Chewy Cherry Almond Granola Bars
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup chopped or sliced almonds
- 1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
- 1 cup dried cherries, chopped (or a mix of raisins and cherries)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9″ baking pan with foil and coat well with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Toss the oats on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- Transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl and stir in the almonds, puffed rice, and dried fruit.
- Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, almond extract, 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.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 300 degrees F, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.