Cherry & Chocolate Granola Bars


Cherry & Chocolate Granola Bars
2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup whole cashews, roughly chopped
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped chocolate (dark or semi-sweet)
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Line bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Then lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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