coconutty granola bars

Yes, I admit it. I adore coconut. It's sweet and flaky, and just so ... tropical. Love it.

And I fell in love with these granola bars in part because of it. But I also love that granola bars test better when they're homemade, not to mention they're better for you and cheaper. What's not to love?!

Make these when you want to work with your hands - it's the best way to mix all the ingredients together. Enjoy!

Coconutty Granola Bars
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (depending on how sweet you like them)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates*
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots*
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries*
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 300.
  4. Place the oil, 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 dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.
  5. 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 two to three hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
*Use whatever dried fruit you have on hand.

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