Best Granola Bars

Over the last few months we have been buying all different types of granola bars. Finally, I decided to make some. We tried these granola bars and someone said, "These are the best granola bars, ever!"
Baked Granola Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line with parchment paper a 9x9 baking dish. If you want the granola bars to be thin, about 1/2-inch thick, more like the kind you buy, use a 9x13 dish.

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, raw
1 cup nuts, chopped (almonds, pecans, cashews, or a mix)
1/2 cup wheat germ

Toast oat and nut mixture in the oven for about 15 minutes. This step really is optional, but it makes the product taste much better. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Put the toasted mix into a bowl and stir in 1 cup chopped, dried fruit.

In a microwave-safe bowl, mix:
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tb. butter, unsalted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt

Warm the ingredients in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and stir until all the brown sugar is dissolved.
Pour liquid ingredients over the oat and fruit mixture and stir until combined. Press into the baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes (or less if you are using a 9x13 pan). Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars or squares. You can store these in the freezer or in an airtight container, assuming people don't eat them all quickly.

These are easily customized to your taste with nuts and fruits that you enjoy. If you decide to add chocolate chips, make sure the ingredients are all cold before you mix them or the chocolate chips will melt into the honey mixture.


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