Years ago when we were still in college, Jarrett did two summers working as a camp counselor. At the one camp, they had this special granola bar that they would take out on hikes and camping trips. It was called Wazi-Tack, and was something Jarrett and other counselors would fondly recall–and crave.
Fast forward a few years into our early marriage and I stumbled across a camping granola bar recipe that I thought looked yummy for an upcoming trip. I tweaked the ingredients a bit, mixed it all together, popped it in the oven, and out came this amazingly chewy and sweet granola bar. Jarrett took one bite and was back in camp heaven: “This is Wazi-Tack!”
Although I’m sure it is not the exact recipe that the camp kitchen followed, our Wazi-Tack recipe has become a bit of an annual camping tradition. Let’s be clear, though, that this recipe is not healthy. It’s loaded with butter and sugar and chocolate. But once a year, it’s a special splurge. And I can guarantee you’ll make a lot of campground friends if you put out a plate of these.
- 6 cups quick oats, uncooked
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
- ½ cup honey
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips (mini or regular)
- Optional: finely chopped nuts of your choice
(I apparently forgot to include the honey in this picture–oops!)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together the oats, coconut, brown sugar, melted butter, honey, vanilla and salt. Add the chocolate chips. Mix well.
Firmly press the ingredients into a greased large jelly roll pan (mine is about 10½ by 15½ inches). I start off using just my hands to press the mixture down, but then I use a flat kitchen server to make sure it is very compact. The more compact, the better the bars will hold together.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes until the mixture is bubbly and the edges are golden brown. Watch the pan carefully because once it starts to get golden it can brown quickly, which will create hard bars!
Remove the pan from the oven and let the pan sit for about 10 minutes. Cut the granola into bars, but do not remove the bars from the pan until they are completely cool. (They will fall apart!) And if you wait to cut the bars until the granola is completely cooled, you will have a much harder time. (Ask me how I know!)
Once cool, store in an airtight container. I’m not sure how long they keep because they’ve never lasted more than a week in our house! Enjoy!