Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars

As with anything else, homemade always tastes better! These granola bars make great snacks, breakfast, or dessert.
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Ingredients

  • Non-stick Cooking spray (or use parchment paper)
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, or fruit of choice if you want to change things up, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, frozen

Directions


Pre-heat oven to 350. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with non-stick spray, or line with parchment paper, and spread out oats and almonds. Cook for about 5 minutes, then stir them around, then cook for another 5 minutes. Pull out and let them cool, then add them to a large bowl. This is the only time you are using your oven, so feel free to turn it off. ;) In a pot, start melting your butter. Once it is melted, add your brown sugar and stir until melted. Add honey, vanilla extract, and salt and stir until just combined. Pour this melted mixture over oats and stir until everything is well combined. Add in your fruit and about half of your chocolate chips and stir. Spray or lay parchment paper in a 7x11, 8x8, or 9x9 baking dish. Dump your mixture into the pan and press, a lot. Spray your hands with cooking spray and get in there! If you don’t press them well at this point, you will get loose granola, which is great in it own right, but you won’t get bars. Take the rest of your chocolate chips and press into the top. Now put them in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or freeze for about 30 minutes or until they feel solid. Cut them into bars. They will be best if you let them defrost before serving, and will keep for about a week, but won’t last that long!