

    /soapbox

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  5. Karly April 13, 2010 @ 7:00 pm (#
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    Linda,

    I didn’t mean to offend anyone. My little game is just for fun and more often than I’d like, I’m the one with the cart full of junk. I just think it’s entertaining to see if I can “beat” the other shoppers and it motivates me to stuff my cart with veggies instead of frozen pizzas.

    That being said, I have to disagree that eating fresh food is always more expensive than the processed/frozen meals. I think it’s more of a convenience factor, but I don’t want to get in a debate.

    Thanks for reading!
    Karly

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  6. Linda April 13, 2010 @ 8:01 pm (#
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    I completely agree that it’s not ALWAYS cheaper, but when time = money (and in our society it does) convenience is key. It sucks that good food isn’t readily available to everyone and it’s easy to judge people who make “bad” decisions even if there wasn’t much of a choice in the matter. If only fresh fruits and veggies were subsidized like genetically modified corn!

    I wasn’t necessarily offended by the “game”–just thought I’d offer a little perspective/insight because no one likes to be judged and food doesn’t give or take away moral value to those who eat it. :) fortunately or unfortunately, though, judgment and fear of being judged are great at motivating people to eat healthily. Maybe. IDK.

    Social politics and soapboxes aside, I do think your blog is totally awesome.

    [Reply]

  7. Heather April 13, 2010 @ 10:27 pm (#
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    Thanks for the recipe!! Always looking for healthy ways to feed my family.

    And….I LOVE playing that game!!! I’m convinced that we’d see less diagnosis of some behavioral disorders, less scripts for behavior modifying drugs, better performance in schools, etc. if parents would stop and pay attention to what they are putting into their children’s bodies!

    Convenience is great, no doubt. But my families health is more important.

    [Reply]

  8. Memoria April 13, 2010 @ 11:08 pm (#
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    Wow. hearing that so many people play this sort of game makes me not want to go shopping anymore. What I buy is supposed to be MY business, but I now see that it is the business of others, as well. I never look at what other people buy unless I’m shopping with the person. I don’t think we should judge others because you don’t know why they are buying what they buy, and you have no right to know either.

    Well, on a positive note, i think your granola bars look amazing. I like that you didn’t add nuts to them. I think this is one granola bar I could actually make.

    [Reply]

  9. grace April 14, 2010 @ 4:36 am (#
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    i definitely have similar issues. i’m a grocery-cart-judger to the extreme, and i can only hope that i don’t accidentally ‘tsk’ out loud or shake my head too noticeably…
    yes, homemade granola and granola bars are a must–they’re so much better than boxed stuff since you can pick EXACTLY what you want to go inside. great post, karly. :)

    [Reply]

  10. BethieofVA April 14, 2010 @ 4:49 am (#
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    I would to give these a try and everything, but the wheat germ. Do you think I could just bump up the oats or the flour?

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  11. Matt April 14, 2010 @ 5:51 am (#
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    The granola bars look great, and I can’t wait to try them!

    Did you have any issue cutting? I’ve made Alton Brown’s granola bars before, but cutting them into actual bars was always a frustration. I either cut too soon and they fell apart, or I waited until it was cool and couldn’t cut them at all.

    Have you cooked them at the “chewy” time level? I prefer chewy but have only ever made crunchy bars.

    Also, could this recipe fit a 9×9 pan and just make taller bars without adjusting the cooking time?

    [Reply]

  12. Karly April 14, 2010 @ 6:39 am (#
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    Oh, Matt, you’re full of questions this morning, aren’t you? :)

    I didn’t have any issue cutting them at all. I waited for them to cool for just a few minutes, then I used a pizza cutter and sliced through them all. I then waited until they were fully cooled before taking them off the baking sheet. Cut them before they cool completely, but let them finish cooling after they’re cut. Make sense?

    I always make them chewy. Just watch for the edges to start to brown and then take them out of the oven. Every oven is different, so your time will vary a bit.

    I’ve never tried making them in a 9×9 pan before. I have used my 9 x 13 pan and left about a 1-2 inch gap at the edge of the long side of the pan, just to make them a bit taller. They don’t spread, so you don’t have to worry about that. I would go ahead and give it a try and just remove them from the oven once the edges are brown.

    Hope you enjoy these little guys!
    Karly

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  13. Karly April 14, 2010 @ 6:44 am (#
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    Memoria,

    I should have used the term “scored” rather than “judged” maybe. I’m not looking at the PERSON buying the groceries, just the groceries themselves. I have many, many friends who never (ever!) buy fresh food and prepare it themselves. I’m not “judging” them at all. If that works for them, then that’s what matters. Sure, I think it’d be great if they ate healthy, but I don’t think less of them because they don’t.

    I just use my little grocery game as a way to pass the time and motivate me to buy more healthy food!

    Either way, you’re right, it’s not my business, but people are nosy by nature. ;)

    Thanks for reading!
    Karly

    [Reply]

  14. Karly April 14, 2010 @ 6:51 am (#
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    BethieofVA,

    I think you’d be fine replacing the wheat germ with more oats!

    Enjoy!
    Karly

    [Reply]

  15. shelly (cookies and cups) April 14, 2010 @ 7:08 am (#
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    love homemade granola bars!I wish I made them more often because my kids love them….I am pretty sure that a fruit roll up does not count as produce, so the teacher and the lady behind me in line at the grocery surely shake their head and deem me “loser”. :)

    [Reply]

  16. Maria April 14, 2010 @ 10:35 am (#
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    I can’t wait to try these! I love the wheat germ in there too!

    [Reply]

  17. Megan April 14, 2010 @ 10:48 am (#
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    Those look very tasty!

    [Reply]

  18. BethieofVA April 14, 2010 @ 2:38 pm (#
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    Picked up wheat germ at the store! YAY!

    [Reply]

  19. Erica Lea April 14, 2010 @ 3:09 pm (#
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    Sounds like a good game to play! I must admit that we JUST bought a large box of granola bars as Sam’s. Your granola bars look like a delicious substitute! I really like your backdrop & pretty napkin, btw.

    [Reply]

  20. Shelley April 14, 2010 @ 8:01 pm (#
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    These look so good. I am always on the lookout for a good granola bar recipe, so I will definitely give this one a try. I love how versatile it can be, what with being able to load them up with whatever you have and whatever you like… I can’t wait to try these!

    [Reply]

  21. Sue V. April 15, 2010 @ 7:48 am (#
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    Found your recipe and blog through PW’s TK. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m with you and the cart situation, some days are great, many are not.
    Granola bars have been a real hot point for me lately. Several companies have recently added artificial sweetners (sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame K) to their ingredients with no mention of the change on their box. Of all the bad stuff, artificial sweetners is at the top of the list for our family. It’s getting harder and harder to find foods that don’t have artificial sweetners.
    I am so excited to have this recipe – hope my kids like them!

    [Reply]

  22. Barbara April 15, 2010 @ 10:51 am (#
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    When it comes to regular grocery trips, I hate it. But we have some nifty specialty grocery stores I could spend hours in.
    Your granola bars look really good. Much healthier than mine! Hope they go over big with your family.

    (And I am so impressed you are home schooling! Good for you!)

    [Reply]

  23. BethieofVA April 15, 2010 @ 10:55 am (#
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    These were the best!! Here is my post and your credit!! http://youknowwhatyououghtado.blogspot.com/2010/04/karlys-granola-bars.html

    [Reply]

  24. Miranda April 15, 2010 @ 7:05 pm (#
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    I made these today. Substituted the chips for sliced almonds, raisins and sesame seeds. They came out great! So easy and quick.

    [Reply]

  25. Christine April 17, 2010 @ 8:30 pm (#
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    I love granola bars. Thanks for sharing. I’m off to the store to buy ingredients and i’ll just make this today.

    [Reply]

  26. Kristian April 18, 2010 @ 6:27 am (#
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    Hi Karly: my girlfriend and I are moms who are on the lookout for that nasty high fructose corn syrup, that unfortunately is in everything. We tried the granola bars from Alton Brown and they were very easy, and not too bad for taste, but I will try these today. Although, I do find it a little odd that they have flour in them. Oh well, will try them today and let you know how they are.

    [Reply]

  27. Kristen Doyle April 18, 2010 @ 4:58 pm (#
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    Thanks for the great recipe. I am always looking for ways to feed my children healthy snacks.

    [Reply]

  28. Elle April 18, 2010 @ 7:41 pm (#
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    I made these tonight and am holding back from eating them all! My kids are going to love these and I’m going to be happy to buy less packaged stuff. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes and this fabulous blog!

    [Reply]

  29. Tina April 19, 2010 @ 5:00 am (#
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    Hi Karly,
    Thanks for this recipe. I’ll be trying it this week.

    And to let you in on a little secret… I work in a grocery store. Everyone who works in a grocery store is totally scoping out what’s in who’s cart. Not to judge you, but to get a better feel of what items people buy most often. (yes, there are reports for that, but they don’t tell us that the person who bought 8 boxes of Mac/Cheese had nothing but fresh produce for the rest of their order.)

    The cashiers (at my store anyway) try to guess how much an order will be before it hits their register. The people who place our orders will often strike up a converstaion with someone who is buying large quanitites of items that don’t often sell.

    “Winning” for us is being able to identify which of our guest left their cart on one aisle to grab something they forgot on the last aisle, by nothing but the contents of their cart.

    Another way that we “win;” identifying that item that is on their list that they forgot, before they realize that they forgot it.

    Anyway, Thanks for the recipe, again!

    [Reply]

  30. Ashley April 19, 2010 @ 8:37 am (#
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    Mmm. Lucky son of yours to have these homemade granola bars!

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  31. Shaheen April 19, 2010 @ 10:53 pm (#
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    I have been wanting to maker granola bars at home for the longest time! I have made them several times at the patisserie I work, but I don’t know why I don’t end up making myself a batch. Your granola bars look so good!

    [Reply]

  32. MamaBug April 20, 2010 @ 8:36 pm (#
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    OK. These are sooooooo (yes,7!) awesome. They are almost gone and I don’t have anymore regular oats. Do you think quick oats will work?

    And just a note, or two. If you make them chewy, you don’t need to worry about cutting them soon after. I forgot to cut them and since they stayed moist I was able to cut them fine a few hours later.

    And I am too busy keeping the kids from fighting to even look in someone else’s cart, so I’m guessing I’m the mom people are passing thinking “geeze, can’t she control her kids?!” the answer is no.

    [Reply]

  33. Lea April 25, 2010 @ 1:40 pm (#
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    I made these 4 times since your post! Last batch only lasted 3 days in our house! :) I also added 2 TBS or so of ground flaxseed. It is great to boost the fiber and its virtually flavorless (I sneak it in most things that I make)…it may have a little bit of a nutty flavor. Do you ever use it when you bake/cook?

    I tried using white choco chips instead of the peanut butter chips (we have peanut allergies) and they were delicious! I added cranberries and coconut flakes to one batch, and another with all choco chips. Each time they turned out great! I ran out of honey with the last batch and just used more brown sugar – they were my favorite! Can you really ever use too much brown sugar? yum! :) Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!

    [Reply]

  34. Bethany April 25, 2010 @ 7:47 pm (#
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    Hello! I tried this recipe tonight with mixed results. The mixed review is this: On one hand, quite tasty! On the other hand, very crumbly and not at all photogenic.

    Can you think of why mine weren’t as lovely looking as yours? Do you think my mixture was too dry?

    Thanks!
    Bethany

    [Reply]

  35. Malia May 1, 2010 @ 10:04 am (#
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    I’ve been on the same quest in my shopping, more fresh, less processed and ixnay on the high fructose corn syrup. Quaker granola bars have no HFCS but it still seemed like cheating to me to get them because they are still a processed, from a box, food. So, I’ve been experimenting with homemade granola bar recipes. And I’m so very pleased to have found this one! I can’t wait to give it a try!

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  36. JM May 4, 2010 @ 1:06 pm (#
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    Hi Karly –

    Thanks for the post – I’ve been looking for a good, easy granola bar recipe and this fit the bill! I just put my second batch in the oven 5 minutes ago. I’m trying to shy away from the artificial sweeteners and HF corn syrup too – real sugars all the way here! (And real butter and bacon too, but that’s another post!) I do tend to shy away from anything that pretends to be peanut butter but the real thing, so I added chopped almonds and chopped, dried cherries to the dark chocolate chips. They are GOOD!! I also tried some maple syrup instead of the honey and had good success.

    Don’t be too concerned with your comments about looking at others groceries – you’re honesty is refreshing. We all compare ourselves to somebody sometime anyway – that might be why we all come across as insecure! he he…Maybe a little good peer pressure is what is needed anyway. Plus, if people we so confident in what they bought, they shouldn’t care about what anyone else says anyway…perhaps a small guilt feeling is the really the cause of the accusations of judgment.

    Blessings!

    [Reply]

  37. danielle =) May 10, 2010 @ 1:01 pm (#
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    Karly – i play the exact same game! i feel so proud when i pack a lunch with that good-for-you-fresh stuff, especially when the kids have to eat in the classroom! =) a full fridge (and vacuumed carpets) are top on my “love” list!

    [Reply]

  38. Diane Cooper May 11, 2010 @ 9:53 am (#
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    Lol… love the look of the granola bars and will try them (do they freeze well??), but I especially love the banter it has caused! And though I am always peeking into others carts (not to score them, just to see what others buy and to pass the time), I was especially curious one day at the grocery store. I am a paramedic and I saw one of the coroners that I run into on calls quite often, but he didn’t recognize me out of uniform. For some reason I was extra curious what was in his cart!!!!!
    Love your blog, just found it from TK!
    Diane

    [Reply]

  39. J May 23, 2010 @ 8:32 am (#
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    For a recipe with a cup of sugar (1/2 c brown sugar, 1/2 c honey), I’d rather make a muffin that has half that amount of sugar in the recipe. Either way, this is a treat.

    [Reply]

  40. megan June 4, 2010 @ 8:38 am (#
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    I just posted about these! I based my recipe off of yours (got it from tasty kitchen), but I made a few changes to make them coconut granola bars. This is a great recipe!

    [Reply]

  41. Carrie June 10, 2010 @ 7:47 pm (#
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    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. Mine came out perfect. My son loves them. I did use white choc. chips at his request instead of reg. chips.

    I’m having one after weigh in at Weight Watchers in the morning. I haven’ t figured out the points yet but don’t think they will be that bad. I’ll just cut them smaller. lol!

    I’m going to go ahead and freeze them.

    Thank you again!

    [Reply]

  42. Natasha August 25, 2010 @ 7:54 am (#
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    I am looking for something to replace the store bought bars where the second ingredient is sugar & these look like they might be just the thing. Maybe just a little less on the sugary ingrdients… I almost never eat sugar and can’t handle much of it or I get all loopy.

    Oh… and I would so lose the game all the time because half my cart is always stacked with junk that my husband won’t give up! I probably look like a crazy person, with half veggies and half cookies and meat. haha.

    [Reply]

  43. Rachel October 2, 2010 @ 4:16 pm (#
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    I have really enjoyed scouring your posts/recipes today! I have a batch of granola bars in th oven now! They smell amazing! Thanks for all the recipes you share! I am excited to try many of them!!

    [Reply]

  44. Megan S. June 3, 2011 @ 8:13 pm (#
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    I made these today and they turned out great! I they turned out soft, chewy and perfect!

    [Reply]

  45. Hannah September 23, 2011 @ 3:21 pm (#
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    So pumped to try these. I have been scouring the internet for a chewy granola bar recipe and then realized I should check your site. And, of course, you have a recipe! I will give these a whirl right now.

    [Reply]

  46. Hannah October 4, 2011 @ 7:49 pm (#
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    I forgot to say but these were pretty good. They were more like a bar cookie. as a few people had said. I liked them on the chewy side.

    [Reply]

  47. Jenny October 7, 2011 @ 11:20 am (#
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    Can’t thank you enough for sharing this; they are awesome! I just finished making a triple batch to share with our family when we go to the mountains this weekend! I added some rice krispies for a little crunch. The kids love to help by squishing and patting them onto the cookie sheet.

    [Reply]

  48. Michelle December 12, 2013 @ 4:01 pm (#
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    Can vegetable oil be substituted for canola?

    [Reply]

    Karly Reply:

    @Michelle,

    Vegetable oil is fine!

    [Reply]

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