Chewy Almond Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

chewy-almond-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-bars-1

 

chewy-almond-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-bars

Yields 18 bars

Ingredients

4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter

1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) brown sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces) honey

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 packets Bakery On Main instant unsweetened oatmeal (see notes)

1 1/2 cups crispy rice or puffed brown rice cereal (certified gluten-free, if necessary)

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the the oats, rice cereal, and almonds. Set aside. (Mixing the dry ingredients first allows you to act quickly later when the honey mixture is hot.)
  3. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. As soon as the mixture reaches a full boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes without stirring. The mixture will look foamy. Remove the pan from the heat, and immediately stir in the almond butter and salt.
  4. Immediately after that, add the oat mixture to the pot, and stir until fully incorporated. It is easier to completely mix when the mixture is still very warm.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, and press down firmly with a rubber spatula or your clean hands to evenly distribute.
  6. Sprinkle the miniature chocolate chips over top (you may add more or less according to taste), and press on them with the spatula so the chips stick. (Again, to ensure that the bars hold together well, the mixture should be firmly pressed into the pan.)
  7. Place the pan in the refrigerator for an hour or two to cool.
  8. Using the foil, transfer the contents to a cutting board. Using a long, sharp knife (a chef’s knife works well), cut into bars. If the bars crack when cutting, allow them to sit at room temperature for a few minutes first.
  9. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you stack them, place parchment or wax paper in between the layers so the bars don’t stick together.

Notes

This is the equivalent of 2 cups of instant oats. The use of instant oats prevents the bars from being crumbly. The Bakery On Main packets are a nutritional bonus because they contain flax meal and chia seeds; they also allow for easy, precise measurements.

If you prefer to substitute dried fruit for the chocolate chips, mix an equivalent amount into the dry ingredients instead of pressing on top. (If you stir the chocolate chips in with the dry ingredients, however, they will melt.)