chocolate dipped granola bars / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


i'm not sure how many of you out there have tried, or heard of, 5 star bars..?  they're small chocolate bars that come in various flavors like: caramel, peanut butter, fruit and nut, and my favorite, granola! it's the kind of chocolate bar that's so small that you don't feel that guilty eating it, but then once you take that last bite you're thinking "what did i just do?" basically, they're best eaten by two people, or - if you have enough willpower - save the last half for another time.  in any event, the recipe here is inspired by the amazing 5 star granola bar. i didn't think i would come close to replicating it, and i didn't.  i suppose i wanted to make a slightly healthier version of it - making it more granola bar with some chocolate, versus, a chocolate bar with some granola.  i found the granola bar recipe from Whole Living Magazine.  the bars are vegan (you just need to substitute the honey for agave) and gluten free.  they're naturally sweetened with honey and unsweetened applesauce.  plus, it's a recipe that can easily incorporate any additional flavors that you enjoy - i added shredded coconut and sliced almonds.  i also thought the flavors in the bars were well suited for a layer of dark chocolate.  turns out i was right.  the lightly sweetened granola bars work really well the sweetness of (i used 65% cacao) dark chocolate.  you may want to leave a few without chocolate; they're really good on their own as a breakfast bar or a snack.

adapted from Whole Living, December 2012

makes 15 bars

pre heat oven to 350°

line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper and brush with olive oil (or coconut oil)

:: dry mix ::

3 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1 1/2 cups dried blueberries (or dried fruit of your choosing)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup (or more) shaved almonds

1 teaspoon course sea salt

:: wet mix ::

1/2 cup natural almond butter (at room temp, so it can soften a bit)

4 tablespoons ground flaxmeal

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup honey

3 tablespoons orange juice (i squeezed half of one orange, but you can just as easily use orange juice from your fridge)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

:: chocolate sauce ::

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

3-4 tablespoons almond milk (or milk of your choosing)

:: directions ::

in a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, dried blueberries, cinnamon, shredded coconut, almonds and sea salt

in a medium bowl, combine the almond butter, flaxmeal, applesauce, honey, orange juice, and vanilla extract

mix the wet ingredients into the dry, mix until combined

pour the mixture into the pan and press evenly with the back of a spatula

bake on the middle rack until golden brown, 30 minutes (halfway through i rotated the pan so that the granola would bake evenly)

let the granola cool completely, then remove from pan

cut evenly into 15 pieces (you can cut them bigger, i wouldn't cut them any smaller they may crumble and fall apart)

in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and almond milk.  melt on a low heat, checking every 5 seconds until half the chips are melted

whisk the mixture until combined

next, dunk a quater or half the bar into the chocolate and set aside.  continue with the rest of the bars.  place them in the refrigerator so the chocolate can settle - about an hour.  i topped mine off with some fleur de sel

store in an air tight container

:: enjoy ::