The inspiration for the recipe was my bank statement. The amount of money I spend monthly at coffee shops is obscene. As a freelancer, my schedule is pretty loose. I should have every opportunity to get up a little earlier and make a wholesome, nutritious breakfast in the morning. That’s not my reality. I wake up to old dog dumpster breath most mornings, and when my dogs gotta go, I have a 5 minute window to get out the door. So, in efforts to stop buying 5 dollar chocolate chip cookies at my favorite coffee spot, I made granola bars that don’t suck.
In culinary school, we learned how to properly toast. Its a serious game changer. Ill go so far as to say that if you ever see a recipe that tells you to toast a nut in a pan over the stove, DON’T TRUST IT. The point of toasting is to build a warm flavor and add a crunch. In order to do that, place all the ingredients in a single layer and pop em in the oven, low and slow. 275 is my sweet spot. A fast and hard toast, even at 350 to be honest, will give you an harsher toasty flavor and a crunch that doesn’t reach the middle.
That’s pretty much it! It’s crazy to think about how solid fundamental cooking techniques apply to most recipes! These keep just as new in the freezer. Just slice them and pop em in a Tupperware! They thaw in less than a minute. I still buy 5 dollar cookies, but not every morning!
Cherry Dark Chocolate Granola Bars
These granola bars are the perfect early morning pick me up that actually keep me full till lunch. Cherry+dark chocolate+toasted coconut=dynamic trio.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups mixed nuts
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 (6oz) bag dried cherries
- 1 bar chocolate, chopped
- Step 1 Spread the oats, nuts, and coconut flakes on one layer on a baking sheet. Pop into an oven set to 275 for 30 minutes. Don’t worry about pre-heating.
- Step 2 Meanwhile, heat the maple syrup and the dried cherries in a sauce pot together on low. This will plump up the cherries and make them little flavor bombs in our granola bars.
- Step 3 Once the 30 minutes are up, add the toasted granola mixture to the syrup and the cherries. Mix well, then let cool for 5 minutes. Toss in the chocolate.
- Step 4 Spread the mixture back onto the cookie sheet and chill in the freezer for about an hour. Slice into 10 pieces. Don’t try to slice it before the hour is up. I pinky promise it doesn’t work.
- Step 5 Place the sliced granola bars in the freezer for a quick grab n’ go snack or breakfast!