Homemade Chewy Granola Bar Hearts
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: Makes 34-36 mini hearts
 
Serving size is 2 mini hearts.
Ingredients:
  • 2-1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup cereal, like crispy rice or similar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed meal
  • ½ cup salted pistachios, chopped (or pecans)
  • 10 dates, pitted and chopped (or ½ cup raisins or cranberries)
  • ½ cup loosely packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup (heaping) mini chocolate chips
  • 3 mashed large bananas (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened creamy peanut butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients: oats, cereal, flax seed meal, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, and chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine the wet ingredients: banana, peanut butter, vanilla, and maple syrup.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients, and stir to combine well. There should be just enough wet ingredients to cover the dry ones.
  5. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter as a mold to form the granola hearts. Our cookie cutter is about 2-1/2 inches across at the widest point. Place the mold on the baking sheet. Press the batter into the mold with a medium amount of pressure, making sure you do not have large air pockets in the batter. Fill the mold ⅝ to ¾ of an inch high. Lift up the cookie cutter and simultaneously poke the granola down to release the mold and use it to shape more granola bar hearts.
  6. When the baking sheet is full, bake for 10-12 minutes until the granola is a little brown on the bottom and any coconut on the top is golden brown. Cool on a rack.
  7. If you use a larger heart cookie cutter (3 inches across and almost 1 inch high), then the cooking time is 12-15 minutes with a smaller yield.
Notes:
Store bars in the refrigerator for a few days, or these bars freeze nicely.
Recipe by Foodie Goes Healthy Recipe Blog at https://foodiegoeshealthy.com/homemade-chewy-granola-bar-hearts/