I like health food and I try to eat healthy but I’ve never been a huge fan of oatmeal and granola bars. I prefer loads of cream and sugar in my oatmeal and I like my bars to be cookie bars and brownies instead. In the past, I tried to snack on granola bars but never successfully got myself hooked on them. Not until Ryan asked me to make THESE granola bars. The recipe is based on Alton Brown’s granola bars and homemade made quite a difference!
I hardly made any change to the recipe. For the dried fruit portion, I chose to use dried cherries and blueberries. It was the perfect combination of tart (from the cherries) and sweet (from the blueberries). And then you get a little bit of crunch from the nuts and seeds. I used orange blossom honey with light brown sugar. You can use any kind of honey you’d like for that subtle flavor of something extra. These granola bars were simply perfect.
When I was cutting them into squares in these photographs, I kept snacking on the little bits and pieces, and little dried fruits that come loose. They were too good to let go to waste. Lining the baking pan with parchment paper is a must, if you don’t want to break a sweat prying the granola bars out with a knife and ruining your baking pan. I did not try to bake them without the parchment paper, but from my experience with these brownies, I will never go without lining my pan.EVER.AGAIN. You just lift and done! Also, definitely let them cool completely before cutting, otherwise the pieces come loose much more easily.
I wrap them up in parchment paper individually so I can easily pop one in my purse for a snack when I’m going out. Store them in an airtight container and they should last a week at room temperature. However, they have lasted 2 weeks in cold weather for me.
- 2 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 8 oz
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds 1.5 oz
- 1 cup scant sliced almonds 3 oz
- 1/2 cup wheat germ 1.5 oz
- 1/2 cup honey 6 oz
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1.75 oz
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 oz
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon dried cherry 3 oz
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon dried blueberries 3 oz
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter an 8”x8” baking pan, line the bottom of the pan with a strip of parchment paper about 8” in width and let the ends hang loose over the sides.
- Spread the oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and almonds on a jelly roll pan and toast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Cook the honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and salt on the stove top in a medium sauce pan on medium heat until the brown sugar completely dissolves.
- When the oat mixture is done, remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
- Immediately add the oat mixture into the pan with the honey mixture. Add the dried fruits and combine using a wooden spoon.
- Transfer this honey oat mixture to the prepared baking pan, distribute it evenly and press down to the sides and corners of the pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove and let cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.
- Wrap each square in parchment paper and store in an airtight container.
Omit wheat germ to make this recipe gluten free.