The taming of the candy monster!

I have been making granola bars ever since my kids were little & I was looking for alternatives to all the sugared foods that were out there. I bought a little cookbook that promised to..."get your kids to eat less sugary, salty junk foods...without sacrificing convenience or good taste"! The name of the book was The taming of the C.A.N.D.Y* Monster *Continuously Advertised Nutritionally Deficient Yummies. It was actually a really neat book & I found recipes in it that I use to this day, my favorite being the peanut butter cookies made with whole wheat flour, brown sugar & honey (among other things), that are absolutely delicious! Anyway, this was the first place I heard of homemade granola or granola bars. Over the years, as with most things, I have changed the recipes & made them more my own.
I found a recipe by Ina Garten in her Back to Basics cookbook that I really like. I love to play with this recipe & add different kinds of nuts & fruits, but the basic recipe is awesome!

 Ina Garten's homemade granola bars
{printable recipe}

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 vanilla
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350*. Butter an 8x12-inch baking dish & line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds & coconut together on a sheet pan & bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl & stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300*.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla & salt in a small saucepan & bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook & stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture.

Add the dates, apricots & cranberries & stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Wet your fingers & 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 or bars.

Serve at room temperature.

These are even better the next day. I like to wrap them individually in plastic wrap.
These are delicious, thanks Ina!


Popular Posts