Call them a chewy granola bar or an energy bar, either way, these are good. They freeze well also (wrap them up two bars to a bag for an easy trail snack out of the freezer.) Trust me, you will LOVE these bars. Yes, they are high in fat, but if you are hiking hard, you will burn it off. And they are better for you than a candy bar! Tuck them into a daypack for a quick boost – no need to thaw them beforehand, grab frozen and by snack time they will be thawed.
The “Make Them Your Way Bars”
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or whatever fruit you prefer, chopped)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or other nut of choice, unsalted if you desire)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey (or similar liquid sweetener)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper (grease the pan first, then lay paper in).
In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, craisins,wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and pecans.
In a smaller bowl, thoroughly blend oil, honey, egg, and vanilla; pour into flour mixture, and mix by hand until the liquid is evenly distributed.
Press evenly into the prepared baking pan. Make sure it is packed in tightly.
Bake 25-30 minutes in the oven or until the edges are golden.
Cool completely in pan before turning out onto a cutting board, peeling off the paper and cutting into bars.
Makes 12-16 bars.
Notes: These bars take well to using applesauce or baby prunes as part of the oil. Brown sugar Splenda® works well as a way to cut back on the sugar content for diabetics. Any nut can be used, and feel free to change the fruit or add chocolate chips, etc to the batter! These bars have been made by a number of hikers on various hiking forums since I posted it, and the consensus is they are dang good – no matter how you change the recipe!