These homemade fruit and nut bars are a refreshing alternative to packaged granola bars. Be sure to use Medjool dates — the bars will be too dry otherwise.
Sunset JANUARY 2011
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until light golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
2. Warm honey in a microwave until the consistency of thin syrup. In a food processor, pulse honey, dates, cinnamon, and oats until oats are coarsely chopped.
3. Scrape oat mixture into a medium bowl. Break up any clumps of dates and, if needed, chop any large date chunks. Stir in nuts, cranberries, and apples. Squeeze mixture into a ball. Line baking sheet with foil and oil foil. Using damp hands, firmly pat mixture onto foil into a compact 6- by 12-in. rectangle.
4. Freeze until rectangle is firm enough to cut, about 20 minutes. Lift rectangle from foil to a work surface and cut into 16 bars. Wrap bars individually. They get moister and chewier after standing at least a day.
Make ahead: Up to 1 week, chilled, or 1 month, frozen; for transport, pack in containers to protect them.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per bar.
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