Monday, January 19, 2015

Almond Butter Dream Bars

Ok, I'm being a little eccentric with the title of these bars - but they are seriously SO DELICIOUS. They are candy bar delicious, my friends. I have tried to make homemade granola bars before and failed in flavor and in form. I wanted a granola bar or a cookie or SOMETHING earlier today, but I wasn't willing to let myself succumb to the kids' cookies or leftover Christmas candy.

So, we went for it. I had to make some more almond butter, but it was totally worth it. To date, these are the best homemade granola bars I've made and tried. As I posted on my Instagram and FB page, these are not 100% clean. If I would have had Enjoy Life vegan chocolate chips on-hand, I would have used those. Alas, I had Tollhouse milk chocolate chips leftover from holiday baking. I added less than 2TB in the whole recipe; so, really, it's a pretty minor offense. Do what you wish; I don't think a few Tollhouse chips vs. 100% dark chocolate - in this recipe - will make or break your day.

This recipe makes about eight or so bars. Double it up if you want more or make as is if you're skeptical.

Here's what you need: 
  • 2 cups raw old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 TB unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 TB chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup almond butter - I used my own recipe, but any natural nut butter is fine.
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla or vanilla extract
  • Sea salt, just a conservative dusting
  • 2 TB of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • About 1TB of chocolate chips.
  • Enough honey to coat the mixture together as you combine - giving it some stickiness.
Here's what you do: (ready? this is so challenging...)
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients listed above.  
  • Press into an 8x8 baking dish, lined with parchment.
  • Move dish to the freezer until solid. 
  • Remove when solid; cut into bars or bite size pieces (better for kids) and enjoy!
  • You may want to return the bars to the fridge for storage as they do get a little melty at higher room temps. 
  • WAIT until they really solidify to serve. If you try to eat these soon after you make them, you will need a spoon. Don't say I didn't warn you.
  • Don't over-do it on the honey. You really just need it and the peanut butter to bind the rest of the ingredients together. 
That's it! SO easy, so delicious and more or less guilt-free! I will definitely be making these again. They are an awesome alternative to store-bought bars and take very little time or effort to put together. Hope you enjoy them!!!