These gorgeous Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars popped up on my Instagram feed the other day (one of my favorite ways to find recipes I want to make) and I just had to have them! Gluten and dairy-free, these can also be made nut-free, so lot of options!
I followed the recipe from Smitten Kitchen to a tee, and while they were fantastic (how can you ever complain about a chocolate chunk bar?!) there were a few things that I would want to change next time around:
- I used peanut butter instead of the nut butter Smitten Kitchen recommended. And it was a lot. It’s not that the taste was off, but it was a bit strong, and these ended up being a little bit soft, so I would probably try to cut it down to 3/4 cup of the nut butter to see if that is enough to still hold these together.
- I used the full 1 cup of dark chocolate chips and (again, can’t complain too much) it was also a lot. I would cut this down. You could probably use 1/2 cup if you were putting other things in it too.
- For the dried fruit portion, I used 1 cup of dried cranberries and just kept it there. Next time, I would LOVE to incorporate some dried dates / figs – I think this would just be such an excellent flavor and since they’re sticky in their own, they might also help hold the bars together if you’re cutting down the nut butter as I mentioned above.
Two things that I did take on advice from the recipe that were great:
- I bought millet. Not only did I not know what it was, the cashier had no idea how to ring it up. Note to self, write the price on the hand-written tag if you’re scooping your own! The texture and crunch of this in the finished bars was outstanding and honestly stole the show, in my opinion!
- I also got the shredded coconut. My grocery only had giant bags of it, so I was hesitant, but the shreds / flakes were an excellent texture as well and totally made it. I’m also guessing that these strands did a lot to keep the bars together.
Final note on these, I have finally busted out the Nikon for the food photos! I feel as if I’ve opened a Pandora’s Box of ideas and potential, because now I’m obsessed. I foresee — in the not-so-distant-future — my husband asking my why I have to photograph every piece of food that comes my way / out of our kitchen. Honestly the camera makes a world of difference and I hope you can tell in the images!
If you’re making these as well, let me know what you think and any custom variations you tried!
The full recipe is linked here.