Monday, December 5, 2011

No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

I don't know if it is the holiday spirit, or something else, but nowadays, when I hear about something yummy, I just get a craving for it until I make it or buy it! My friend Janet mentioned the special Peppermint Oreos the other day, and I have to confess that I searched Target for 30 minutes on Saturday looking for them. I finally found them, and as I had remembered them from years past, they were totally worth the hunt!

Last week, via Urban Grace Interiors blog, I found the No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars from Left On Amelia's blog, and decided to try them this past weekend.  I had most of the ingredients on hand, with the exception of the Coconut Oil, which was expensive at $14.99 a jar, but totally worth it for the recipe! Here is the recipe and the step by step how to:

1 cup Almond Butter (I had the MaraNatha crunchy on hand - my favorite!)
2/3 cup honey (I used some local honey given to us by a co-worker)
1/2 cup Coconut Butter (I used Coconut Oil since my store was out of butter)
2 cups Toasted Oats (I had John McCann Stone Ground Oatmeal on hand, but the original recipe calls for whole oats)
1 bag Dark Chocolate Chips
1 cup dried cranberries (I had Craisins on hand, but sugar-free dried cranberries from a health food store would make this a healthier recipe)

First, in a 9" x 13" baking sheet, spread out the oats and toast until golden (not burned). I turned the oven to 350 degrees and toasted for about 10-15 minutes. 

In a medium or large saucepan, combine the honey, almond butter, and coconut oil over medium heat. Stir frequently as it heats up.

Once it is blended, reduce heat to low or simmer and add the dark chocolate chips and cranberries. The original recipe said to remove from heat, but since I had the larger chocolate chips, I found them easier to melt over a little heat.  Stir frequently.

Once all is melted and stirred together, turn off the stove. Make sure the only lumps are the cranberries. 

 Once the oats are nice and toasted, dump them into the chocolate mixture.

 Stir in the oats until evenly blended.

In the same baking sheet you used to toast the oats, cover it with parchment or wax paper (I used wax paper since I was out of parchment).  Pour in the chocolate oat mixture and spread with a spatula so that it is evenly distributed throughout the pan.

Refrigerate for a few hours. I left mine in for an entire day. The pan will be warm from the mixture, so be sure to use some potholders underneath. 

 Here is the finished product, still in the pan:

And here is the result after cutting into squares. So delicious and easy, I may have to make these more often! Thanks again to Left on Amelia for this recipe!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post for the recipe for Zucchini bread (pictured in wedges above). Enjoy!

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