Here's the deal - I'm usually in a really good mood unless I'm hungry. If that happens then all bets are off. Which is exactly what I carry around snacks at all times like these Cherry Dark Chocolate Granola Bars!!
My mom used to joke that if I was ever in a bad mood it meant either I was hungry or tired. I've grown out of the tired thing, I think that happens when you hit the real world and can no longer manage 10 hours of sleep a night like I did when I was a kid. But I haven't grown out of the hungry part. 10 times out of 10 if I'm a little edgy, it's because I'm hungry. My husband knows exactly when that moment hits because all of a sudden I become completely indecisive and just gaze off in the distance. Lucky for me, and everyone around me, I know how to make a mean Cherry Dark Chocolate Granola Bar so I can carry them with me at all times and avoid a HANGRY GABY. They are super easy, last for weeks, and I keep them in my freezer in individual baggies so I can grab one or two and hit the road! Chocolate Granola Bars for the win!
Cherry Dark Chocolate Granola Bars
- 2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup whole cashews roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup dried cherries coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Then lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray.
- Combine the oats and roughly chopped cashews to a small baking sheet then bake 10-12 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.
- While the oats are toasting, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves, making sure to stir occasionally. Pour the butter mixture over the toasted oats and cashews and add the cherries. Mix well. Let cool for 15 minutes then add the chopped chocolate. Stir to combine.
- Transfer the oat mixture to prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula firmly press the mixture into the pan until the mixture is in a uniform layer. Scatter remaining a few extra tablespoons of chocolate over the granola bars and use the same rubber spatula to gently press them into the granola so they stick. Transfer the entire pan to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.
- After the granola has cooled completely, gently lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles and cut it into squares. Serve as needed.