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Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

So much has happened since we last spoke that I wouldn't know where to begin. I feel as if more than a month has passed, as if I have aged half a dozen years in a few short weeks. Life is a mixture of exhaustion and transition right now, as I adjust to my new beginning. There have been so many changes to my daily life and I haven't had a moment to sort out my feelings about them. In many ways, it feels like I took off running and I am still trying to catch my breath.

Breath in. Breathe out. Breath in.

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

This evening, I'm sitting on a new couch in a new apartment, propping my feet up on a new coffee table. The space is smaller than before, built for only one, but somehow it suits me. The view from my window stands in contrast to the old, as different scenery from a different state looks in. I have unpacked my belongings, trying to fit the pieces of my old life into my new—a jigsaw puzzle of memories and unfamiliarity, as the two sets of pieces merge to form a completed image.

The final picture is just beginning to form, the edges in place, but the middle is still muddled, an unclear image of the final product.

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

I have been so caught up in these life adjustments, drained of thought or energy, that I haven't opened the oven door in over a month. It feels strange to have abandoned baking for so long, holding it so close to my heart as I do. During a morning rainstorm last weekend, I turned on the oven and tried to rekindle some of the familiarity I had lost in the move. I made granola, a simple comfort food with a touch of character.

The scent of granola wafted through the apartment, erasing the foreign scents and replacing them with something closer to home. For this, I was grateful.

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars are filling and wholesome. Dried apricots are plumped up by soaking in black tea and are pureed to form the base of the bars. With honey for sweetness and nuts and dried fruit for interest, the chewy bars make a quick breakfast or snack complete. The bars bake up soft, but hold together well, cutting neatly into pieces.

One Year Ago: Blueberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes and S'mores Pancakes
Two Years Ago: Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze and S'mores Pie
Three Years Ago: Incredibly Moist Chocolate Prune Cake and Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

Yields 8 granola bars

5 ounces (145 grams) dried apricots
2/3 cup (155 ml) freshly brewed black tea
1/3 cup (112 grams) honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
1/3 cup (55 grams) dried cranberries
1/2 cup (60 grams) sliced almonds
1/2 cup (60 grams) unsweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a square 8 x 8-inch baking pan.

In a small saucepan, place the dried apricots and black tea. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, allowing the dried apricots to absorb the tea. In a food processor or blender, process the apricots and tea until it forms a smooth paste.

In a large bowl, mix together the apricot puree, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Add the oats, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and coconut flakes, stirring until granola is evenly coated. It will be moist.

Press granola firmly into baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely, about 2-3 hours, before turning out on a cutting board. You must allow the granola to cool completely or the bars will fall apart. Using a sharp knife, cut granola bars into 8 equal pieces (a dull knife will break apart the bars). Wrap in parchment paper to make quick grab-and-go snacks. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh.

Reader Comments (17)

You are back! I am wrapped with excitement. When you settle down some more; i would love for you to tell us about your month just passed. It must have been such an adventure.
The base is so creative, I never though about soaking fruits in tea then blending but t seam like great way to add flavour. Even you being tired, you mange to take stunning pictures
I love that Fitzgerald true! And this recipe is lovely.
I already made granola bars this morning before I read this post. Yours look so much better than mine. Next time, I'll try this recipe. I hope the new path you're on involves writing in some capacity, you're a truly talented writer.
09.12.2013 | Unregistered Commentersistrsprkl
Welcome back and I hope you adjust to your new surroundings smoothly.
Every time I go through a traumatic event, good (a new baby/job/apartment) or not so good (relocating, breaking a leg, a new job..) and I can't technically do too much in the kitchen for a while, baking gets pushed aside as it is least essential. Time after time I get this scare that I'll never bake again, and than when I do, it helps (like you said) push away foreign scents and glum feelings.
May you bake many happy things in your new kitchen!
09.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannah, Israel
I don't think I've ever heard of using tea in a granola bar before! Super interesting--I'm definitely going to have to give it a try.
09.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEileen
Transition sounds hard, but I'm sure your new picture will become completely clear and it will be wonderful. :)
I love making granola; the smell of it baking really is something amazing, isn't it?
These bars look so delicious! I'm pinning this.
09.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbbie
These look WONDERFUL, and I can't wait for the weather (and my schedule) to cool off enough to bake them. I love the imagery your words invoked with the rekindling of familiarity with the (formerly) abandoned oven.
Here's a toast :) to your future!!
09.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLorrie
Love me some homemade granola bars. In fact I just whipped up some no-bake granola bites this morning!
So glad you are back! Hope you settle in soon and that you are well. Looking forward to all your lovely inspirational 'must-try' recipes :) Autumn is always a new beginning :) x
09.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouise
they look delicious
09.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterVickie
Brilliant post! So excited you're back to blogging and grateful for your descriptive and honest words. Thanks for sharing and I wish you all the best in your new season. I look forward to making these bars for an upcoming camping trip! A perfect fall treat.
09.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Cayless
I'm def making this! :) It looks so good! Granola bars are delicious and they are healthy as well so it's a double win ;)
09.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
Hope you are settling well. I tend to disappear during big transitions and it usually takes me awhile to find solid ground again. Familiarity does help. I'm glad to see you've opened the oven again! These look so wonderfully nourishing. I will certainly be giving them a try.
09.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha
These bars look delicious, as does the photography. Thanks for the post. Best of luck with your life's changes.
09.15.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary
How do you do that? relating every quote in a recipe? or is it the other way around? welcome back!
09.15.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchristaline
Life definitely gets crazy sometimes, but it sounds like you are dealing with it well. These granola bars sound like a great way to get back into baking!
09.22.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Dembowski
Change can be difficult but also good. This recipe sounds amazing and I cannot wait to try it. Best wishes in your new life journey.
09.22.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Tardif

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