I’ve been dying to make my own granola bars lately so tried out a recipe from one of my cookbooks. Granola bars are one of my favorite snacks and I always have some tucked into my purse or on hand. But in trying to avoid processed foods I decided to venture out and attempt to make some on my own.
And it’s still a work in progress. Sharing this recipe, because it’s delicious but my bars didn’t turn out quite the way I anticipated. They were beautiful and baked and smelled wonderful…but crumbled when I tried to slice them. Instead of bars, I had some delicious granola! It’s been great on top of thick smoothies and sprinkled in my morning oatmeal. So I’ll be tackling this one again and hope to figure out how to get them perfectly slice-able. I think it may have been the pan I used…so I still recommend this recipe, which is why I decided to post it anyway. I’ll post future updates on any other bars I bake as well!
I made a few substitutions to this recipe based on what I had on hand to use. I swapped walnuts for cashews, as seen above. I just used dried cranberries as my dried fruit. And I added 3/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips…because, well, it’s chocolate. Do I need a reason?
Recipe courtesy Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa
2 cups oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (mine was untoasted, so I put it in the oven alone for 5 minutes at 350 before using it)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups dried fruits or mix
Preheat your oven to 350F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, walnuts, 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 300F.
While the mixture is still warm, stir in the butter, honey, vanilla and salt until the mixture is well coated, then the dried fruit. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and press, press, press it in (wet fingers and/or a silicon spatula work great for this) until the mixture is packed as tightly as possible.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares — your best serrated knife is great for this.
You can store these in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or two, as you would cookies.