Guest Post by Cafe Nilson, the Virtual Chef.
We regularly have homemade granola bars at home and this recipe with the added chocolate just makes it a perfect snack on the ski slopes. Wrapped individually in plastic wrap, they are small enough to fit in the pockets of our ski jackets and a great munch on the chairlift.
I only tweaked this recipe a little bit to satisfy the non-so-sweet tooth of our household. The oatmeal crunch part of the original recipe required 2 cups of brown sugar which I replaced with 1 cup of agave nectar. I was a little worried as to how the end result will look and taste like since I am replacing the ingredient with a syrupy one. But we liked the results! For the chocolate part, I used blueberries instead of the raisins called for. On the first batch, I stuck with the original salty peanuts but on the second batch I made, I used chopped almonds. Boy, they are both good!!! Here’s the tweaked recipe:
•2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose flour)
•1 tsp baking soda
•1 tsp salt
•1 tsp ground cinnamon
•2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
•1 cup agave nectar
•2 large eggs
•2 tsp vanilla extract
•3 cups rolled oats
•1 cup salted peanuts (or any nuts, I used chopped almonds on one batch)
•2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
•2 tbs unsalted butter
•1/2 cup heavy cream
•1/4 tsp salt
•1 tsp vanilla extract
•1 cup dried blueberries
•1 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts (or any nuts)
1. For oatmeal crust, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
2. In an electric mixer, beat softened butter on medium until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating. Add vanilla and agave nectar, reduce speed to low and beat until combined. Carefully add dry ingredients and beat for 1 minute. Using a spatula, add the oats and nuts. Set aside 2 cups of the batter.
3. Evenly press the remaining batter/dough on a baking pan. Set aside while you prepare the chocolate layer.
4. For the chocolate layer, melt the chocolate chips, butter and salt in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Add cream and stir until melted. Remove from pan and stir in vanilla, blueberries and nuts.
5. Pour the chocolate mixture over the oatmeal crust. The scatter the remaining 2 cups of oatmeal mixture over the top.
6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool for at least 2 hours.
7. Turn right side up onto a rack then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting.
Notes: This recipe should make 32 rectangles. Mine made more since I cut them so small (about an 1 1/2 inch by 1 inch).
Original post: http://www.cafenilson.com/2010/01/chocolate-oatmeal-almost-candy-bars/