Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Granola Bars

Ina Garten's Homemade Granola Bars

The other day at the grocery store, I decided I did not want to buy any more granola bars because they are over-priced, and I cannot pronounce half of the ingredients listed on the back of the box. So, I attempted to make my own (minus the dates) using Ina Garten's recipe. I've tried other recipes that she has created, and they were simple enough, plus the overwhelming 5 star rating gave me the courage to try. So I began by collecting the 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
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. Photo compliments of The Cutting Edge of Ordinary.

Serve at room temperature.

I've found that they make tasty and filling snacks, and they were indeed very simple. I can hardly walk past the pan without grabbing a little bite. The wheat germ gives it a slightly unexpected taste, since I had never tasted wheat germ, but I quickly got used to it. Try a batch of your own, and let me know if you have any alternatives. Happy Baking! :)

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