Granola Bar Bites
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
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 1/2 cup assorted dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8×12″ baking dish with parchment paper.
Put the dry ingredient (except for the fruit) onto a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.
Add the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt to 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 fruit and stir until the dry stuff is evenly coated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet the back of the spoon you were using to stir and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into desired shape. I choose to do bite sized pieces but you could just as easily do bars or break out some industrial strength cookie cutters and make Christmas trees or something.
I looked at a few recipes before settling on this one. This is pretty much a straight rip off of Ina Garten’s recipe. I also tried Alton Browns recipe and from the stark similarity between the two I gleaned that granola bar recipes are pretty flexible, so I experimented a bit. As long as you have the right ratio of dry to wet ingredients, you can throw in anything you like. Some ideas that I tried were, flax seed (they have omega-3, a nice smokey nuttiness, and they add a nice crunch), sunflower seeds, dried apples, dried apricots, dried cherries, dried cranberries, raisins. Some things that I still want to try, macadamia nuts, chocolate, candied orange peel. One last note on why I like this version over Alton Browns, coconut. The shredded coconut adds another level of binding and a unique chewyness that Alton’s were lacking, so unless you hate coconut I’d leave it in there at the recommended ratio.