My sister, TH, and I headed south to Garmisch-Partenkirchen over the Christmas holidays for a few days in the German alps. It is a beautiful area and it was wonderful to enjoy the charms of a small Bavarian town. Getting there included a 10-hour train ride from Berlin through the countryside, so I packed a batch of delicious granola bars to snack on. A combination of oats, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and dried fruit, these bars are full of flavor and energy. They’re definitely a new favorite snack—great for on the go or after a long day.
Garmisch provided just the relaxing getaway we were looking for. We stayed in the quaint, family run Gästehaus Sissi, where we enjoyed big German-style breakfasts each morning before catching a train up the mountain to the country’s highest peak, the Zugspitze. The town itself is full of picturesque Bavarian-style homes covered in elaborate paintings, and the holiday decorations and jovial Christmas market really helped set the mood. Our Christmas meals were full of local specialities, including a giant roasted pig knuckle with potato dumplings and kaiserschmarrn, a traditional sweet pancake, for dessert.
After a few days of skiing and snowboarding over the gorgeous, snowy alps, we headed back to Berlin via an overnight stay with our friend Charlotte and her family in Erlangen, a small town outside of Nürnberg. It was so special to see a real German household decorated for the holidays and enjoy an incredible feast with her delightful family. We also visited Nürnberg and Bamberg, enjoying our fill of Nürnberg’s tiny bratwurst and delicious leberkäse sandwichs in Bamburg, as well as the cities’s charming architecture and sites. It’s great to be back in Berlin, but it was a truly special trip, full of wonderful friends, food, and fun.
Granola Bars, adapted from Serious Eats
Servings: 16 bars
1 cup agave syrup or honey
⅔ cup chunky natural peanut butter
2⅔ cups muesli with flax and sunflower seeds, or rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup dried goji berries
½ cup chopped almonds
Preheat the oven to 350°Farenheit/176 °Celsius. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, combine the syrup and peanut butter until well mixed. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Add the peanut butter-syrup mixture into the dry ingredients and combine. Lightly grease your hands and press the mixture into the pan, flattening into a uniform sheet. Bake until golden brown, around 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes, remove from the pan, and cut into bars. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.