Ring-ring! “Hey girl, can I call you back? I’m making chocolate-dipped granola bars.”
“…oh my God, who ARE you???”
Apparently, I am a girl that bakes homemade granola bars in her spare time. Don’t be too impressed; it’s honestly not that big of a deal. Anyone who’s made their own granola before can tell you how cheap and easy it is. Turning that granola into convenient, portable bars takes just a few more steps:
1. Add something sticky and gooey to the granola.
2. Bake said granola.
3. Cut said granola into bars.
4. Dip bars into high quality chocolate.
The one trick is waiting for the granola to cool before you cut it — if you’re impatient and try to cut too early, you risk ending up with a (delicious) heap of crumbly clusters instead of the handy bars you intended.
Granola is especially substitution-friendly, so use whatever ingredients make sense to you. I used a mix of almond, pecans, and blueberry craisins here, but any another combination of nuts and dried fruit would work just as well. I used agave nectar to bind everything together; honey and maple syrup are great alternatives.
These sweet, nutty granola bars are the perfect energy-packed snack get you through a long afternoon. Recipe after the jump!
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup cornflakes cereal
1/2 cup unsalted almonds, chopped
1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons (60 g) blueberry craisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 heaping tablespoons (15 g) pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup amber agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3.5 oz bar 70% cacao dark chocolate
Preheat oven the 350°F. Line a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with parchment paper, leaving two to three inches of extra paper on the sides.
Combine the oats, cereal, nuts, dried fruit, and salt in a large bowl. Place the agave nectar in a microwave safe bowl and heat it for 15 to 25 seconds to loosen it slightly. Remove the warm agave from the microwave and add the vanilla extract. Pour the agave-vanilla mixture over the dry ingredients; stir well to coat.
Dump the wet granola into the prepared baking dish. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the granola and use both hands to press down into the dish. (You can also do this with the back of a spoon coated in nonstick spray if you prefer.) Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes*, until golden brown.
Remove the dish from the oven and repeat the compacting process with parchment paper or a spoon. Cool for at least one hour in the fridge. Once the granola has hardened, cut into 12 bars.
Break up the bar of chocolate and place it in a glass bowl. Microwave at 30-second intervals until fully melted, stirring as needed. Dip each granola bar into the melted chocolate and return to the fridge for another hour, or until the chocolate hardens.
*For a chewy granola bar, reduce the time in the oven to 20 to 22 minutes.
Servings: 12 | Calories: 183 | Total Fat: 7.0 g | Saturated Fat: 2.1 g | Trans Fat: 0.0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 66 mg | Total Carbohydrates: 29.0 g | Dietary Fiber: 3.2 g | Sugars: 16.9 g | Protein: 3.6 g