Monday, October 12, 2015

Cooking and Entertaining: Fruit and Nut Granola Bars

fruit and nut granola bars

My love for cookies is pretty well documented on this blog, but when I’m looking for a treat that offers more nutrients and fiber, I turn to granola bars.  Filled with dried fruit, nuts and oats, these bars aren’t just healthy, they’re amazing!

I started with Ina Garten’s recipe for homemade granola bars and modified it a bit.  The first change was substituting oatmeal for wheat germ since my grocery store didn’t have wheat germ.  The second modification was removing the dates and using dried cherries since I like the tart cherries more than sweet dates.  Finally, I increased the cooking times for the butter/sugar mixture and the overall bar baking time to ensure the bars held together and were crunchy.

My adaptation of Ina Garten’s recipe is below, and if you’re interested in the original recipe, click here.  Enjoy!

the ingredients

the oat, coconut & almond mixture should be light brown

boil the butter/sugar mixture for 5 minutes so the bars hold together


mix everything together

firmly press the mixture into the lined baking dish

the bars are easiest to slice when removed from the baking dish




Fruit and Nut Granola Bars
(adapted from Ina Garten's Homemade Granola Bars)

2-1/2 C.  old-fashioned oatmeal
1 C.  sliced almonds
1 C.  shredded coconut, loosely packed
3 Tbsp.  unsalted butter
2/3 C.  honey
1/4 C.  light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 tsp.  pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp.  kosher salt
1/2 C.  dried cherries
1/2 C.  chopped dried apricots
1/2 C.  dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350˚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.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚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 5 minutes, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dried cherries, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.


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