The plan was to make these granola bars to take on our Memorial Day camping trip, but that didn't happen. I tend to get excited and overextend myself in ways that I don't need to; like making granola bars on top of trail mix on top of... We had enough victuals to last a week in the woods let alone a weekend (we actually packed a fair bit out). So, it was probably a good move to opt for a few extra hours of sleep before the trip instead of making these bars. I am, however, glad that I didn't file the recipe away and forget about it because it's definitely a keeper. My boyfriend (the primary granola bar eater around here) declared them a success and packed a bunch to take to work. Never is a dangerous word, but I'm going to throw caution to the wind and say that I might never buy granola bars again. These are easy to make and very close to the real deal. Done and done.
Homemade granola bars
adapted from Joy of Baking
makes 12 4 1/2 x 2 inch bars
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
1/2 cup dried prunes, diced *Use any fruit. Dice, if large, but dried cranberries etc. are fine as is.
1/4 t salt
3 T butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
1 t vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350, place rack in middle position and butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl combine oats, coconut and almonds, transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the same large bowl, combine the sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dried fruit and salt. Add the oat mixture when it's finished toasting and mix well.
- In a small sauce pan, combine the butter, sugar, honey and vanilla and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
- Pour wet ingredients over the dry and stir until well coated. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan. Using wet finger tips, press evenly into pan. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until light golden. The longer you cook the bars, the crunchier they will become.
- Remove bars from oven and allow to cool for 2 hours before cutting because they firm up as they cool. Bars will keep for several days at room temperature.