Triple Chocolate Granola Bars

Don’t be folled by the word “granola” in the title, because this isn’t really a healthy recipe and it isn’t even remotely low carb. But it is delicious and was created to be a fun treat for my kids. I love oats, and I love almost anything made with oats. I can’t really eat them anymore, but I always keep them in the house for my children. They are wonderfully versatile and offer a healthy breakfast alternative to pre-packaged cereals. I have to say, it’s a wonder anyone buys the instant oatmeals, when old-fashioned oats only take about two more minutes in the microwave! My kids love oatmeal with raisins and just a touch of maple syrup or brown sugar. But I really keep oats in the house to bake with, because I love how they taste in sweet baked goods like cookies and fruit crisps. Oats, brown sugar and butter might just be the best combination in the whole wide world.

Granola bars fall into a funny grey area between healthy and sweet. I grew up thinking granola and granola bars were one of the food items I could put in the “health food” column. It wasn’t until I had to start watching my carbs that I realized just how much sugar most granola bars contain – even the “healthy” ones like Kashi and Nature Valley. Sure, some granolas and granola bars have lots of good whole grains and fiber, but I tend to think of them now as falling into the “treat” column. It’s par for the course, really. To get all of those delicious oats and whole grains to clump together nicely, you really need something sticky and sweet. Even if it’s not refined sugar, but agave nectar or dates, it’s all way too many carbs for this diabetic.

Still, we keep a lot of granola bars in this house. My kids (and huband) love them and we’re on the go so much that they make an easy, portable snack item. Sadly, I can’t send the pre-packaged ones to school, since they generally aren’t nut-free. So if I want to send in granola bars in school lunches, I have to make them myself. I had fun creating the Ginger Cashew Granola Bars for my husband and figured I could modify the recipe easily enough for a nut-free, child-friendly version. At first, I was thinking some dried fruit and perhaps a few chocolate chips. But then, as these things do, the idea evolved in my head to be a real treat with a capital T. Chocolate granola bars with chocolate chips, topped off with white chocolate drizzle. Now that’s a snack you can sink your teeth into!

The Results: This recipe certainly doesn’t fall into that funny grey area, because these delicious granola bars are all Treat. They smelled like chocolate cookies in the oven, and the little bit of the crumbs I tasted confirmed that. But, oh, the oaty, chocolatey goodness! They take the sweet side of oats to a whole new level. They are chewy, which my kids love, and they look so pretty with the white chocolate drizzle. My husband was in love at first bite, and kept saying “Wow, those are good!”.

Now, I do confess that the mini chocolate chips are practically invisible because of the chocolate colour of the bars themselves. This could perhaps be corrected with regular-sized chips, or even chocolate chunks. But either way, these bars are a wonderful treat for the whole family (except, perhaps, if you are diabetic or a low carber and can’t actually eat them!).

Triple Chocolate Granola Bars

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup honey
2 cups old-fashioned oats (gluten free, if possible)
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water

1/3 cup white chocolate chips
2 tsp butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the ends for easy removal and cleanup. Grease parchment paper.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter, sugar, cocoa powder and honey together. Stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Let cool.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flax seed meal, chocolate chips and salt.

Add butter mixture to oat mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture evenly in pan and press down firmly. Use the flat-bottom of a measuring cup if you have one.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes (they will be very soft), then lift bars out using edges of parchment. Let cool for another 15 minutes, or until starting to firm up. Cut into bars using a very sharp knife and let cool completely.

Melt white chocolate and butter together in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let bottom of bowl touch water). Stir until smooth. Spoon into a small ziploc bag with the tip cut off one corner. Squeeze white chocolate mixture out of the hole in a zig zag pattern over the cooled bars. Let set.

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Comments

  1. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels says:

    Oh my word these granola bars look soooo insanely good. I'm in love with them. Love the white chocolate drizzle on top! :)

  2. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says:

    These look delicious, your kids must have loved them! Healthy or not, I'd love them too:-)

  3. Parsley Sage says:

    Holy crap, I wish I was one of your kids! Do they know you're awesome? I hope they do. Great treat, really digging the white chocolate drizzle. Buzzed!

  4. Emily @ Life on Food says:

    Something about the white chocolate topping makes me think these are a bit more like dessert than a snack. They look delicious!

  5. I'm a very bad cook, but I think I'll try to do granola bars. I agree with Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels these granola bars look great.

  6. Pretend Chef says:

    What a delicious treat. I have to agree about oats and chocolate. I didn't realize how delicious this combo was until recently when I made No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. These look fantastic with the white chocolate drizzle. Yummy!

  7. This looks delicious! Granola can be so high in calories, sugar and fat so I think making it at home is much better for you :)

    Thanks for posting this! Have a fantastic week!

  8. Dorothy says:

    I am totally going to make these. Yes, they have lots of chocolate and sugar but I'm sure they are way better than the store kind. I, too, love to send my daughter to school with granola bars but can't because they are "processed in a factory that looked at peanuts driving by on the highway". So these are perfect!

  9. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Yum, they look fantastic and I do like the fact that you call them granola bars, make them seem just a bit legit!

  10. These looks so good! I love the icing on top…it's kinda of reminding me of another childhood favorite…poptarts :)

  11. please tell me that the low carb, healthy version is coming up next! I wish for a granola or granola bar goid enough for me to fall entirely out of "teat category" – but still taste like one of course!

  12. So not fair that you can't eat these!! They look so good. I have never made anything like this (healthy or not) for us. I just rely on Quacker, he generally does an Ok job. But with this, I might need to rethink the Oatmeal Guy (as my son calls him).

  13. Jennifurla says:

    yeah, I too love granola bars. These look heavenly.

  14. The Mom Chef says:

    Ok, so you know that I'd have to scrape of the white chocolate on top, eat it and then give the rest to Dudette, right? It does look yummy though. :)

  15. Christine's Pantry says:

    Looks wonderful! Yummy!

  16. These sound soooo much better than anything at the grocery store. Wow!

  17. Nami @ Just One Cookbook says:

    I'm so envious of your baking and cooking skills. You can do both very very well. This looks delicious and pictures are really nice as usual! Now I'm craving for something chocolate…

  18. chefpandita.com says:

    These bars look incredible! u had me at triple chocolate ;)

  19. Happy When Not Hungry says:

    These granola bars look awesome! Love all the chocolate too!

  20. Evan @swEEts says:

    The word granola always makes me feel a little better.. ESP since I'd probably eat 5 of these!

  21. Love your honesty about granola…and I love that this totally crosses the dessert line and does it oh-so-deliciously. Gorgeous!

  22. Lisa @ Tarte du Jour says:

    Oh my … these look superb! My kids would love this for certain. You are so clever.

  23. Chef Dennis says:

    oh those granola bars look so good! all that ooey gooey chocolate, and I love that white chocolate drizzle!

  24. wendyweekendgourmet says:

    I love to make homemade granola bars…much healthier and better tasting than the boxed ones in the store! BTW…your caramel nut bars were a huge hit with my visiting family this weekend! They said I need to get the recipe ;)!

  25. Healthy or not, these look delicious :) And I am with you 100% on the instant oats…back in my foolish youth I was a fan, but I regret it now. I don't even think it takes 2 minutes longer for microwaving. You just get chunkier oats! Which has to be a good thing.

  26. Oh my does this bars look fantastic!
    And your photography is gorgeous – I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  27. Roxana GreenGirl says:

    I loved granola bars too until I discovered, just like you said are jam packed with sugar and cut them down.
    Yours look great, despite the whole calorie thing I still wanna dig in one bar.

  28. Kate @Kate from Scratch says:

    Look and sound absolutely fabulous. Perfect balance b/w indulgence and health. :)

  29. A Spoonful of YUMM ! says:

    wow !! looks like kids will love these bars :D adults shd too ;-)

  30. LaPhemmePhoodie says:

    I too thought granola bars were more healthy than treat until I started to read the ingredients. I love them so I always enjoy eating them when I allow myself a treat. These granola bars sound like a perfect treat for this chocoholic.

  31. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    At first I was thinking the drizzle totally defeats the purpose of this being a semi healthy snack but then I saw it's chocolate so that's totally okay – right? :)

  32. Kate@Diethood says:

    Those look incredible…I want these now! Do you think I could use wheat germ instead of flax seed?! I ran out of flax! :(

  33. RavieNomNoms says:

    Well they may not be healthy but they sure are delicious looking!

  34. briarrose says:

    Triple chocolate…..I am in love. I shall dub it naughty granola…which means it would be all mine. ;)

  35. Divya Yadava says:

    These look awesome, Carolyn! Your kids must be super happy!

  36. Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} says:

    Wow…those look good! I bet my kids would love these!

  37. Paula @ Cookware Cooking says:

    Triple Chocolate and Granola…I'm in heaven!

  38. Feast on the Cheap says:

    Whoa. Now that's a granola bar!

  39. I don't think I've ever seen a granola bar that's tempted me this much! Fabulous, Carolyn!

  40. Tiffany says:

    Triple chocolate.. YES, ma'am! :D I made granola bars this am… ah, kind of a flop. They're not sticking together… I think I need more sugary loveliness to bind… Happy Tuesday Carolyn!

  41. There's flax seed in these…..I'd say we could call these healthy and not feel guilty:)

  42. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    Chocolatey goodness is right! These bars are heavenly!

  43. The Slow Roasted Italian says:

    Oh how sinfully delicious!

  44. Pegasuslegend says:

    I was drawn in to that low carb, would it be bad to eat the whole thing and not share this is scrumptiou ?? !!!!!!
    http://blogsgotheart.blogspot.com/2011/06/giveaway-and-buffalo-chicken-chili-from.html

  45. The Harried Cook says:

    Oh my! These look so good! :) Love that white chocolate drizzled over the top :) I want to try these!

  46. These look epic.

  47. Tri Cook says:

    Just made these today and they turned out awesome! However, on your list of ingredients, it calls for 2T of water. Where does this go in the recipe?

  48. Priscilla - She's Cookin' says:

    I'll have to show these to the Young Baker asap! There's flaxseed in them so they're kinda healthy :)

  49. Anonymous says:

    These are the second batch. My daughter said I ate the first, but she does not have the evidence to prove otherwise.

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