Made these for a picnic at the beach (it was only a couple weeks ago- but summer beach weather feels so long ago already.) Chewy, fruity, delicious- just sweet enough. This is an Ina recipe–and it actually pretty quick to pull together. Feel free to use any sort of dried fruit combo you want- can’t go wrong. And I added in some dark chocolate chips– b/c isn’t everything better w. some choc chips in it? As Rach perfectly put it “A great, satisfying afternoon beach snack, especially when the chocolate melts just a little and makes for the perfect gooey bite o’ bar.”
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (rolled, not instant)
1 cup sliced almonds (optional)
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed (like oatmeal choc chip cookies, these don’t have a coconut taste, it just helps w. texture)
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (i use untoasted wheatgerm- and just toasted w. the other oats)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (i’d leave out- but keep in if you want more sweet)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
dried fruit- Ina does 1/2 each cup of cup apricots, pitted dates, and dried cranberries
I used– a mix of dates, figs, currents, dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries. De-pitt dates and chop. chop figs too.
And my other add in– a big handful of chocolate chunks- a cut up chocolate bar and some chips I had laying around
Preheat to 350. Butter 8×12 in baking dish (i use pyrex). Line w. parchment. Toss oatmeal, almonds (if using) and coconut (and wheatgerm if using untoasted) together and bake for 10-12 mins, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer to large mixing bowl and if using pre-toasted wheatgerm (it will say on the package), add now.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300. Put butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook & stir for one minute. Then pour over oat mixture, toss to coat. Add in dried fruit. Stir. When slightly cooled add in chocolate. Pour into prepped pan- w. wet fingers, lightly press 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.