Other ingredients to add: dried fruit, any other nut, seeds (chia, sesame, flax, poppy), vanilla, puffed rice or millet.
Preheat Oven to 325F ( to toast nuts and coconut)
Heat honey, salt, water and vanilla (optional) in a small pot over medium heat until it starts bubbling. Stir occasionally. Lower to med-low heat and continue simmering uncovered until honey reaches 270F. You need to use a candy thermometer to get this exact ( available at most grocery stores in the baking section.) This will take about 25 minutes on med-low heat, and will happen rapidly once it reaches 250F.
In the mean time, lightly toast nuts and coconut, in the oven, just until coconut is fragrant and lightly golden about 8-10 minutes.
When honey has reached 270F, turn heat off and pour the nuts and coconuts into the pot, stirring well to coat. Mixture may seem dry, but just keep mixing, until evenly coated. Spread out on a parchment lined 8×8 inch pan, or baking sheet, to about ¾ inch thick.
Using a greased spatula, spread out evenly and press down firmly, compressing it down as much as you can. Cover with parchment and use the bottom of a cup or pot or even your hands (if it’s not too hot) and press down really hard, compacting it as much as possible. This will help the bars stay together when you go to cut them. Let cool uncovered on the kitchen counter for 45 minutes. ( no longer)
Once it has cooled 45 minutes, place a cutting board over the mixure and gently flip it onto the cutting board (in one piece). With a big sharp knife, cut bars before they cool down completely (otherwise they will break when you try to cut them).
After you cut them, let them cool down completely on parchment (a couple hours) before storing. Store in an air tight container layered with parchment, or just leave them on the counter like I do and watch them disappear. Or wrap them individually with parchment and string.
A candy thermometer is a must here. It really is impossible to guess the temperature. If the bars are too soft, the honey is usually not heated enough. If super hard, the honey was most likely over heated.