Mixed Review: Williams-Sonoma Harvest Fruit Granola Cookie Bars
I'm a sucker for granola bars that taste more like candy than anything healthy. You know the type—loaded with peanut butter and chocolate chips. So I was enticed by the notion of a granola cookie bar, described on the box as "part rich, chewy granola bar, part fresh-baked oatmeal cookie."
Fall desserts tend to be pie-centric. And while I love pie, it's not exactly portable or finger-friendly. These bars seemed like a great, no-fuss alternative. Plus, they were loaded with all the classic autumn flavors—pear, apple, and cranberry. My only concern was that, at $14.95, the mix was pretty expensive.
Preparing the bars was exceedingly simple. All I had to do was combine the contents of the mix with one egg and six tablespoons of melted butter. Then I pressed the mixture into a 8-inch square pan and baked it for 25 minutes. It was still pretty soft when I took the pan out of the oven, but it firmed up as it cooled and the top became nice and crisp.
What I liked best about these bars was their addictive brown sugar flavor. Each one was loaded with crunchy almond slivers, and I tasted clear hints of vanilla and maple. They reminded me of something you might find at a farmstand after apple picking. What I found a little lacking was the dried fruit. It was a bit sparse, and while I tasted the cranberries, the apples and pears were lost. Texture-wise, the bars were somewhat dense and heavy—they're much more like granola bars than cookies. That's not necessarily a bad thing. They would be great with yogurt for breakfast.
While I ultimately thought the price a was little too high for the product, this is a solid, natural-tasting mix that could be worth the splurge if you're a lover of all things granola.
About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.