It’s been a busy week at Casa Curls and Carrots. Preschool for Snu Magoo, play-dates for Littlest Guy and many visits from friends and family.
My friend Karla and sweet kids stopped by to play. Later, my 6’6″ tall, lovable bear of a little brother visited. I relish in our visits. He is my only sibling and beloved uncle. Even a few of hubby Abba’s “surgeon-doctor friends,” as the Snu Magoo calls them, dropped by to have a nosh. All parties, grown-up folk and minuscule munchkins alike, gave the Dark Chocolate and Cherry Granola bars rave reviews.
All of the Dark Chocolate and Cherry Granola have disappeared into the land of happy tummies. The munchkins and Abba are beside themselves. What will Abba eat after a nice run? What will the Snu Magoo eat after a busy day at school? And, Poor Littlest Guy’s current, favorite breakfast morsel must be replenished.
I love to share with friends – and I adore baking. It’s time to remedy this gloomy, granola-less situation. As the oats begin to toast, their sweet fragrance fills the kitchen and is profoundly satisfying. These bars are going to be special.
A blogging comrade and super-human chef, teacher and writer – Janet Rörschåch at Chef Janet Rörschåch: Brilliantly Gluten-Free – mentioned a craving dark chocolate and peanut butter cups. Oh, the thought of salty, creamy peanut butter juxtaposed to rich, decadent dark chocolate took ahold of me. The empty tin, once filled with crunchy granola bars stared at me. I knew what had to be done.
Folks, introducing Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars. Abba, Littlest Guy and Snu Magoo send their thanks to Chef Janet Rörschåch – and to my lovely friend in Germany, Maria, who requested this recipe. Of course, the fantastic Ada at More Food, Please inspired my original recipe. The granola bar tin is filled to the brim, once again and is ready to be shared with our neighbors, family and pals.
Warmest wishes to all from the Land of Enchantment (New Mexico!) for massive jars that are overflowing with satisfying, healthy chocolate and peanut butter bites.
Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars
Who can say no to peanut butter and dark chocolate for breakfast or a nutritious power-snack?
2 cups rolled oats, lightly toasted (choose a gluten-free variety, if desired)
1 1/2 cups roasted hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
7 Tbsp. honey
7 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
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
2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter, gently warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
- 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, raisins, cranberries, cinnamon, salt and mix well.
- Over low heat, melt the peanut butter, 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 peanut butter mixture to the oat mixture in the large bowl.
- Mix the melted peanut butter mixture and the oat mixture with a large spoon – or your hands, if necessary – until completely combined.
- Generously spray a 9×9 glass pan with cooking spray or line with greased parchment paper.
- Using your hands, press peanut butter and oat mixture into the pan.
- Sprinkle with dark chocolate chips
- Bake at 300°F or 149°C for 20-25 minutes, until firm to the touch.
- Drizzle evenly with the warmed, melted peanut butter.
- Cool, cut into rectangles, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator… Enjoy!
©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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