Do you like granola bars soft and chewy? That's me. The very first granola bar I ate was made by an older lady who lived down our street when I was 8. It had peanuts and the ends were dipped the chocolate - each bar wrapped in wax paper. (I love wax paper to this day.)
I was remembering the bars and had chucked the box of store-bought ones from inside my cabinet back in without taking one out...now determined to make a batch from scratch and according to my memory. I used cashews in place of peanuts for a creamier, buttery crunch. This recipe is so good! Each bite as your teeth sink in feels like a special moment, followed by the slow chewing that makes granola bars so lovely. Also, a bar eaten along side a hot mug of strong coffee is a superb afternoon pick-me-up.
"I love the messy look of drizzled chocolate, but feel free to do a dip for more uniformity."
Notes: Butter is unsalted.
GRANOLA CANDY BARS
Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups rolled oats, 1/2 cup roughly chopped cashews, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup butter, 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. almond extract, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 cup chocolate chips.
Makes 12 bars.
1. Preheat oven to 350*. Toast oats and cashews on a baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to cool.
2. Heat butter, honey, brown sugar and almond extract over medium heat in a saucepan until just bubbling.
3. Combine oats, cashews, dried cranberries and chia seeds in a large bowl. Pour over sugar mixture, mix to combine well.
4. Tip into parchment lined 8x8 baking dish. Press firmly with a piece of wax paper. Allow to set 2 hours in a cool place before slicing.
5. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments at half-power until just beginning to lose shape. Stir to melt the rest of the way.
6. Drizzle sliced bars with chocolate, allow to set 1 hour.