So let’s talk a little bit more about the actual ingredients in these bars. In the recipe experimentation, I changed the sweeteners up quite a bit.
First time, I used all honey; which were great – holds them together and they taste great. Buuut, for another try, I changed up the sweeteners to include a lil bit of pure maple syrup and it was divine. The combo of honey and maple syrup adds a whole new complexity to the flavor of these bars. However, pure maple syrup is expensive and often-times hard to come by, so do not worry at all if you don’t have it – the honey works just great.
The chocolate part of these bars comes from first, the topping (lots of chocolate chips) and second – the base of the granola. I used cocoa krispies which are just awesome. The perfect amount of crunch comes from the cocoa kripsies and then these bars are evened out with chewiness from the old-fashioned oats.
Overall, they are semi-healthy. No corn syrup, and no brown sugar (typical cereal bar ingredients). But with the chocolate and peanut butter topping they are less healthy. Feel free to leave off the chocolate chips if desired, or substitute dark chocolate which is healthier. Another alternative would be to just spread some peanut butter over these bars.
However you chose to top them, you gotta try the chocolate and peanut butter chips at least once – it’s perfection in a little bar.
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 5 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or sub 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 and 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons Cocoa Krispies
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips*
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil separated, or vegetable oil
Line an 8 x 8 baking tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl combine the peanut butter, honey, and maple syrup. Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
In a large bowl, combine the Cocoa Krispies and old-fashioned oats. Stir.
Add in the peanut butter mixture and stir until everything is well combined. If the mixture is still dry, add a bit more honey and peanut butter.
Press the mixture into the 8 x 8 baking pan. The mixture will seem like a lot, but really compress it into the pan. Press hard until it is very compressed and even.
Place in the fridge while preparing the top.
Microwave the milk chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon coconut oil for 30 seconds. Stir until melted (Return the chocolate to the microwave for 10-15 second bursts if it isn't completely melted.)
In another bowl, microwave the peanut butter chips with remaining 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil for 20 second bursts.
Using a spatula, spread the melted chocolate over the bars evenly. (A thin layer of chocolate should cover it all).
Then pour the melted peanut butter chips in horizontal lines across the top of the chocolate.
Using a butterknife, drag the lines from top to bottom vertically to create the peanut butter swirl effect seen in the bars.
*I buy the Nestle peanut butter + chocolate baking chips bag and separate the chips.