Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chocolate-Hazelnut Granola Bars

After my first was born, I worked hard to recapture my former self after nine months (technically it's 10 months...don't even get me started) of pregnancy.  Problem was, all I craved was Nutella.

The more I told myself I shouldn't have it, the more I wanted it.

Why does that always happen?

I'm sure I'll crave spinach after Baby Bear is born.

I'm thinking positively.  Until then, I'll just keep eating Nutella with a spoon.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Granola Bars
Adapted from Mother Thyme

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
6 T butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup honey
3/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (like Nutella or Kroger brand)
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts (optional)

In a bowl, stir together the oats, Rice Krispies, coconut, brown sugar and wheat germ.  In a small sauce pan, melt the butter.  Remove from the heat and stir in the honey, Nutella, extracts and salt.  Pour over the oat mixture and stir to coat.  Add the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and combine.  Spread in a 9x13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Press the granola bars down so that they will be dense like granola bars should be.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until set and lightly golden.  Cool and cut into bars.

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