Cherry Chocolate Chewy Bars

I urge you to try these ! A fraction of the refined sugar contained in commercial cereal bars – high fibre, low fat, dairy free, keep for at least two weeks in a tin.  Probably the healthiest snack.

Preparation

Start by preheating the oven to 180 degrees c. Spread the porridge oats and seeds and  over a large baking sheet (or two smaller ones) and bake for about 20 minutes until golden in colour.  Add the nuts after 15 minutes because they burn easily.  Stir the mix once or twice during the cooking time to even the browning.

In a food processor place the apricots and sugar then blitz to a thick paste. With the motor still running pour in the oil and water in a steady stream until you have a thinner paste.  In a large mixing bowl place the paste, warm toasted porridge, seeds and nuts and stir well.  Add the remaining ingredients, adding the chocolate last of all.

Spread into the tin and press down to an even layer. To make sure the mixture is packed really tightly press down with a rolling pin or angled palette knife.

Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes until the mixture has taken on a deep golden brown.

Take from the oven and place on a cooling tray for 5 minutes then take a sharp knife and mark 18 even sized bars. Leave to go completely cold then lift out of the tray using the overhang from the baking parchment.

Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut through the score lines. These bars will keep in an airtight tin in a cool place for at least two weeks.

TIP: Choose really soft moist apricots or the bars will not hold together.  I made one batch using firm apricots and ended up with a bowl of very tasty granola !


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