Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cherry Almond Granola Bars

Since I have mastered the fine art of making delicious granola, my next objective was to make granola bars.  You know, the kind that aren't loaded with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and aren't so hard that they will break a tooth.  That kind.  The good kind.  

These are close to what I am going for.  I personally think I gave them a couple minutes too long in the oven, so next time I will watch the baking time a bit closer.  However, I think that they will make the perfect snack for at the pool (yippee!  It is pool season again!!)

Cherry Almond Granola Bars
Adapted from Ina Garten, Food Network

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup 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 dried tart cherries
1/2 cup raisins


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet 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.

While oat mixture is toasting in the oven,  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.  Off heat.

When oats are done toasting, transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.  Pour sauce over oats and stir to combine.  Add the cherries and raisins and stir to combine.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Place parchment paper back on rimmed baking sheet and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 1-2 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

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