Crunchy toasted almonds, rich peanut butter and chocolate chips make these no bake granola bars a treat and a healthy(ish) snack at the same time! These super easy bars use every day ingredients and come together in just 15 mins. Make these ahead for the week and quell those hangry mid afternoon snack pangs!
I’m a genuine chocolate lover. I may have chosen strawberry ice cream 0.001% of the time over chocolate in my lifetime. Whether it’s an ice cream, cake, cookie, donut or coffee flavour I gotta pick, I always – without fail – look to see if there’s a chocolate option. If I could add chocolate – YES PLEASE!!! (ok chocolate love gush over)
So when I found Cookie and Kate’s no bake granola bars I was super excited to try ’em out. I wanted a healthy snack I could grab right away because let’s be honest, the longer you wait…the further down the bad snack choice rabbit hole you go… amirite? Also, cuz there were chocolate chips in it…
The bars were delicious! However, I personally prefer my granola bars less sticky and more chocolatey….(see above).
So I set forth to make my own adapted version and VOILA…I think I nailed a chocolatey tasty version. FYI – these bars are firmer and slightly more crumbly since I personally like them that way. These bars were a great hit with the family, my daughters LOVED them and had them for snack OVER cookies…(yes…I’m stunned too)
The extra step to toast the sliced almonds really adds an extra depth of flavour and smokiness that make these bars irresistible.
Quick cook oats make these bars possible with the no bake option. The moisture from the peanut butter and honey soften them up and create a nice texture without being too chewy. If you have only large flake or old fashion oats, I’d recommend blitzing them in a food processor or blender beforehand.
Peanut butter goes beautifully with chocolate and these bars remind me of Reese’s peanut butter cups! I just used regular smooth peanut butter but all natural definitely works as well. I’d recommend adding an extra 1/4 tsp of salt if using the natural stuff. I’m sure other nut butters (almond, pecan, cashew) will work just as well but I haven’t tried it myself. If you try this out with another nut butter, leave a comment below to let me know how it turned out!
Honey also helps keep these bars together and adds a lovely sweetness which balance the toasted almonds. Maple syrup is also a great alternative!
I mix in cocoa powder to give these bars that extra kick of chocolate flavour. However, these bars are great without it as well.
Let me know in the comments below what you think!
No Bake Chocolate Granola Bars
- 2/3 cups sliced almonds
- 2 cups quick cook oats (or large flake oats pulsed in a food processor)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat toaster oven to 350 F
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper and lay out sliced almonds in a single layer
- Place almonds in preheated toaster oven and toast for 5-7 mins flipping once (keep an eye on 'em cuz they burn easily!)
- Combine peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Stir until well mixed
- In a separate bowl, add almonds, oats, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Mix until well combined
- Pour the wet peanut butter/honey mixture into the dry almond/oat mixture
- Stir mixture WELL until ALL oats are moistened (its gonna take a little arm grease!)
- Add in chocolate chips
- Line a square pan with parchment paper up the sides (I use the same paper from toasting the almonds)
- Pour granola mixture into the square 8"x8" pan, spread out into an even layer as best as possible
- Using the bottom of a glass, press down to firmly pack the mixture (cover the top of the granola with some parchment paper when pressing down to avoid sticking)
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours
- Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out easily. Cut into square bars and ENJOY!
- MIXING – when mixing the dry and wet ingredients, it will seem there isn’t enough liquid to wet all the oats at first. Keep mixing! Make sure there are no dry oats left so that the bars don’t break apart and you don’t end up with dry patches. These bars are more firm, so if you prefer a stickier version, feel free to add an extra tablespoon of peanut butter
- OATS – quick cook oats are important to create a nice texture in these bars. If you have large flake or old fashioned oats, blitz them in a food processor before adding in
- TOASTED ALMONDS – you can choose not to toast the almonds, but they add a wonderful smoky flavour to the bars. Be sure the almonds are not hot and cooled slightly before mixing
- CUT INTO SQUARES – due to the firmer texture of these bars, I recommend cutting into squares rather than bars
- PAN SIZE – I’ve used a 8″x8″ pan as well as a 9″x6″ glass storage container. Any container will do as long as it’s the same volume