Beginner Gourmet: Granola Bars

I find that most store-bought granola bars are seriously lacking in everything from texture (why do the crunchy ones fall apart and the chewy ones weld my jaw together?) to flavor, so when a friend recently asked me what she should take on a camping trip, I jumped at the chance to teach her how to make homemade granola bars.

I love these for how quick and versatile they are (and you may have noticed, I like recipes with wiggle room). You could do an all-nut version with pistachios, walnuts, and almonds or drop the nuts and add more dried fruits like cranberries or figs.

Homemade Granola Bars


2 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. dried apricots, thinly sliced
1/2 c. dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
7 tbs butter
1/3 c. light brown sugar
3 tbs honey
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl toss the first five ingredients together.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the butter, brown sugar, honey, and salt until it just boils.

Pour sugar and butter mixture over the oats and fruit and stir until all the dry ingredients are well coated.

Cover a 12-inch cookie sheet (or an 8×8 baking dish if you want thicker bars) with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread the mixture onto the cookie sheet and use a rubber spatula to press into an even layer. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares.