Inspiration. Granola Bars, Take Two: Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate.

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.

DSC_1334A sign of a good week is an empty tin of homemade treats and chocolate goodness.

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.

Baking.

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.

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Click Here to Print Recipe

Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

Who can say no to peanut butter and dark chocolate for breakfast or a nutritious power-snack?

Ingredients:

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

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, 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!

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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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48 thoughts on “Inspiration. Granola Bars, Take Two: Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate.

  1. You make me blush. Thank you for the lovely mention, Shanna. You certainly make it all sound so fantastic. What a lucky family to get to experieince chocolate peanut butter granola bars. I applaud you!

  2. The glass pan is probably vital. I tried your previous recipe and burnt the daylights out of my bars – totally and sadly, completely… inedible. All those great ingredients had to go into the garbage. I was heartbroken. I had them in for slightly less than 25 minutes at 300F. I’m getting a thermometer to check my oven. Meant to do that today. But maybe it was the pan? I tried out a brand new pan – a heavy metal kind of thing – which I sprayed liberally. Next time I’m thinking I’ll make granola “cookies” so I can turn them halfway through. Or granola “crumbs”, that I can whisk around with a spatula half-way through. Yours looked so yummy! I’m jealous :).

    1. Oh, no! I had no problem with the previous recipe! 😦 I used the glass pan this time just as a change of pace… the cookie sheets were in use for roasting vegetables. I am heart-broken to hear this and will update BOTH recipes to use a glass pan. My sincerest apologies.

    2. I would definitely check your oven temperature, too. I have changed the recipes to be checked at 20 minutes, as well. I really appreciate your feedback – and feel responsible for perfect granola bars in your house, as well as mine.

      1. Not your fault! I am a kluzy baker. i should have checked them but got sidelined watching a TV program and was only reminded when I smelled them. I’m checking my timer AND my oven temp tomorrow.

  3. How delicious! Peanut butter and dark chocolate are always a great combo 😀 I love how you top off the baked granola with a drizzle of melted peanut butter–yum!! I am loving the different variations of granola bars you are making! Might there be more? 😉

    1. Hi, Ada! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your lovely comments! Yes, a drizzle of nut butter never hurts. 😉 Granola bars are a new staple for us – and all your idea, too… I appreciate that you shared your knowledge with me.

  4. Every Christmas, Mom made peanut butter and chocolate candies, Shanna. Oh, were they good. Now, if you created these bars with those candies in mind, your bars must be very good, too. I guess the only way for me to find out would be to make a batch and see. I’ll get right on it! 🙂

    1. What a lovely memory of Christmas time – family – your mother – and food. 🙂 Do you still have the recipe? I would be a nice addition to the collection of recipes on your blog. I am sure that they are quite tasty! Do let me know if you try the granola bars… though I am not sure if they can compete with homemade Christmas candies! 😉

      1. Thank you for the compliments. 🙂 That sounds great. What a neat idea – to feature different recipes on a certain day of the week! You have lots of great recipes and nutrition advice – your blog is really fun!

      2. 🙂 🙂 Anytime. Thank you Shanna, I really like to incorporate healthy ingredients into my recipes. I am very happy that you enjoy this blog. Yes, every Thursday is Featured Recipe Thursday from viewers and Friday is Friday Menu. 🙂

      3. We are alike in that way – any way to incorporate plant-based or nutritious ingredients is a win-win for everyone. 🙂 I appreciate all of the information tidbits that you provide – very accessible and well-translated for all readers. You are so organized and methodical – not to mention committed – in your blog. Have a great weekend. I am looking forward to staying connected!

      4. Wow thank you for the comments. That makes me feel very good. I was wondering how people felt about the new categories esp Friday Menu. I am just happy that bloggers like you enjoy it. I really try to be organized, and when I forget one major day on my blog, I feel so unorganized haha. I went out of town to Fresno the past weeks, and I swear I felt like I was running behind. Thanks again for the lovely comments. 🙂 You enjoy your lovely weekend too.

      5. Your blog is fun and fresh – I loved your Friday recipes this week, by the way. Very elegant but something that most people can easily make at home. The beauty of blogging is that it is ebb and flow – how much you can invest in your blog changes. Our pages as bloggers also continue to evolve as we develop our skills, come up with new ideas or recess old ones. You are doing a fabulous job – keep enjoying it – and make sure you are always having fun blogging. And taking time off to go to Fresno, etc. 🙂

      6. Thank you Shanna again for the lovely comments. I am happy that you enjoy the Friday Menus and enjoy my blog. I hope to eventually create it into more of a website for my catering. I am slowly getting my menu up and running. 🙂 My goal is to have Youtube channel up soon as well. Too many things to do lol. I am very committed to this blog though. I am a passionate chef, and love to write about my recipes. 🙂 Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. 🙂 Find me under Kouzounas Kitchen. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I certainly hope that you try them – and your children enjoy them as much as mine do. I appreciate you stopping by Curls and Carrot and leaving a sweet commment. Oh, and your blog is great! You have such vast knowledge about cooking and baking. 🙂

  5. healthy or not, this recipe will enter the “Christmas’ Recipes” of this year!Yay! Seems so good! I have only to pay attention at the quantities: recipes in Italy are in gr, not in cups, and the hoven temperature in °C not in °F .. 😉

    1. Well, thank you! I am honored that you will make these! I hope that you and your family and friends enjoy them as special holiday treats. You know, I am moving towards putting all of my baking recipes in grams – it is much, much, much more precise. I generally try to list baking temperatures in both Celsius and fahrenheit but sometimes forget! 300F=149C and 350F=177C. Happy baking! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a nice comment. 🙂

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