Homemade Granola Bars

photo 3

My first attempt at Homemade Granola Bars and they were pretty tasty!  I got the recipe from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa), from FoodNetwork.com.

I think my next venture will be to do a Crunchy Granola Bar, because these tended to fall apart.  Below is the recipe, and I highlighted in bold what I did differently and indicated it under the recipe.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
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
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

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.

Changes:

 – For starters, I didn’t have parchment paper (I always manage to forget SOMETHING at the store…even with a list).  So, instead I just overly coated the baking pan with butter so that I could easily remove the bars.
 – Next, I absolutely hate coconut, so I skipped it and substituted with a 1/4 cup more almonds!  However, maybe this would’ve helped them to bind better?  Oh Well!
 – Lastly, I didn’t use dates…I couldn’t find them in the store, so I just added more cranberries (Yumm!)

My Gourmet Ranking:  A-

Easy recipe (Big Plus!), good flavor, but needs to stick together better!

Picture1   The Chef in the works

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