Chewy -- Nutty -- Healthy. Everything a good granola bar should be and....cut into bite size portions. Perfect for your walking and hiking friends. Why not wrap some up with a warm pair of mitts and a scarf. The only thing missing is you. :) Notes: I buy my dates from the bulk store, already diced. Makes the job so much easier. If you are unable to find vanilla baking chips, white chocolate chips could also be used. Created for the 2010 Category Craze-E Contest.
- 1⁄2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1⁄2 cup pecan halves, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup dates, diced
- 1⁄4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted sunflower seed kernels
- 1 1⁄4 cups rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup white corn syrup
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup vanilla baking chips
- Preheat oven to 350*. Line a 10 x 6 cake pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together coconut, pecans, dates, cranberries and sunflower kernels. Set aside.
- Heat the oats in a small frying pan until toasted a light brown. This could take about 10 minutes. Do not leave unattended. When done, add to the fruit and nut mixture.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, mix together butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Once incorporated, increase heat and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
- Quickly pour this over the fruit/oat mixture and stir until combined.
- Press into the prepared pan. I've had good success laying another sheet of parchment over the mixture and pressing with a spatula. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with vanilla baking chips. Allow the chips to soften for a few minutes, then using an offset spatula, spread to ice.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before removing from the pan and cutting into serving size pieces. They will be easier to cut if barely warm.