Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (Whole Foods Market.com)
4 cups quick cooking oats
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (chopped)
1 cup finely chopped nuts (optional-I didn't add them this time)
Preheat the oven to 350*.
Spread oats on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Allow oats to cool to room temperature.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add cooled oats. Spread mixture into a 9x13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Press mixture firmly into the baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely and cut into 16 bars.
See how the oats in the foreground are darker? Be sure to stir often while toasting the oats so they don't get darker then this medium brown.
I'm glad I thought to chop the chocolate chips before adding them. Because the quick oats give the bars a finer texture, I thought big chocolate chips wouldn't work. Chopping them also made sure that each bite has a bit of chocolate.
Is it strange that I find ingredients pretty?
I used a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with Pam to press the mixture into the pan. (take the plastic away before baking, of course)
After they were cool and cut (this was tough so use a sharp knife and be careful), I put the bars into snack sized bags so they would be ready for lunch boxes or to throw into my purse on the way out the door.
I'm looking forward to trying different flavor combinations using this recipe. I think dried cranberries and pecans would be great. You could really add just about anything in place of the chocolate chips as long as they were small enough... cinnamon chips, raisins, walnuts, dried blueberries, candied ginger, the possibilities are endless.