Double Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars: Oh, I Suppose…

We are alllllll chocolate-covered again at Casa Curls and Carrots!

A fellow blogger, Ada has a fun and dynamic blog about her culinary adventures in the kitchen and eating out on the town in Los Angeles, California: More Flood, Please. Ada developed a recipe for some rockin’ granola bars. They are inspiration behind double chocolate cherry granola bars – and this blog post. Thanks, Ada!

This morning, all of the ingredients in Ada’s recipe were assembled on the counter. My daughter, Snu Magoo, came in the kitchen to help bake – she loves to cook with  me, “Ima.” She promptly requested, “Can we make these granola bars chocolate bars? Really chocolatey? Please?!” A girl after my own heart.

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The recipe was adapted to include chocolate elements in the bars themselves, including Nutella and cocoa – as well as a generous sprinkling of dark chocolate chips over the tops of the bars. Dried cherries were added to the mix, as well: who says no to a chocolate-covered cherry?

Thank you, Ada, for your culinary inspiration. These granola bars are going to make great breakfasts and fabulous, quick snacks for the kids – and my hubby, affectionately known as Abba.

Abba is a busy bee and always looking for something filling to eat on-the-go. Today, he stopped home from the hospital – just briefly, between patients. Abba immediately ravaged the cupboards in search of something to grab-and-go for his walk back to the work. Sadly, nuts and dried fruit were his only finds. These granola bars will be perfect for his future hunger pangs (and mine, too)!

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First, toast the oats until a light, golden brown.

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Next, chop the maple-cardamom nuts (I used pecans).

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Then, melt the chocolate-hazelnut spread, butter and honey over low-heat.

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Stir in the cocoa, salt and vanilla. Mix well.

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Remove the pan from heat.

Taste the glistening, glorious chocolate mixture.

We must be certain that it’s suitable for consumption.

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Combine the nuts, cherries and toasted oats in a large bowl and stir.

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Pour the warm, chocolate mixture of the toasted oats, nuts and cherries.

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Press the mixture into half of a greased cookie sheet or a greased 9×9 glass pan.

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Sprinkle the oat mixture with dark chocolate chips and bake.

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Snu Magoo is very happy to help with this task. It’s a rough life, eating chocolate!

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Remember to put the chocolate chips back in the cupboard, or they might disappear…

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“Who, me? Couldn’t be!” The Littlest Guy is up to his old cocoa-nabbing tricks!

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Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool.

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Then, cut into rectangles.

Try one (or two), just to make sure that they taste good. Oh, creamy, rich chocolate on top of chewy, sweet and slightly granola bars…

Me, “Ima” says, “MMMMMMM.”

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Littlest Guy and Snu Magoo concur. Kid stamp of approval: “Check!”

I hope that you try these soon – and even add your own, unique spin on them. Experiment with a nut butter in place of the chocolate-hazelnut spread or switch up the dried fruits and nuts. Have fun and explore!

Let the circle of granola bar making continue! Now, can I have some More Food, Please?

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Click Here to Print Recipe

Double Chocolate and Cherry Granola Bars

Adapted from Ada’s Recipe at More Food, Please

A great portable snack for kids or quick breakfast on-the-go

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats, lightly toasted (choose a certified gluten-free variety, if desired)

1 1/2 cups maple-cardamom roasted nuts (I used pecans), chopped

1 cup dried cherries

7 Tbsp. honey

7 Tbsp. chocolate hazelnut spread (I used Nutella)

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

dash of fine, iodized salt

2 Tbsp. good-quality cocoa

2 tsp. good-quality, pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, 60% cocoa content

Cooking Spray

Preparation:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F or 177°C.
  • Lightly toast the oats in the oven on sheet tray for about five to ten minutes, until fragrant.
  • Reduce oven heat to 300°F or 149°C.
  • In a large bowl, combine the toasted oats, nuts and dried cherries and mix well.
  • Over low heat, melt the chocolate-hazelnut spread, butter and honey in a small saucepan. Mix in the cocoa, vanilla and salt into the mixture.
  • Remove from heat and continue to stir until mixture is smooth.
  • Add the chocolate mixture to the oat mixture in the large bowl.
  • Mix the melted chocolate mixture and the oat mixture with a large spoon – or your hands, if necessary – until completely combined.
  • Generously spray a 9×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray or line with greased parchment paper.
  • Press the chocolate and oat mixture into the prepared dish.
  • Sprinkle with dark chocolate chips
  • Bake at 300°F or 149°C for 20-25 minutes or until firm.
  • Cool, cut into rectangles and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

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©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.

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20 thoughts on “Double Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars: Oh, I Suppose…

    1. Oh, thank you Chef Janet. I appreciate the nice words and your visit to Curls and Carrots. They taste good, too (the most important thing, hehe). Oh, yes, you are correct – a house without books and chocolate is sad one. We have plenty of both! 🙂

  1. I use nutella as a sweetener, too. I’ve made my own nutella to try and reduce the sugar. It tastes great, but the recipe is still too complicated for kids and the nutrition still isn’t as good as it should be. It’s a work in progress. Your granola bars look fab, with the oats, honey, cherries, nuts and chocolate. I’ve put these at the top of my “try” list!.

    1. Oh, wow – thank you! I am so glad that the recipe looks good to you! I agree with you about using Nutella as a sweetener. I factored in the amount of sugar and adjusted the recipe accordingly. I have seen some very nice, organic chocolate-hazelnut spreads at Whole Foods… You could check those out, too. I am so glad you stopped by! And I am excited that you are going to try these. Happy baking. 🙂

  2. Yum! Your granola bars look sooo delicious 😀 I really like how you changed it up with the maple-cardamom nuts (I will make these soon–just bought bags of nuts from Costco!) and tons of chocolate! It’s so great how granola bars can be made with many variations 🙂

    Thanks so much for the mention! I especially liked the last line of your post right before the Double Chocolate and Cherry Granolas Bars recipe 😉

    1. Yes, you completely inspired the last line – not to mention the entire recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of granola bar making with me. I am but a novice and your blog post / recipe was incredibly helpful.

      I like the hint of cardamom in these bars. And, yes, Costco is a great place to buy nuts (and pure, Grade A maple syrup!) at a reasonable price. Pecans, which have experienced a sharp price increase due to factors in the international market, are an especially great Costco buy:

      http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/08/markets/pecan_prices_increase/

      I recently discovered that Costco also sells HUGE bags of European, high-quality 60% dark chocolate chips. We are all about to be more chocolate covered at Curls and Carrots, hehe!

      I am elated that you enjoyed the post. Thank you for stopping by and for the warm words. Happy baking!

      1. Your granola bars looked far from that of a novice! 😉 So glad my post helped!

        It’s crazy how the prices of pecans and other nuts have gone up! What is the brand of European dark chocolate chips you buy from Costco? I will keep an eye out for them next time!

      2. Haha. Thank you, dear!

        Costco chocolate chips: They sell a Kirkland brand that is 60% cocoa content – the bags I have purchased (only two) have chocolate made in Switzerland or Belgium. Really good! I have also seen the Ghiradelli extra bittersweet 70% there, but didn’t buy it – that was a while ago!

        Happy chocolate-eating and baking…. 🙂

        Oh, and I agree- nuts are so incredibly expensive these days! My beloved pistachios have gone through the roof on price. Sigh.

  3. Holy Toledo Shanna! Those look amazingly delish! OMG! I am going to make these. I bet they don’t even compare to store-bought ones. We love chocolate, we love cherries, and we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Nutella! You should check out my Nutella Dream Cookies. It describes my love affair with Nutella! 🙂

    1. Hello! Oh, my, thank you so much for your enthusiasm and kind comments. I so appreciate you stopping by Curls and Carrots.

      I, too, am a huge Nutella fan (along with the rest of my family). A fellow blogger (Sophia at Papaya Pieces) mentioned that Feb. 5 is World-Wide Nutella Day – an international holiday! Woot! 😉 More Nutella recipes to come. 😉

      I calculated the cost per granola bar – the savings is at least 50% over the organic, store-bought ones – and these are much more healthful, too. 🙂 They will keep in your fridge for a very long time, too, if you make a few batches. Enjoy!

  4. I don’t know what it is with cherries but, whether dried or fresh, they go so well with chocolate. Wit these granola bars, you’ve upped the ante considerably, Shanna. What a treat! And considering you included all of those cherries, they’ve got to b healthy, too. I bet the more yo eat, the better the health benefits. Yeah, that’s the ticket. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing what is sure to be a very popular recipe.

  5. John, you are so supportive, encouraging and kind in your comments! 🙂 I hope that they are a hit for many folks. Our family loved them. I am constantly in in awe of your cooking abilities. And your cheese-making skills!

    Your comment and visit means a lot. Thank you again. 🙂

  6. What a wonderful bar of goodness with cherries, chocolate and honey. I am sure it tasted really good. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe!

  7. We made these a couple days ago and they were a huge hit! We have a few standby granola bar recipes but always love to try new ones. This is a winner! The only changes I made were to use almond slivers and salted caramel chocolate hazelnut spread.

    1. That’s awesome, Gretchen. I’m so glad you tried them, and they were a hit. Yes, we are CONSTANTLY making new granola bar recipes… kids can’t get enough. Oh my GOSH, almonds and salted caramel hazelnut spread… YUM!

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