There’s this incredible frenetic energy on campus this week. We’ve all made it to the six-week mark, and it’s time for the first (and for some, the second) round of exams and papers. I’m guessing most of you are short on time and not too fond of the idea of cooking anything elaborate at this point in the semester, so I have a simple, delicious anytime snack or mini-meal (if you cut them large enough) for you: granola bars. They take under a half-hour to make and another half-hour to bake, and they’re so worth it.
I doubled the original recipe, so the quantities here might seem a bit much, but feel free to go back to the small batch. You’ll need: 4 cups oatmeal, 1 cup sliced or slivered or chopped almonds, 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, scant 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, handful crasins, 2/3 cup honey, 1/2 cup brown sugar (or 1/2 cup white sugar plus 2 tablespoons molasses), 4 tablespoons butter, 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Spread the oatmeal and almonds onto a large cookie sheet and toast in the oven (at 350 degrees) for about 15 minutes. While waiting for the oatmeal and almonds to be done, melt the brown sugar, butter, honey, vanilla and salt together in a small pot—heat just until the brown sugar is fully combined and the liquid has become a composite syrup. Remove the syrup from heat.
Transfer the toasted oatmeal and almonds to a large mixing bowl. Add the syrup, then the coconut and crasins. Stir until well combined. Add the chocolate chips right before putting the mixture in the pan—otherwise they will not be intact. Bake the bars in a well-greased 9” by 13” pan for about 30 to 35 minutes at 300 degrees.
Let the bars cool almost completely before cutting them. They will be ridiculously hard to cut, but it’s infinitely better than having them completely fall apart when they’re still warm.