Monday, August 3, 2009

Even Better Granola Bars

I posted a granola bar recipe recently and have found another one that is even better. This is adapted from Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa) recipe for granola bars. I won't be trying anymore recipes because this one is definitely my favorite. I have found in the past that the recipes that I have tried are either way too crumbly or are too cakey. This recipe also has less butter/oil than the other recipes that I have tried which is a good thing too. I believe that the way that you boil the honey, brown sugar and butter together really helps hold the other ingredients together so that they have enough glue to them.

Granola Bars
(adapted from Ina Garten's recipe)
2 cups oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 TBL butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

- Preheat your oven to 300
- Mix together the oats, coconut, almonds and pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes to toast all of the ingredients
- Combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, salt and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute stirring constantly
- After pulling the oat mixture out of the oven add it to a bowl.
- Add the wheat germ and honey mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the dried fruit and combine.
- Heavily grease a 9x13 pan. If you have it, place parchment in the bottom as well.
- Press the mixture evenly into the pan. Use parchment or wax paper on your hand to do so and it won't stick to your hand.
- Bake for approx 25 - 30 minutes until lightly toasted brown.
- Allow to cool for 2 hours before cutting as the bars need to set up. Loosen the bars around the edges of the pan and flip onto a cutting board. Cut into the size squares that you would like.

**There are multiple variations that you can do with this. You could sub one of the fruits out with dried raisins, pineapple, etc. You could also sub a different type of nut. I may eventually try to substitute some chocolate chips with one of the fruits and maybe add some peanut butter to the liquid mixture to make a chocolate peanut butter bar. (And use peanuts as the nut)

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