Fully-Loaded Snack Bars

This is what every snack bar should be: tender, sweet and juicy from 3 kinds of dried fruit, crisp from oats and sunflower seeds and super easy to make in the food processor. The dried fruit keeps the bars moist for 5 days, so bake a batch Sunday afternoon for a full school week of snacking.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 12 bars
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Ingredients

Cooking spray

1/2 cup dry milk powder

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup dried cranberries or raisins

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

2 large eggs

4 ounces pitted dates

3 ounces dried apricots

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with foil, leaving a slight overhang at each short end, then spray the foil.
  2. Whisk together the milk powder, wheat germ, flour, cinnamon and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the oats, cranberries and sunflower seeds, and toss to combine, breaking up any clumps of fruit with your hands.
  3. Pulse the eggs, dates, apricots, maple syrup and coconut oil in a food processor until some of the fruit is finely chopped (it's OK to have some larger chunks). Add the oat mixture, toss it a bit with a fork, then process briefly to make a chunky paste. Scatter small clumps of the dough evenly across the prepared pan. Wet your hands a bit with cool water, and press the batter firmly into an even layer.
  4. Bake, rotating halfway through, until the outer edges are brown and the top is lighter brown and still slightly soft in the center, about 17 minutes. Put the pan on a wire rack, run a knife down the long edges to push the bars away from the sides of the pan and let the bars cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  5. Lift the bars from the pan using the foil overhangs, and slide the bars off the foil onto a cutting board. Cut them into twelve 3-by-4-inch bars, and wrap each one in plastic wrap. The bars will stay moist, refrigerated in an airtight container, for 5 days.
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