I have made this bars several times, each time varying what I put in it. I also like to free pour the maple syrup and brown sugar. You can make these bars to your specific tastes, and include or exclude anything you don't like.
•1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
•1/2 cup (125 mL) maple syrup
•1/4 cup (50 mL) packed brown sugar
•2 1/2 cups (625 mL) rolled oats (not quick, instant or one-minute)
•1/3 cup (75 mL) wheat germ or bran
•2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
•1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange rind
•1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
•1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
•1/3 cup (75 mL) dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, cherries, or finely chopped apricots, figs and/or pitted dates)
1.Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a 9-inch (2.5-L) square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) overhang on two sides so you can easily lift the baked bars out of the pan.
2.In a large saucepan, heat butter, maple syrup and sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute; remove saucepan from heat. Stir in oats, wheat germ, vanilla, orange rind, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Stir in dried fruit until well combined.
3.Spread mixture evenly in pan, pressing down firmly using base of a measuring cup. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until a deep golden colour. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Once cooled, use parchment to lift to a cutting board; cut into bars with a large serrated knife. (Save any crumbs; they’re delicious sprinkled over yogurt or fruit.) Bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20 bars, and takes approximately 40 minutes from start to finish.