Carson and I were on a granola kick this week, I think. We also made some crunchy granola bars. My SIL had posted this recipe from Ina Garten a couple of months ago and I've wanted to make them ever since. Another quick and easy recipe! And they taste so good, too! I think I like these better than the chewy granola bars, just because they're not so sweet. And I like the crunch. These will definitely be a regular thing for us now, for sure! We'll take some of these camping, too.
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (I used ground flax so they'd be GF for camping)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (I used raisins)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I substituted with chocolate chips :) )
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.