If you are looking for a flavorful and portable treat, these apricot granola bars make the perfect snack! You can’t go wrong with dried apricots and crunchy almonds!
I love summer stone fruit, especially when apricots are super sweet and tender. Just because summer has come to an end, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some delicious snacks that have summer flavors. Luckily most seasonal fruits can be found in their dried versions, making the characteristics, even more, concentrated and naturally sweet.
I can eat dried apricots by the handful, so I decided to pack them in easy apricot almond granola bars. Portable, one-handed snacks have been my saving grace lately, since sitting down for a full meal can be a bit unpredictable with a baby. These delicious apricot almond granola bars have everything you need for a quick pick me up throughout the day.
If you like apricots, then this granola bar is made for you! Each bar combines crunchy rice crisps, rolled oats, sweet almonds, ground flaxseed, oat bran, dried Turkish apricots , shredded coconut, sesame seeds and tons of warm spices like cinnamon and ginger to make for a wholesome treat. Honey and brown sugar binds all of the dry ingredients together, and then off into the oven they go!
Baking the bars for a short period helps them to solidify better, bring out a more roasted sweet flavor and aroma. I prefer these bars unbaked because it’s a little more candied and the spices are intensified whereas my husband Jason likes the bars baked.
You can always split the batch and just cook half to see what you like best! It’s also good to keep the bars refrigerated once baked to keep them fresh and hold its shape. These bars are soft and crunchy, so once they come to room temperature, they will not be as solid compared to being eaten straight from the fridge.
When are fresh apricots in season?
Unlike most summer stone fruits like peaches and nectarines, apricots have a very short season, boo! The golden-orange fruits with velvety skin can be found in the early summer between May and August in North America. Apricots are best when tree ripened because they are very sweet yet balanced with a hint of tartness, and packed with beta-carotene and fiber. Hopefully, you have an orchard nearby! Apricots picked green have very little flavor and can get mealy in texture. You want to select ripe apricots, however, make sure that they don’t bruise easily. You want them slightly firm to the touch, as they ripen from the inside out. (Source: whfoods.org, Martha Rose Shulman)
Apricot Granola Bars
- 1 cup honey
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup almonds, sliced
- 1 cup apricots, diced dried
- ¼ cup oat bran
- ½ cup coconut, shredded sweetened
- ¼ cup flaxseed, ground
- 1 ¼ cups rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups rice crisps, or brown rice crisps
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ¾ teaspoon ginger, ground
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray an 8-inch by 11-inch sheet pan with cooking spray, set aside.
- In a saucepan bring honey, dark brown sugar, and salt to a boil then reduce heat to low and stir until sugar dissolves. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine almonds, apricots, oat bran, coconut, flaxseed, oats, crisps, sesame seeds, ginger, and cinnamon.
- Add mixture to the mixer, and combine over medium speed until the wet and dry ingredients have come together.
- Transfer granola mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly, pressing with a spatula to flatten the surface to about 1-inch in thickness.
- Bake the tray for 18 to 20 minutes until the edges and tops are a very light golden brown.
- Cool to room temperature for about an hour. Refrigerate the bars for at least 2 hours for easier cutting.
- Cut the bars into 1.5-inch by 4-inch bars, or into desired shapes.
- Store the granola bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.