2 cups old-fashion oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seed (whole or grounded)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter in an- 8 X 12 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and back for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ and flax seed.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degree F.
Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla 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 cranberries and chocolate chips and 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 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
Notes: The Barefooted Contessa made her with chopped pitted dates (1/2 cup), chopped dried apricots (1/2 cup) and dried cranberries (1/2 cup). I LOVE cranberries and chocolate together and thought it would make a great granola bar. The only problem was that the chocolate chips melted immediately, so there are not really chocolate chips in there, but it is really good. Next time I may try adding the chocolate chips a little later when things cool down, but overall it was very, very good. I may try different combinations of dried fruits later on. We will see. I also added ground flax seed (and if you know me, this should be no surprise-- I love adding it to everything I bake!!!!). I hope you enjoy.