Homemade Maple Granola Bars
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup dried fruit
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter an 8x12 inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, nuts, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 F.
Place the butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add in the dried fruit and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingersand lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.