I have been filing this recipe away since I saw Ina Garten create them in her amazing kitchen a few months ago. I finally found the perfect excuse to try the recipe, packaging them as a perfect on-the-go snack for friends who are new parents to a beautiful baby boy.
I don't know from experience, but I imagine a newborn does not allow for a lingering breakfast over an endless pot of coffee in the morning.
My mother confirmed this hunch. And I'm pretty sure she silently inserted how long she was in labor with me.
Either way, I thought two new sleep-deprived parents could use a nutritious, quick, energy-packed start to the day.
slightly adapted from Ina Garten
active preparation time: 10 minutes | inactive baking time: 40 minutes
makes 16 bars
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup whole, unsalted almonds, cut into thirds
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
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped, dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a quarter-sheet tray (or 9" x 13" dish) and line it with parchment paper. Allow the parchment paper to hang over the sides, in order to easily remove the granola bars after baking.
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 and stir in the wheat germ.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
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, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the raisins, apricots and cranberries. Stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.