Dark Chocolate Apricot Granola Bars

This is my favorite basic granola bar recipe. Fill them with your favorite add-ins. I love using dark chocolate covered raisins and apricots.

stack of dark chocolate apricot granola bars on a metal spatula

Contrary to what some readers may think, I don’t sit around stuffing my face with an entire pan of brownies that I bake. Although, that’d be nice – right?

I have hungry friends, neighbors, family, and coworkers. I bake for bake sales, parties, get-togethers and birthdays. After I’ve tasted and enjoyed my share of a sweet treat, I like to share the rest of my baking with others. Lucky ducks.

stack of dark chocolate apricot granola bars

However, there is one exception. When I bake up something healthy, a treat I can feel good about, I greedily save it all for myself. My Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies didn’t make it to the hands of my friends. We enjoyed them all ourselves! Guilt-free and easy. Love everything about them.

When I tried my first Dark Chocolate Raisinet a few weeks ago, I immediately wanted to incorporate them into a recipe. Something to fuel my work-outs or break my hunger in the afternoon at work.

Raisinets are secretly my favorite pick at the movie theater and have been a treat my mom & I have LOVED together for years. Hi mom!

dark chocolate apricot granola bars

I love the combination of dark chocolate and fruit. Dark chocolate does have its known health benefits, after all. 😉

For these granola bars, I paired chopped apricots with the Dark Chocolate Raisinets. The apricots lend a delicate tartness to each bite and the chocolate… keeps me happy. The two balance each other out, no?

stack of dark chocolate apricot granola bars

To make these bars stick together, I used  coconut oil as my binder. If you can’t find coconut oil, use cold butter. Do not use another oil. The coconut oil is solid at room temperature, and you need a smidge of solid fat to hold the bars together. Not too much, because we’re trying to keep things healthy here. 🙂

I mixed the coconut oil with a bit of brown sugar to form a crumb-like consistency. I stuck this mixture in the refrigerator as I prepped my other ingredients. Again, you could always use cold butter instead of solid coconut oil.

granola bar mixture in a bowl

Along with the brown sugar and coconut oil, I added whole wheat flour, oats, cinnamon, unsweetened applesauce, chopped apricots, and my favorite Dark Chocolate Raisinets. A very simple, clean ingredient list. I also added two egg whites as another binder. I wanted to make sure these bars traveled well and didn’t fall apart when I picked them up.

While they are certainly sturdy, they aren’t “heavy tasting” at all, which is exactly what I want when I’m looking for a healthy, portable snack.

The bars are sweet, but not overly-so. Feel free to reduce or add in more brown sugar if you please. The bars are also spiced with *just* the right amount of cinnamon. I love the texture complexity in each bite – melty chocolate, chewy raisins & apricots, and thick-cut oats. The bars bake up to be pretty soft, not crunchy and teeth-breaking like some granola bars can be.

dark chocolate apricot granola bars with a bite taken from one

The possibilities and variations of these bars are endless. Instead of apricots, try another dried fruit like craisins or dried apples. Or add peanut butter chips, nuts, seeds, or even more chocolate. Or toss in some lemon zest or grated orange zest!

Even an unglamorous granola bar can be droolworthy if you add in your favorite extras. This is one recipe I’m excited to play around with for different spin-offs.

stack of dark chocolate apricot granola bars on a metal spatula

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dark chocolate apricot granola bars on a metal spatula

Dark Chocolate Apricot Granola Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is my favorite basic granola bar recipe. Fill them with your favorite add-ins. I love using dark chocolate covered raisins and apricots.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons solid coconut oil (or cold butter, cut into cubes)
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Raisinets (or Milk Chocolate Raisinets, or dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray an 8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine brown sugar and coconut oil in a medium bowl until crumbly and well mixed. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the dry ingredients.
  3. In another medium bowl, mix together, flour, oats, raisinets, apricots, and cinnamon. Remove the sugar/oil mixture form the refrigerator and mix in with the dry ingredients. Add egg whites, applesauce, and vanilla. Lightly stir to combine. Do NOT overmix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes until sides are barely browning. Cool completely before cutting into squares. I waited 1 hour to cut into 16 squares. Bars stay fresh at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Bars freeze well, up to 2 months.

Keywords: chocolate apricot granola bars

14 Comments

  1. I’m in a granola frame of mind! I’m out of whole wheat and don’t feel like running to the store can I use regular AP flour instead?

    1. Hi Tracy! You most certainly may use all-purpose flour in this recipes instead. I love these granola bars! You reminded me to make them again soon. 🙂 Enjoy!

  2. My coconut oil is the liquid form,. should i refrigerate it and weigh or measure it?

    1. Yes, refrigerate the oil so it becomes solid and measure 2 Tbsp of it to use.

  3. This is an old post so hopefully you will still see this! If I take these on a short day hike, will they get sticky and melty from the chocolate? Should I layer them with wax paper?

    1. Layer them with parchment or wax paper– yes. They should be fine on a short hike.

  4. Sally,

    Do you prefer to use refined or unrefined coconut oil for this recipe?

    Thanks!

    1. Either works– I typically use unrefined in my recipes though.

  5. My daughter started kindergarten last week & has to bring two healthy snacks everyday along with her lunch. I made a batch of this to pack everyday for one of her snacks & she loves it. One recipe lasts 3 weeks (I wrap one week’s worth & put the rest in the freezer). Thanks, Sally!  You never disappoint…take that back…bummed you aren’t coming to Michigan (yet??) for your new book! 😉 Seriously though, love everything I have made so far. Heading out to the little farm stand near our house to get some zucchini to try the chocolate zucchini bread next.

  6. Hey sally!!! Thanks so much for all the amazing recipes. I’ve been using them so often since ive been introduced to your blog. Just wondering, is it possible to use more rolled oats instead of the flour for this recipe?

    1. Hi Selena! You can pulse those rolled oats until they become a flour and use the oat flour instead.

  7. Hi,
    these Bars are awesome!!!! I used figs instead of apricots, flea seeds, dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds. This is the best recipe for granola Bars, I tested. They have a soft texture and taste fruity, but have a light caramel flavor. I like that a lot. Next time I will put a little less sugar, they are really sweet (:
    Thank you for posting this recipe.

  8. Cooking Mama says:

    I made these, and they taste much better than I expected! I may add a tiny bit less apricots next time, but I’m very impressed! Others like them too! Delicious! A keeper for sure. Thanks, Sally!!

  9. Hi Sally, what is the replacement for Apple sauce?

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