Do you like granola bars? I've never been much of a fan myself. I find they all have a 'fake taste' to them. Of course I'm talking about store bought ones. Also, the ingredient combinations aren't usually to my liking. My 19 month old son however, does like them. This is a good thing for my non breakfast eating child. But I'd rather have more control over the ingredients if Foster is going to be eating them up!
I thought I'd have a go at making my own. After perusing recipes and baking tips, I came up with my own very flexible recipe... and it turned out great! I can now say that I like granola bars! Homemade ones :)
This is a very easy recipe to assemble. I had all ingredients on hand so a special trip to the grocery store wasn't needed. This is a recipe you can customize to suite whatever you have in your pantry and your preference of taste combinations.
Preheat oven to 325F
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine
2/3 cup liquid honey
1/2 cup Rice Crispies or Special K cereal
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate covered dried fruit, chopped up
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 chopped pecans
Extra coconut to sprinkle over top
Mix the first group of ingredients together, then add in the second group of ingredients and mix until incorporated. The mixture will be sticky. I used Special K cereal to give a little variation to the texture. If you don't have any, you can omit it. For the chocolate covered fruit, I had leftover dark chocolate covered blueberries and açaí berries. But you can just use chocolate chips if you like.
Firmly press the mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle top with extra coconut. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Do not overcook or they will become hard. Remember, they will firm up as they cool.
Remove from oven and gently press down the mixture again with the back of a spatula or something similar. Let cool completely before cutting or removing. Tip: I let mine cool completely before cutting them, then I refrigerated the entire pan before removing them so they wouldn't break.