The Barefoot Contessa's Granola Bars
makes 12 to 16 bars
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (I like large flaked)
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x12 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.
-Toss oatmeal, almonds and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
-Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
-Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
-Place 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, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture.
-Add dates, apricots and cranberries and stir well.
-Pour mixture into prepared pan and press evenly.
-Bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown.
-Cool for at least 3 hours before cutting into squares.