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Football Shaped No Bake Granola Bars

Football-Shaped No-Bake Granola Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 8 x 8 pan
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed pitted dates deglect noor recommended
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt optional
  • 1/2 cup Quick-1 minute Oats
  • 1 cup Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 1/4 cup shelled and toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup miniature dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts I like cashews or pecans best

Granola Bar Topping

  • 1 cup dark or milk chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Optional: white frosting

Instructions

  1. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper or foil with an overhang for easy removal. Don't spray with cooking spray as it makes these greasy. Set aside.
  2. In a small blender jar (I use the Twister jar for Blendtec) or a food processor, pulse the pitted dates to create a very thick and sticky paste.
  3. Scoop out the date paste and place in a bowl.
  4. Slightly warm up the peanut butter and maple syrup in the microwave (like 20 seconds) and stir into the date paste. Stir well.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract and pinch of salt (if your peanut butter is salted or you are sensitive to salt, leave it out!)
  6. Stir in the quick oats and the old fashioned oats.
  7. Stir in the "additions" I generally use toasted sunflower seeds, mini dark chocolate chips, and chopped toasted pecans or cashews. BUT as long as you keep the quantities consistent you can use pretty much whatever. Just keep the size small or the bars tend to be more crumbly. With regular sized chocolate chips they didn't hold together as well as with miniature.
  8. To toast your nuts (recommended if you like the flavor of toasted nuts but not required!) heat a frying pan on the stove top over medium-high heat.
  9. When the pot is hot, add in the nuts in a single layer (no need to add anything else). Stir until the nuts begin to become fragrant and slightly deepen in color. Watch carefully as they go from perfectly toasted to burnt very quickly and easily. Remove from the pan immediately into the bowl.
  10. Stir in the toppings and knead with your hands to get it all well mixed.
  11. Press into the prepared 8 x 8 baking pan and set aside while assembling the melted chocolate.
  12. In a large microwave safe bowl combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil (measured when the oil is in a hardened state).
  13. Microwave in bursts of 15 seconds stirring in between each burst for 15 seconds until melted.
  14. Pour evenly over the bars and tip the pan around to move the chocolate in an even layer on top.
  15. Place in the fridge (covered) until the chocolate is completely set.
  16. Remove from the pan and if desired cut them into footballs with a football cookie cutter.
  17. Pipe frosting to look like a football lacing. (Fill up a plastic bag or an icing bag fitted with a #3 tip with frosting and pipe it in the center of the football and for laces.)

Recipe Notes

Cook time refers to "chilling" time.