How I Learned Not To Drive Granola Bars

Recipe adapted from The Food Network, Alton Brown, 2005
8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
1 1/2 ounces raw pumpkin (pepitas) seeds, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup
1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup
6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 1/2 ounces of your favorite chopped, dried fruit.  I used apricots and cranberries.  (I'd stay away from figs or dates.--too moist)

Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a medium cookie sheet. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved, stirring occasionally so sugar doesn't burn and stick to pan.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down very, very hard, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool COMPLETELY. I was able to turn my dish upside down and the whole thing came out in one piece.  I then cut into 12 bars. You can choose any size you like.

Yield 12 Bars or 16, 2" squares.