Okay, after my pictures, who wants to make these?
I love these bars because a). they are super easy b). they can be changed up to whatever kind of bar you want c). HEALTHY! (depending on what you add-in ;) d). They are just amazing.
3 cups old fashioned oats (if GF is important to you use certified GF oats)
2 tablespoons oil (grapeseed, canola, vegetable, melted coconut -- any will work)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 - 1½ cups add-ins (dried cranberries, raisins or other fruits - chopped if you need to, nuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, chocolate chips; all your favorite things!)
5 ounces GOOD dark chocolate (the less sweet the better but you wanna like the taste so pick your favorite!)
Preheat the oven to 350°F and scatter the oats in a 9 X 13 pan. Let them toast, stirring at least once, for about 15 minutes. When they are done they will look slightly golden and you will smell the toasty oats.
Line a 9 X 9 pan with parchment paper or foil. You want a piece large enough that the sides will come back over and cover the top of the bars once you fill the pan.
While the oats toast heat the oil in a small saucepan on the stove. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Bring it to a simmer over medium high heat. Stir to make sure the brown sugar dissolves, and turn the heat off.
Put the toasted oats in a large bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the oats and stir to coat evenly. Stir in all your add-ins. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan.
Fold the parchment or foil over the top of the granola in the pan and PRESS to fill the corners and flatten. Keep pressing and smooth the granola out so that it is even across the pan.
Let the granola bars set up in a cool dry place for at least an hour. They will set faster in the freezer. I like to make mine in the evening and let them set up overnight.
Turn them out of the pan onto a cutting board. Peel the parchment or foil away. Slice down the middle and then cut each half into 6 bars. Lay the bars on a clean piece of parchment or foil. Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Use a spoon (or... I melted my chocolate in the microwave in a microwave safe measure pourer... that way you can pour/drizzle straight from "the melting pot") to drizzle the chocolate over the sliced bars. Let it set up and ENJOY!
The first batch I made of these I put in coconut, almonds, and craisins. This batch (with pictures above) have pecans, a tiny coconut, and chocolate chips :) Also! I used unsweetened chocolate for my first batch, and bitersweet for the second :)
And to store them, I wrapped them in the used parchment paper, and taped them with duct tape, and stuck them in an air-tight container!
If you make these please let me know how they turned out for you, and also what special add-ins you put with! I'd love to try some different ingredients :)