Kathy’s Trail Mix Crunch Chunks

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Last Spring Break, as we were heading from Wisconsin to Florida, I don’t know if I was more excited about being on the beach or stopping at the grocery store to see if they had any of that delicious, bakery-made granola bark I purchased on our previous year’s visit.  After munching on the first chunk, I immediately had to know how to make it myself.  I Google’d ” Publix Granola Bark” and it became quite obvious that I wasn’t the only one looking for a copy cat recipe.  I tried one recipe that someone said was similar – not even close!  It was a sticky, ewwwy, gooey mess.

Recently, I was craving it again and did more research, hoping that someone out there in cyberspace had created a comparable concoction since I last researched it.  No such luck.  According to the label, which I saved, there is a mystery ingredient- florenta – that you just can’t buy off the shelf  in your local grocery store.  Apparently it’s available in European markets and I found one source here in the states that sold it but I wasn’t about to pay $50 for an eleven pound bag of it. So I Bing’d “florenta” to see if there was a growing demand for this mystery ingredient that’s a combination of a few over-processed ingredients.  One website had a video on how to use the product.  It’s a white, powdery, binding agent that simply gets mixed with your conglomeration of craisins, raisins, nuts and such, then placed in the oven where it mysteriously melts and binds your ingredients into bark.

At one point, the baker mentioned Florentine pastries and how time consuming it was to prepare them using honey, cream and butter.  “Hmm,” I thought to myself, honey, cream and butter… Florentine cookies… those are crispy…that could be my base!”  So I searched and researched Florentine cookie recipes. Excited and energized by my cleverness, I gathered the ingredients like a mad scientist on the verge of discovering the cure for colon cancer (the recipe does have a lot of fiber). 😉  I only hoped that my ratio of Florentine cookie base to trail mix was on track.

I proceeded to mix all my dry ingredients together. Then I prepared the Florentine cookie base.  I mixed the two together and was thrilled to discover that my ratio of dry to molten ingredients was accurate.  I placed it in the oven with a prayer… Dear God, I hope this recipe is the answer to the prayer of those who crave this heavenly snack but don’t live anywhere near the source of their desires. Amen! (Or maybe it was more like, God,  I hope this works cause I really have a taste for it!)

After removing it from the oven, I was thankful for the below freezing Wisconsin weather we were having as I brought it out to the garage to completely cool on my car roof.  A half-hour later I was savoring my success.  Yum!  Yum! Yum!

And now, for your healthy snacking pleasure, I present—

Kathy’s Trail Mix Crunch Chunks                                                                      

“The best granola bark recipe, ever!”

1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1 cup oats

½ cup sunflower seeds

1 cup chopped pecans

½ cup sliced almonds

½ cup craisins

½ cup raisins

¼ cup sesame seeds

Mix all of the above together in a large, glass mixing bowl.

In a large saucepan melt together:  (The four following ingredients were edited on Jan. 19, 2015 as I did a bit more experimenting and prefer the newer measurements and honey over corn syrup)

¾ cup raw sugar

 4 not  5 T. butter

2 T. heavy cream- 1/3 cup

2 T. corn syrup  honey

Bring to a boil making sure sugar is dissolved, and then boil for one minute. (Line a 12″ X 19″ baking sheet with parchment paper while base is boiling.)  Remove from heat and add:

1 t. vanilla

Pour over nut mixture and mix thoroughly.

Dump onto large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread evenly.  I used another sheet of parchment paper on top of the mixture to press it down with my hands.  It cools off enough while stirring it to allow this.

Sprinkle with:

½ cup mini chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes.S

Let cool completely.  Break into chunks and store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

28 responses »

  1. Like you we returned from Florida a few weeks ago with two cartons of the Publix Granola Bark and it is about gone. Glad to find your recipe and experience as I intend to try it. Thanks so much for sharing! Vicki

    • Hi, Vicki- Thanks for your comments! We were back in Florida last week and I made a batch of it to take on the trip. Please let me know if you have any questions about the recipe.

      Kath

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe. I would of never figured out Florentine cookie concetion. I did make some chances because the butter was making it too greasy for me. I changed this recipe a little. I found the butter made it too greasy. I dropped it to about two teaspoons, then I mixed the white chocolate ( used no milk chocolate ) To the hot mixture to melt it before adding it to dry mixture, I also increased the cream ( I use table cream) To 3 heaping Tablespoons. No greasiness, figured between the chocolate at the cream there would be enough fat to pull it off. Worked great!

  3. I bought some today and was lamenting that they didn’t always have it since individual Publix bakeries “finish” the baked goods but don’t bake all of the items. I came online to find a recipe for it under “granola bark recipe” and yours was the first that came up. I had no idea that it was original to Publix. Can’t wait to try this. Hooray for you!!

  4. Thank You! I grew up in FL but now live in Colorado. No Publix stores here. Made a batch this morning! perfect! 🙂

  5. I live down here in Florida so I know all about the granola bark but tired of paying the price for it so I looked up granola bark yours came up also sounds good I’ll have to try making some of this on my own not too good at baking but it is damn good so I’m going to try Publix granola bark it hits the spot when you have the munchies

  6. Dear Kathy,
    We were in Publix yesterday and my mother bought some of this granola bark. I’m immediately hooked! So like you, I googled up to find a recipe and yours is the first one that popped up! Thank you so much for doing the research and trying to recreate this amazing treat. I can’t wait to return to Virginia and try it out myself. I will certainly let you know how it turns out! Thank you so so much!

  7. Hi Kathleen, you might laugh, but I know you can relate to someone like me, who just returned from Sarasota Florida with 50$ worth of Publix granola bark.
    Thank you for your efforts to not only learn the recipe, and post the recipe, but for going that extra mile to perfect the recipe.

    • Hi, Angela- Good for you! I was recently down south in GA but they didn’t have it in the grocery store there. It would be nice to do an actual side by side taste test but I can assure you my recipe is great if not even better than the store bought because it uses all natural ingredients. 🙂 Let me know if you get the opportunity to try the recipe. Thanks!

  8. Kathleenmargaret….THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!!!!!!!
    As I lay in my bed eating the last few morsels of granola bark I purchased weeks ago in Florida… I began to panic that it’s almost gone.
    I thought to myself- I could call publix & ask them to ship me a case or two… Then I found your post. Tomorrow is Saturday- I can’t wait to get to baking!!!
    Thank you for this recipe 😉
    XO
    Carol

  9. Hi Kathleen, i too have enjoyed Publix granola bark. I actually asked the lady in the bakery if they made it. Apparently (she showed me) gets this dry mixture in a bag and just pours it over the dry ingredients and puts it in the oven. It melts and forms the crispiness of the granola bark. I have Googled to death this binding agent to see if this can be bought and it’s like it doesn’t exist or I am not typing in the right search words. It doesn’t make Publix any hard work to make this bark. I am going to try your recipe and see if I can get it taste like theirs. Thanks for sharing your research work. This would be nice to have it taste like that and know I have made something that is HEALTHIER. I am a nurse and I also try to teach healthy cooking (at my church) using natural products. So am anxious to try yours. I will take it down to Publix and say, hey try this one. I told the lady, I guess the only way I could get the recipe is to work for Publix. She laughed and then brought out the bag of the “secret binding ingredients”. It’s a powdering substance. Linda in Cape Canaveral, FL

      • I missed that part, or read it too fast to get the name of the binding ingredient – florenta. Yes that is quite expensive. I did a lot of googling on this also and even spoke with a company and they said they had never heard of a binding agent that did what I wanted it to do. Go figure. You obviously have done your homework on this. I have tried your recipe and everyone loves it. I have learned to be creative in this recipe so if I am making it for church gathering and there are older people there, I used rice crispies and it makes for a softer bark. Don’t want to break any dentures. 🙂 Thanks for pointing this out to me and showing me what I had missed in your narrative.. I just recently went to see my kids in Michigan and made a bunch of bark before I left. When I got there, they were inhaled. Thanks for sharing Kathleen.

  10. I got hooked on Publix granola bark while visiting my daughter and family in Georgia so was so happy when I saw this recipe. I made it last night and it was delicious. The only thing is it didn’t get Krispy like the original. I cooked the honey mixture for 1 minute like the recipe said. It is still delicious and half gone already. Maybe next time I will cook a bit longer

    • Hi, Debbie-

      I use a bigger cookie sheet to spread it in and flatten it as thin as I can get it. The edges tend to bake better and get crispier than the middle but sometimes I’ll break them off and then break the center apart and bake it a bit longer. Hope this helps. Glad you like it!! 🙂 I think I’ll make some to take with me to my son’s this weekend. Maybe I’ll experiment and try boiling the honey mixture a bit longer, too. 🙂

      • Thanks Kathleen, I do have a bigger cookie sheet. I was wondering if that was my problem. I’m gonna try it again and do what you said. I ate it all anyway.. it was so good… Thanks again.

  11. Hi I am from Florida love publix granola bark,I moved to wisconsin 3 years ago myself.I made yours it looks the same but they did not come out with a crunch. What did I do wrong?

    • I use a larger cookie sheet that I spread it on. The thinner the layer of granola the better. Also trying boiling the mixture maybe a minute longer? I’ve noticed that the edges sometimes get crunchy before the center so I’ll break them off and put the rest of it in the oven for a bit longer. Good luck and let me know how it turns out. 🙂

  12. I lived in Florida for over 30 years. Their granola bark was always a favorite, but now I’m in Kentucky with NO Publix so I googled and found your recipe. It’s fantastic. Thank you so much. Have you been back to Publix lately? We found them in neighboring Tennessee. They now make an almond version and also a cinnamon pecan bark…..yum.

  13. I’m snowbirding in Fort Myers and I just bought some of the publix made bark…and after having one bite..knew I wanted to make my own…thank you for doing this!! I will be trying them once I get the cream!

  14. I just bought some of the Granola Bark from Publix yesterday while in NC. LOVE it, & Googled it, & found your recipe. Will give it a try! Thanks for all your work developing it.

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