Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

I’m excited to share this recipe for homemade granola bars. I tried making granola bars once before using an Ina Garten recipe, but my family didn’t like them very much. The recipe I had tried before had honey as a main binding ingredient and the flavor was just too overpowering.

I searched the internet for granola bar recipes to get a feel for them. The method that looked best to me was from Food Network, by Alton Brown. I adapted my recipe from his, changing several ingredients the most important of which was the honey. I opted to use corn syrup (white Kayro) to give my granola bars a light flavor and make them very crisp. No problem with these bars falling apart!

Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

Toasting the oat mix.

Adding the sugar to the oats.

Adding the sugar to the oats.

Finished bars - crunchy and sweet!

Finished bars – crunchy and sweet!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 light brown sugar

2 TBSP butter

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup dried cranberries

 

Directions:

  1. Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick spray, set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread oats, coconut and almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently to achieve even browning. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 300°F.
  2. As the oat mix is baking combine corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, salt and vanilla in a large pot. Cook until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Remove toasted oat mix from oven and pour into pot of sugar syrup, add cranberries and stir well until mix it coated.
  4. Pour granola into prepared pan and press down. Bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees. Allow to cool, then cut into squares or rectangles.

Tips:

  • This recipe will create very crunchy granola bars. I made the first batch in a 9×9″ pan and they turned out a little too thick and hard to bite through. Keeping the bars at 1/2 inch thickness will create a better end product.
  • To make cutting easier score the bars when the pan is mostly cooled, but not completely cold.
  • Coconut can be left out for those who don’t like it. I’d suggest using 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in it’s place; or 1 cup of Rice Krispies cereal.
  • Store granola bars in an air-tight container.

 

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