Crunchy Granola Bars
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup lightly salted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup lightly salted pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons golden flax seeds
- 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 teaspoons softened butter for preparing the baking pan
- 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325º F. Line a 13'' x 9'' x 2'' baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang all around. Smear the foil well with butter; set it aside.
Toss the oats with the melted butter, stirring well to coat. Spread the buttery oats in a single layer on a rimmed half sheet pan. Toast the oats for 10 minutes in the oven, shaking the oats around in the pan halfway through. Remove the oats from the oven, and let cool while measuring the seeds, wheat germ into a large bowl. Add the cooled oats to the bowl, tossing together to combine. Set the bowl aside while tending to the remaining ingredients.
Warm the brown sugar, honey, milk, canola oil, salt, and cinnamon in a small sauce pan set over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the brown sugar is melted and all is blended. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Remove the syrup from the heat. Pour the hot liquid over the oat mixture, stirring well with a wooden spoon, while also pressing the mixture with the back of the spoon to ensure that everything is evenly coated.
Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the prepared baking pan with the back of a spatula. Bake the granola for 20 minutes or until medium brown in color. Set the baking sheet on a wire rack. Depress the granola again with the back of a spatula. Allow to cool completely before proceeding. While the granola is cooling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or a bowl set over simmering water) or in the microwave on half power; whisk until smooth.
Once the granola has cooled, transfer it to a large cutting board by gently lifting it out of the pan by the foil overhang. Peel the foil away from the sides. Use a very sharp knife to cut the granola into bars. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a plastic sandwich bag. Use scissors to snip a tiny corner from the bag, and then squeeze the chocolate to drizzle over the cooled bars. Let the bars stand until the chocolate is set.
Store wrapped in aluminum foil for up to one week.
*These values are approximate. Per serving, based on a 2,000 Calorie diet.