Am I exaggerating? Ok, maybe just a little bit, but these granola bars were fantastic! They have chocolate, sweetness, and none of the blood sugar crash you would get from candy. And did I mention they have protein and you don't have to bake them? Oh yeah!
I started with this recipe from Naturally Knocked Up, but I adjusted it. I decided I wanted some oats in my bars (instead of them being grain free), and I did not have enough nuts anyways. I also did not have cranberries, so I subbed in dates (which I think were part of the key of how good these were).
Chocolate Granola Bars
4 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
3/4 cup honey
1 cup sucanat (unrefined sugar)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups roughly chopped nuts (I used a mixture of almonds & walnuts)
2 cups uncooked oats (not steel cut)
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup chopped dates or other dried fruit
In a medium saucepan combine: butter, coconut oil, honey, sucanat, vanilla, and salt. Place on the stove over low heat until mixture begins to simmer. Simmer longer for harder bars, less time for "chewy" bars (I think I let it simmer just a few minutes for my soft bars). In a large bowl stir to combine nuts, oats, cocoa powder, and dried fruit. Pour the sugar mixture over the top & stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a 9x13 pan and spread evenly (use oiled fingers to press it down into the pan). Allow to cool completely & then cut. I kept my bars stored in the refrigerator.
Next time I might try peanut butter in place of the butter...