Saturday, January 17, 2009

Granola Bars

I have to thank Ina again. This recipe came from her new cookbook Back to Basics. Granola bars and just plain ole granola in general, is one of my favorite breakfast foods. I usually make a few big triple batches of granola each each so I always have some on hand to stir into oatmeal and yogurt. I thought I'd whip up a batch of bars this time. I substituted the 1/2 cups of dried apricots and cranberries in this recipe for mixed dried fruit which contained two kind of raisins, strawberries, cherries and apricots. A little bit of everything. I did use the dates as suggested. I love dates. You can certainly use any kind of dried fruit you like. Next time I might even throw in some extra coconut and add some dried pineapple.

Portable and good for you too.

Granola Bars - recipe from Ina Garten
Printable recipe

2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
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 the oven to 350. Grease an 8 x 12 inch baking pan. (Ok I have to comment on one thing here cause it drives me crazy.....why do all Ina's recipe call for 8x12 inch pan? All my pans are 9x13, some even clearly marked 9x13 on the bottom. Does she have some secret stash of pans that are an inch smaller then the rest of us?? I love ya Ina, but that drives me bonkers.) Ok now that we have that cleared up. Grease a 9x13 inch pan and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake 10 - 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Mine took 14 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300.

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 one minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dried fruit and stir well.

Pour the mixture into a the pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press into the pan. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature. Stored in a covered container.

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